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Berkshire birdwatchers reveal county's top five birds

Berkshire birdwatchers are seeing less blackbirds in their gardens Credit: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Berkshire birdwatchers took part in the world's largest garden wildlife survey, watching and counting birds during the 37th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

The annual survey uncovers interesting changes among the most popular garden birds.

The Berkshire spotters found a drop in the numbers of blackbirds and starlings. There was an increase in the number of sightings of the house sparrow and goldfinch - in some cases by up to 33%.

Berkshire's top five most common garden birds in order are:

  • Blue tit
  • Woodpigeon
  • House sparrow
  • Blackbird
  • Starling

A lot of our favourite garden birds are struggling and are in desperate need of help. Gardens or outdoor spaces are an invaluable resource for many species. They can provide a safe habitat with food and water; having a significant effect on their populations."

– Ben Andrew, RSPB Wildlife Advisor

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In his sights: should parakeets be culled?

A video company which has posted a guide on how to lure and kill parakeets has been criticised by an animal welfare charity.

There are some 30,000 parakeets in the South East, an invasive species, which are harming local wildlife and crops - according to some. And their numbers are growing all the time. Thanet, alone, is believed to have a population of many thousands.

But the RSPB has told us that shooting the birds is cruel - and an ineffective way of controlling their numbers. Sarah Saunders reports

Parakeets invade South East: should they be shot?

Should they be shot? Credit: ITV

A video company which has posted a guide on how to lure and kill parakeets has been criticised by an animal welfare charity.

There are some 30,000 parakeets in the South East, an invasive species, which are harming local wildlife and crops - according to some. And their numbers are growing all the time . Thanet, alone, is believed to have a population of many thousands.

But the RSPB has told us that shooting the birds is cruel - and an ineffective way of controlling their numbers.

A full report, with Frad and Amanda, on ITV Meridian at 6pm.

Southbourne woman to be awarded for rescuing birds

Lynne Parker is from Southbourne in Dorset Credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare

A woman from Southbourne in Dorset is to receive a special award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords tomorrow, recognising many years of dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating injured or abandoned birds.

Lynne Parker has rescued hundreds of birds, both wild and domestic, over the last 21 years and is often called on by local vets, residents and rescue organisations to provide emergency treatment, food and accommodation.

She single-handedly cleans and cares for the birds until they are ready for release back into the wild where possible, or transferred to a local rescue centre to make space for new emergency cases.

She is creating a special ‘reproofing’ pool in her garden to ensure that birds affected by oil spills, or which have been traumatised, have regular access to water and do not lose the waterproofing on their feathers, which can occur when a bird is stressed.

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Birds die in oil spill

RSPCA inspectors have collected several birds caught in an oil spillage on the north Kent coast. The birds were found covered in thick, black sticky fuel oil. They include eight red throated divers, two of which had to be put to sleep to end their suffering, two guillemots and a dunlin which died.

All came from the Ramsgate harbour area except for one of the divers which was picked up in Rye harbour. They are being cared for by the RSPCA Mallydams Wildlife centre in Hastings.

RSPCA wildlife supervisor Richard Thompson said: “Birds like these, that are used to spending all their lives on the water, are difficult for us to manage but we have the expertise and will do our best for them.

The oil we are dealing with is very caustic and the two we have had to put to sleep had ingested a lot of it.

– Richard Thompson, RSPCA
  1. Martin Dowse

Mystery sea bird pollution saga continues

It could be days before the true scale of the pollution spill affecting sea birds off our coastline is known. Wildlife experts say many more birds covered in a mystery sticky substance may have been blown out to sea.

So far, more than 250 birds have died, hundreds more have washed up on beaches as far as West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. Our Correspondent, Martin Dowse, sent this report from Dorset.

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