MORE than 15,000 people took part in this year’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Big Garden Birdwatch in Hampshire.

Results show there have been some changes in the county regarding the birds which have been seen most frequently with the house sparrow coming in as the new number one.

The blue tit, which was number one last year, has dropped to number two, while the starling came in at number three this year. Last year’s number three, the blackbird, has dropped to number four.

Goldfinches seem to be undergoing a bit of a recovery and in Hampshire they are at number six. The robin is still at number seven in Hampshire.

Richard Bashford, Big Garden Birdwatch organiser, said: “2014 was always going to be an interesting Big Garden Birdwatch as the winter has been so mild and we wondered if it would have a significant impact on garden birds. They were out and about in the wider countryside finding natural food instead of taking up our hospitality.

“The good news is that this may mean we have more birds in our gardens in the coming breeding season because more survived the mild winter.

“It is a great time to give nature a home by putting up a nesting box and supplementary feeding.”

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, said: “Many garden birds rely on us humans for help. During winter birds need extra food and water and at other times of the year, as well as sustenance, a safe place to shelter and make their home can really give them a boost. Two of the species that moved up the rankings this year, blue tits and goldfinches, are adaptable, friendly garden birds and great examples of birds that can flourish with our help. If we put up a nestbox, leave out some food or let our gardens grow a bit wild they’ll be among the first to take advantage.”

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