News archive

April 2019

Sunday, 21 April 2019

April 2019 Newsletter - Edition 95

April 2019 Newsletter - Edition 95

We produce newsletters three times a year and all RSPB Chester Local Group members receive them automatically.

This version includes articles on:
Survey of Swift Box Adoption
El Rompido
PODCAST of the month from RSPB
Cheshire and Wirral Bird Report 2016
Bird Lists
Western Cape, South Africa
VisitEngland Award Burton Mere Wetlands

Field Trip Reports:
Mere Sands Wood & Marshside
Marbury Country Park
Llanfairfechan and Spinnies

To guarantee you don't miss out, click on the Join tab and fill in the web form. It is a steal at family £10, Individual £6, Concession (Seniors or Students) £5.

You can download our April newsletter here.

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Saturday, 13 April 2019

The Birdwatch results for 2019

The Birdwatch results for 2019

Thank you so much for taking part in the 40th Big Garden Birdwatch. So much has happened in those 40 years - it's become the world's largest garden wildlife survey - and we've got a huge amount of valuable data on common British birds to look back on. This is vital information that will help us on our mission to save nature. Once we know which species are in trouble, we can try to find out why.

Top Spots

We can now reveal 2019's results. Once again, the house sparrow has hit the top spot. At number two is the starling, closely followed by the blue tit and the blackbird.

The woodpigeon flies in at number five, followed by the goldfinch, great tit and robin at number 8. The top eight remain the same as last year, so it's a battle for numbers nine and 10. The chaffinch has seen off the long-tailed tit to be at number 9 and the magpie has crept in at number 10.

Sparrow takes gold

For the 16th successive year, house sparrows came in at first place! It's hardly surprising really, as they can be found pretty much everywhere, tending to feed and breed near people, from city centres to farmland.

While they are seen in much smaller numbers now compared to when the Birdwatch started - the Big Garden Birdwatch shows a 56% decline - this trend has slowed in the past 10 years. See below for how to help house sparrows in your garden.

Bramblings visit in increasing numbers

Although the top of the list stayed stable, there were more shifts lower down. Bullfinches have climbed the rankings since the early 2000s, regularly reaching the top 25.

Another finch species, the brambling, moved from number 50 in 2018 to number 43. They're winter visitors and migrate here in large numbers if conditions here are more favourable than on the Continent or when their favourite food - seeds of beech trees - are in plentiful supply.

Sad news for the song thrush

Sadly, it's bad news for song thrushes and starlings. Both have declined by around 77% since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979. We think the decline of song thrushes is down to the loss of places where they prefer to live and breed.

But there's also good news: coal tits are up by nearly 245% since 1979 and goldfinches, not even included in the first Birdwatch, have increased by around 70% since the early 2000s!

Top 10 birds in 2019 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Species: Average per garden / % of gardens species recorded in 2019

1. House sparrow: 4.4 / 63%
2. Starling: 3.1 / 41%
3. Blue tit: 2.6 / 77%
4. Blackbird: 2.3 / 87%
5. Woodpigeon: 2.3 / 77%
6. Goldfinch: 1.8 / 34%
7. Great tit: 1.5 / 58%
8. Robin: 1.3 / 82%
9. Chaffinch: 1.3 / 38%
10. Magpie: 1.2 / 54%

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

​RSPB Bird Watching & Nature Discovery Cruise ​- Sunday 12th May, Saturday 12th October

​RSPB Bird Watching & Nature Discovery Cruise ​- Sunday 12th May, Saturday 12th October

Mersey Ferries and the RSPB are hosting a Bird Watching & Nature Discovery Cruise on the River Mersey and out into the bay. The cruise is perfect for families and both new and experienced watchers. Sightings have previously included long-tailed skuas, peregrine falcons, osprey and Atlantic grey seals.

Experts will be on-hand to answer your questions and help with the spotting of wildlife.

Departs Seacombe at 11am
Departs Pier Head Liverpool at 11.10am
Cruise Duration: 3 hours

Ticket Prices
Adults - £16
Children aged (3-15) - £8.00
Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) - £44
Infant (age 0-2 ) - Free