A report from the Manx BirdLife charity has shown huge changes to the types of birds seen in the island’s gardens.

Founded in 1999, the Manx BirdLife garden bird watch has been running for over 20 years and gathering data on a weekly basis from over 500 gardens across the island.

In 2022, Manx BirdLife volunteer, Alexandra King, took on the task of analysing the data, and prepared a report of the trends of different bird species recorded across the island.

The report showed that there have been big changes in the 10 most common species recorded in gardens over the 20 years, with species such as blue tits, great tits and robins all declining, with robins dropping out of the top 10 species altogether.

The biggest decline seen in a species was the greenfinch, which was the fourth most common bird in gardens in 2000, but by 2020 was only the 19th most commonly recorded species - a decline which is mirrored in the UK.

Some species have seen an increase in number, with starlings, jackdaws and rooks all being recorded more frequently.

The biggest increase was seen in goldfinches, which moved from 24th on the list to third.

The author of the report, Ms King, said: ‘It’s so important to not only focus on the rarities and unusual birds, but to spotlight our garden birds, which play a valuable role in the ecosystem.

‘I’m very excited to be able to provide this insight into our garden bird species, and to show the value of long-term citizen science projects such as this.’

Manx BirdLife managing director Allison Leonard said: ‘Alex’s report has really highlighted some of the changes we are seeing in our garden birds.

‘Without people contributing their time and effort, we just wouldn’t know what was going on.’

If you would like a copy of the garden bird watch report or more information on joining the garden bird watch scheme, please contact Manx BirdLife at [email protected]