The last weekend in January 2014 was the weekend of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch. Thirty households plus one school on Arran not only took part in this survey of garden birds but shared their results me.
The top ten birds in terms of the number of gardens in which they were seen is: Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Greenfinch and Goldfinch. While Chaffinch, as in the previous three years, remains the commonest bird, Blue Tit and Great Tit moved from seventh and fifth last year to second and third this year. Robin moved from second to fifth. For the first time Goldfinch made the top ten
In each of the three previous years almost thirty species were seen. This year it was only twenty-three. This may be a reflection of the inclement weather over the survey weekend.
By far the largest total of birds seen was Chaffinch with four hundred and forty-eight.
There were some quite marked changes including Coal Tit decreasing from one hundred and forty-one in 2013 to one hundred and nine in 2014 and House Sparrow increasing from sixty in 2013 to one hundred and fifty-two in 2014.
While the information is interesting, too much should not be read into these small samples from four years.
If you would like a copy of the complete collated data for Arran for the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch, please get in touch.survey was over one weekend in the year. There is a garden bird watch that you can join that encourages people to record their garden bird sightings throughout the year, the British Trust for Ornithology Garden BirdWatch (GBW). To find out more about the BTO Garden BirdWatch visit the website http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw