Colwall Bird Survey Information

On this page you will find general information which may be of interest concerning the bird survey. In addition a section has been provided which gives links to web sites which contain information on birds and flora/fauna.

Differences as Compared to BTO results

Differences in the Colwall results compared to the BTO are probably due to our rural location compared to the national results of the BTO which should include a larger proportion of urban gardens in their surveys. Some main points of difference to note are the following:

  • Buzzard not recorded by BTO
  • Collared doves, starlings and house sparrows are more frequent with the BTO, being rarely found far from human habitations, and have never been recorded in some rural Colwall gardens.
  • Jackdaws, magpies and crows are recorded far more frequently here than nationally overall.
  • Wood pigeons are birds which have adapted to urban gardens in recent years and are now as common nationally as Colwall.
  • Song thrushes are more common around Colwall having declined a lot in urban areas.
  • Greater-spotted woodpeckers are also found in more wooded areas and larger gardens and have been increasing nationally in recent years.
  • Nuthatches likewise, a bird needing woodland and large gardens with trees.
  • Robins our most common bird enjoy our rural setting being more common here than nationally.
  • Blue tits have increased to 1st place after a good breeding year following several successive poor years. However, coal tit and long-tailed tit have declined.
  • Greenfinches have tumbled in the village since last year and compared to BTO; the disease trichomaniasis a fatal parasite has been infecting finches and greenfinches in particular since 2005. A recent partial recovery has been followed by further localised outbreaks.
  • Siskins are becoming increasingly common with several summer records including juveniles, and so it seems they are probably breeding in the conifer woods on the hills.

Bird Identification

The identification of birds in the garden can sometimes be difficult. In order to help the identification of birds the RSPB provides a easy to use guide on bird identification. This utilises simple questions on the look and shape of a bird. This bird identification guide can be found at the following web address.

Feeding Garden Birds

Feeding birds is one way we can all help in attracting birds to our gardens. The BBC Nature web site provides a guide to the different types of food which can be provided to attract garden birds. This feeding guide can be found at the following web address.

Garden Birdsong

Sometimes it is easier to hear birds than it is to see them. However, being able to determine a bird by its birdsong can be difficult. BBC Radio have produced a set of birdsongs for the commonest garden birds. These sound recordings also give helpful advice on the key points to listen for in a birdsong. The BBC Radio birdsong guide can be found at the following web address

BBC Radio 4 "Tweet of the Day"

Throughout 2013 BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a "Tweet of the Day" at 6am each morning. Each Tweet will focus on one particular bird species which can be found in the UK. The Tweet will give examples of birdsong and a narrative identifying interesting facts about the bird. For those of us who find it difficult to be wide enough awake at that time in the morning, all Tweets are available on the BBC Radio 4 site which can be found at the following web address

Links to Web Sites of Interest

The following links to web sites also provide information on birds and more general flora/fauna.