Chaffinch is most popular visitor to Borders


FOR all of you who sat and looked out of your window on a cold weekend at the end of January to note the birds that visited your garden during the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ‘Big Garden Birdwatch 2012’ - the results are now in.

And in first place is the chaffinch, seen in 90 per cent of gardens that were under surveillance.

Runner-up spot went to the house sparrow, followed by blue tit, blackbird, starling, great tit, coal tit, goldfinch, wood pigeon and in tenth spot the robin.

All top ten birds in the Borders also featured in the Scottish top ten, albeit in a slightly different order.

Over the weekend of January 28 and 29, nine million birds were spotted by 600,000 people and a total of over 70 different species were recorded in 285,440 gardens across the UK.

A spokesperson for RSPB said: “Sadly, the counts revealed that starling numbers are at an all time low since the survey began more than thirty years ago.

“Though still at number two on the results board, starlings were seen in fewer than half the UK’s gardens. In the first survey in 1979, the average number of starlings seen in UK gardens was 15. This year, that number fell to its lowest ever with an average of just three starlings seen per garden.

“These declines are being mirrored across much of northern Europe too, and because of this drop in numbers, the species is red listed as a bird of high conservation concern.

We’ve been monitoring this decline and research is already underway to find out more about the disappearance of these birds.”