Every year in January thousands of householders across the UK take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, spending an hour in their garden recording what they see and sending the RSPB their results.
This year more than half a million people took part, counting more than 8 million birds. So collating the results is a big job, but once it’s done the newspapers, TV and radio are always keen to get their hands on the final figures to report on the ups and downs in the garden bird world.
This year the big story is the fact that small songbirds have suffered in the recent unprecedented cold weather. The BBC pointed out that the weather resulted in more sightings of less frequent visitors such as fieldfares, yellowhammers and bullfinches which were forced to feed in gardens due to a lack of available food in the wider countryside.
The Telegraph reported that there were 20 cent fewer small birds like coal tits and the long tailed tit dropped out of the top ten list. As well as covering the survey results the Guardian has also been collating its photographs taken by readers during the event on Flickr – take a look here.
And if you’re a fan of figures, tables and stats then the Guardian has also covered the story on its data blog. And if you want to look at the results from a different angle then head on over to the Beaky Birdsearch website where some clever person has used the results to create a search programme which produces a map – just type in your favourite bird and you can see where its strongholds are across the UK.