Barn Owl
Blackbird
Blackcap
Black-headed Gull
Black Redstart
Blue Tit
Brambling
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Coot
Crested Tit
Crossbill
Cuckoo
Dunnock
Feral Pigeon
Fieldfare
Garden Warbler
Goldcrest
Goldfinch
Goshawk
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker
Grey Heron
Grey Partridge
Grey Wagtail
Hawfinch
Herring Gull
Hoopoe
House Martin
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Jay
Kestrel
Kingfisher
Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Whitethroat
Linnet
Little Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-tailed Tit
Magpie
Mallard
Marsh Tit
Meadow Pipit
Mistle Thrush
Moorhen
Nightingale
Nuthatch
Peregrine
Pheasant
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Wagtail
Quail
Raven
Red Kite
Red-legged Partridge
Redpoll
Redstart
Redwing
Reed Bunting
Ring-necked Parakeet
Robin
Rook
Sand Martin
Serin
Short-eared Owl
Siskin
Skylark
Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk
Spotted Flycatcher
Starling
Stock Dove
Stonechat
Swallow
Swift
Tawny Owl
Treecreeper
Tree Sparrow
Turtle Dove
Waxwing
Whinchat
Whitethroat
Willow Tit
Willow Warbler
Wood Pigeon
Wren
Yellow Wagtail
Yellowhammer

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Early Bird Survey - 2008

Observers were asked to get into their observation position before "first light" (i.e. when it was light enough to be able to see the birds, usually about an hour before sunrise) on one morning between Sunday 21st and Sunday 28th December 2008 inclusive, and then record the order and time of arrival of individual species at their garden feeding stations.

Of the 8 submissions received, all were valid. However, for easier comparison with past years, submissions from outside the British Isles were excluded from the analyses.

Coverage

The regions (the Counties and Districts included within the Regions are detailed here) that provided the most submissions were South-east England and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Most of the gardens (86%) were in suburban areas, a similar proportion to last year, but there were none representing urban areas.

Habitat Definitions

Regional
Habitat
 

Early Bird

This year your observations show that the most common early birds are Robins and Blackbirds, arriving between 15 and 20 minutes after first light.

First Bird

Species Average Time After First Light
Robin 15 minutes
Blackbird 20 minutes
Carrion Crow 15 minutes
Starling 37 minutes

Arrival Times

The average time after first light that each species arrived at feeding stations is given in the table below. Carrion Crow and Robin were the earliest birds, though Robins were reported by more people.

Species This Year
Carrion Crow 15 minutes
Robin 15 minutes
Collared Dove 19 minutes
Blackbird 20 minutes
Blue Tit 29 minutes
Dunnock 31 minutes
Starling 37 minutes
Magpie 38 minutes
Chaffinch 39 minutes
Wren 43 minutes
Goldfinch 46 minutes
Great Tit 47 minutes
House Sparrow 48 minutes
Greenfinch 53 minutes
Great Spotted Woodpecker 54 minutes
Long-tailed Tit 60 minutes
Coal Tit 63 minutes
Wood Pigeon 64 minutes
Marsh Tit 67 minutes
Siskin 69 minutes
Song Thrush 73 minutes
Jay 86 minutes
Nuthatch 106 minutes

Continental Comparison

For the first time, this year submissions were allowed from regions outside the British Isles and one was received from an urban garden in Bavaria, Germany. The Blackbird was the earliest bird there, followed by Great Tit, Blue Tit and Robin.

Conclusions

Generally, Blackbirds and Robins are among the early birds, the same result as in past years years.

A very big thank you to everyone who submitted their observations to the survey.


Last revision: 21 Feb 2015
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2017.
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