June boom!

A number of species have shown big increases in gardens over the past few weeks. Using the latest GBW online data we have discovered that young Great Spotted Woodpeckers are often brought to garden feeders during June, seemingly to show them where to get a good meal. Between April and mid-June 2012, GBW counts of this charismatic bird in gardens have risen by a whopping 84%! Starlings have also surged into gardens, with youngsters tackling fat cakes and other garden scraps with enthusiasm. Their antics are a source of much entertainment for garden birdwatchers as is their appearance, as they accrue their glamorous adult plumage bit by bit over the summer months. 

Jay and Jackdaw have led the charge for the corvid family, with GBW counts of both rising by about two thirds since April. Other large increases have included the colourful Nuthatch (up 40%) and Bullfinch (up 35%). More familiar garden visitors such as Great Tit, Blue Tit and Blackbird (see table below) have also made an impression of late, with youngsters a frequently-seen delight. The survival of young birds through this critical post-fledging period can have great bearing on the size of subsequent breeding populations, and so the extent to which many species are using gardens at the moment highlights their importance. Enjoy this vibrant activity because we know, through your observations, that gardens will become much quieter in late summer as birds moult and turn to abundant natural foods in the countryside.

THE BIG WINNERS

GBW online counts: April to mid-June 2012

Species
Increase in GBW counts (%)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
84
Starling
76
Jay
70
Jackdaw
63
Nuthatch
40
Bullfinch
35
Magpie
22
Great Tit
17
Feral Pigeon
15
Blue Tit
14
House Sparrow
13
Blackbird
10

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