House sparrows were once again the most common bird in Oxfordshire’s gardens following the RSPB’s annual survey.
Results from the Big Garden Birdwatch published last Thursday showed that while the average number of sparrows recorded had stayed the same from last year, they had been seen in a higher percentage of gardens.
Blackbirds and starlings were the next most common birds, followed by wood pigeons and blue tits.
The Birdwatch ran from January 28 to 30, asking people across the country to count the different species that visit their garden over a one-hour period.
Daniel Hayhow, a conservation scientist at RSPB, said: “The sight of a robin or blackbird perched on the garden fence is often one of the first experiences we have with nature.
“So to have over half a million people taking part and counting a bumper eight million birds across one weekend is amazing.
“Using the information from the weekend we’ll be able to create a snapshot of how our garden birds are doing.”
Sparrows and starlings were the top two birds seen nationally, with blackbirds in third.
The RSPB also reported an increased number of migrant birds, such as waxwings, redwings and fieldfares.
But in Oxfordshire it was a tough year for tits, with blue tits and great tits tumbling from second to fifth and seventh to ninth respectively.
RSPB officer Tim Webb said: “Gardens are an increasingly valuable resource for birds.
“They need food, water and shelter throughout the year and if we all provide these things in our outdoor spaces it will be a huge help to our garden birds – perhaps even playing a role in reversing some declines.
“We’re increasingly seeing rural birds in gardens and urban settings.
“Our theory is that this behaviour change is because they are finding it easier to find food and shelter in gardens.”