Wildlife survey results

Thursday 23 September 2010, 01:02

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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Participants in Wales in the the RSPB summer wildlife survey - Make Your Nature Count almost doubled in 2010 with over 4,000 people counting the birds and mammals in nearly 3,000 gardens.

Dana Thomas, from RSPB Cymru, said: "For many species the only way of counting them is to ask people to take part in a garden survey like this and some of the results have been quite surprising."

"Lots of people see hedgehogs, moles and deer in their gardens which you may only expect to see in the wider countryside."

And now for the results...

30% of people taking part in urban areas have seen hedgehogs in their gardens before and more than one in seven see them regularly.

A late night hedgehog visits a garden. Image by Charles Dawson:

hedgehog by charles dawson

They were reported from 48% of gardens in rural areas where more than a quarter of participants see them at least monthly.

Participants were also asked to report moles and roe deer for the first time this year.

14% of participants recorded mole sightings, including mole hills, with one in six detecting them regularly.

Unsurprisingly, most moles were recorded in rural gardens and were most frequently sighted in Wales with 25%, compared with 15% in Scotland and 13% in England.

Roe deer, a native species, were recorded in 5% of gardens with most sightings in Scotland.

Make Your Nature Count was one of the first garden wildlife surveys since the extraordinarily cold winter and participants also recorded common birds.

A blackbird foraging in the snow - Image by Sue Tranter (RSPB images):

blackbird foraging in the snow - Image by Sue Tranter (RSPB  images)

The RSPB also asked questions about how well robins, blackbirds and song thrushes are breeding.

The survey showed that the blackbird is still the most frequent visitor recorded in 90% of all gardens followed by the house sparrow at 84% and blue tit taking third place with 77%.

32% recorded young blackbirds, 17% recorded young robins and 5% saw young song thrushes.

Participants were also asked to record summer migrants, particularly nesting house martins.

Only 9% of respondents have house martins nesting under their eaves and experts are keen to build on this in future years to find out the extent of their suspected declines.

Next year's Make Your Nature Count will take place from 4-12 June, 2011.

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