Big Bash Garden Birdwatch May 2020

Scenic view of the area around Henfield
©Paula Blake

Being in touch with the miracle of our planet is a perfect way to chill out and relax on our own or with friends. In Henfield we are lucky to have our green spaces where we can enjoy and marvel at the amazing wildlife around us.

What we recorded

Over the weekend of 16th & 17th May, during the 2020 ‘lockdown’, thirty six households took part in a fun survey and this is what we recorded – 43 species and 1,156 individual birds. What a fantastic achievement! Thanks to everyone for taking part.

Species Number recorded Number of gardens out of 36
Blackbird 79 35
Blackcap 10 8
Blue Tit 77 32
Bullfinch 4 2
Buzzard 3 2 (flying over)
Carrion Crow 22 12
Chaffinch 17 9 Only 1 person didn't see a Blackbird.
Chiffchaff 2 2
Coal Tit 16 11
Collared Dove 32 16
Dunnock 42 19
Feral Pigeon 37 6
Goldcrest 2 2
Goldfinch 63 20
Great Spotted Woody 27 17 Starlings were the most numerous bird recorded.
Green Woodpecker 2 2
Great Tit 50 20
Greenfinch 31 15
Grey Heron 1 1 (flying over)
Herring Gull 2 1
House Martin 28 7
House Sparrow 113 25 Two lucky people saw Goldcrests.
Jackdaw 40 15
Jay 10 9
Kestrel 1 1 (flying over)
Long Tailed Tit 14 7
Magpie 26 17
Nuthatch 2 2
Pheasant 2 1 Pat Brooke reported “I told the Magpies not to pinch the baby birds; they just wagged their tails.”!
Pied Wagtail 5 2
Red Kite 1 1 (flying over)
Reed Bunting 2 1
Robin 60 32
Song Thrush 16 12
Sparrowhawk 1 1
Starling 147 24 Red Kites are becoming more common.
Stock Dove 20 8
Swallow 11 5
Swift 14 5
Tawny Owl 1 1
Tree Creeper 1 1
Wood Pigeon 102 33
Wren 20 15 With a little local encouragement, Swifts are also on the increase.
We don’t just have lots of birds in the village.

You also saw:

The purpose of the Bird Bash is to have fun but it does at the same time provide excellent “citizen science” information. Population trends are of great importance for conservation and the presence or otherwise of wildlife generally is an indicator of the health of the world’s environment.

We have shown we have a good range of birds visiting our Henfield gardens with some red listed (endangered) species showing quite well; Starling and House Sparrow being our top 2 in terms of numbers and Song Thrush appearing in 33% of gardens. Over the years new species have become more numerous locally and some of these were observed, noticeably Buzzard (now common) and Red Kite. Swifts, House Martins and Swallows are in decline but all were recorded and as an organisation Henfield Birdwatch is championing their conservation in the village by encouraging people to put up Swifts boxes in suitable places and certificating folk in properties where any of the 3 species are nesting.