Results of the BS3 winter bird survey

Published on: 26 May 2017

Greater spotted woodpeckerGoldfinch

Pictured: A Greater Spotter Woodpecker and a Goldcrest

BIRDS                            From the BS3 Winter bird survey, by 23 residents

Common species (no. of sightings) 

Sparrow (104), Dunnock (59), Starling (29), Wood Pigeon (104),
Feral Pigeon (58), Wren (26), Blackbird (92), Great tit (51), Crow (19),
Robin (83), Collared dove (36), Blackcap (11), Blue tit (82),
Long-tailed tit (36), Jackdaw (11), Magpie (69), Goldfinch (35), Coal tit (10).

Infrequently seen species

Greater Spotted Woodpecker (9), Willow tit (3), Jay (8), Marsh tit (2),

Pied Wagtail (8), Chiffchaff (2), Goldcrest (6), Garden Warbler (2),

Grey Wagtail (6), Green Woodpecker (2), Sparrowhawk (6), Rook (1).

Chaffinch (3), Song Thrush (1)


Ben's comments: 

(October 2016-March 2017): Sixth Report

23 members of the BS3 Wildlife Group submitted reports covering this six month period.    This was almost twice last year’s response, but unfortunately, two people didn’t present the data in a form that could be used, so the real figure is 21.   

Members were asked to record species seen in any month.   A sighting might therefore represent a single bird or a hundred in that month.    Maximum sightings were therefore 21 people x 6months = 126.   The figures illustrate relative frequencies of different species and also, presumably, how often people look out of their windows.    I am assuming that people have made correct identifications.  

The top 3 birds are only slightly different from last year.    The top are sparrows (seen in 82.5% of months), wood pigeons (82.5% of months) and blackbirds (73% of months).   Last year it was sparrows, magpies and blackbirds.   

There may be some uncertainty about some of these.

Greenfinch seems to be the only finches in town, almost.   Sightings in previous year (sometimes with less spotters) are as follows.   Number of observer/months in brackets.

                        Goldfinch                  Chaffinch                   Greenfinch

Year 1            (119)    42      35.3%                        12       10.1%         10       8.4%

Year 2            (146)    53      36.3%                        36        24.7%          7       4.8%

Year 3            (106)    43      40.6%                        24       22.6%         10       9.4%

Year 4            (90)       25     27.8%                          9       10.0%           5        5.6%

Year 5            (72)       19     26.4%                          7         9.7%           0           0%

Year 6            (126)    35      27.8%                          3         2.4%           0           0%



One garden reported ‘no birds all winter’.     Six people reported 15 or more species with 20 as the top score.   The top spaces were not particularly clustered and difficult to explain with any confidence.

Large numbers of species were seen at Willada Close (17 species); Osborne Road (15); Ashville Road (16); Ashton Drive (18) and Rownham Close (20).    The last two are close to the edge of the city.    Willada Close is near a railway line and Osborne is close to the Avon New Cut, so is the high result linked to the proximity of a wildlife corridor.   Ashville?   Your guess is as good as mine.

Sparrows:   there are clearly lots of sparrows about with most people reporting sightings in every month or in at least four months.   Why then did our observer in Kingston Road only see sparrows in two months and the Osborne Road observer didn’t see a single one.   Both of these are high species gardens, with 15 each, so it can’t be that the gardens are unattractive to birds.    Just one of those things?

Woodpeckers:    Three people reported either green or great spotted woodpeckers.    The addresses were Ashton Vale; Willada Close (both) and Bower Ashton.    Edge-of-the-city effect?

If anyone wants to analyse the figures in more depth, I have all 23 results and am happy to share them.

BB May 2017.



Comments (0)

Add a new comment:* (Allowed tags: <b><i><br>)

*Mandatory fields