31 March 2011
Last updated at 16:08
Results of an investigation by the RSPB have shown that blue, long-tailed and great tits are making a significant comeback in Norfolk's gardens. More than 13,500 people in Norfolk took part in their Big Garden Birdwatch in January, which revealed blackbirds as the most popular bird - seen in 98% of the county's gardens.
Second on the list after being boosted from third place last year is the starling, of which an average of three were seen in more than half of Norfolk's gardens. Across the UK more than 600,000 people did the RSPB bird watch that looks to uncover population trends; seeing which birds are thriving or struggling to survive.
Switching places with the starling is the house sparrow. Many small birds in the county were affected by the cold winter of 2009-10 and the new results show that many had a good breeding season last year to reverse their decline.
Shooting up two places was the blue tit, which along with other tit species dropped significantly in the 2010 investigation. They have risen by nearly a quarter in Norfolk's gardens in contrast to last year's findings.
The wood pigeon dropped a place to fifth after this year's results. "Last year was a really harsh winter, lots of the smaller birds were really punished," said Gemma Butlin from RSPB Norfolk.
With the rise of the blue tit, the chaffinch also dropped lower in the listing. "Last year we had quite a dry April and May period in Norfolk and the birds had a good breeding season," said Ms Butlin.
The collared dove remained in seventh place. "A lot of birds this year may have benefitted from the good nutritional feed people have been putting in their gardens, which more and more seem to be doing," said Norfolk wildlife expert Chris Skinner.
The long-tailed tit, one of the smallest garden birds in the UK, has shot up by 32% in Norfolk and now perches in eighth place. Mr Skinner, who turned his farm in rural Norfolk into a small nature reserve, believes numbers of the rarer marsh and willow tits have also greatly risen in contrast to previous years.
The goldfinch has dropped down a place to ninth, but nearly two are still being spotted in 40% of the county's gardens. Other small birds whose populations have risen in Norfolk, but not quite made the top 10 list, include the waxwing and the goldcrest. Sightings of the latter have doubled in the past year.
Tenth on the bird watch list is the great tit, whose numbers are also visibly on the up. "At the moment in my hide I see around 1,000 blue tits and great tits an hour - it's absolutely amazing," said Mr Skinner.