Record bird numbers heading for gardens, expert says

Greenhouse enthusiasts may be interested to hear a record number of birds have been heading to urban gardens this year, it has been revealed.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Jasper Copping pointed out that sightings of species in 2011 such as the bullfinch, goldfinch and reed bunting hit their highest levels since records began.

The birds have been forced to find alternative food sources after the freezing conditions at the beginning of the year, as seeds and berries were snow-covered or frozen, he explained.

"To survive, large numbers headed to gardens, where they thrived on high energy, oil-rich food such as sunflower hearts and nyjer seeds left out by householders," Mr Copping noted.

However, the horticulturalist added that in most cases this trend will be short-term, provided things are not as cold next winter.

Building a pond is a great way to attract colourful birds and insects to any outside space, Monty Don wrote recently in an article for the Daily Mail.