THE house sparrow has come out top in a county-wide bird survey.

In Hampshire it was the bird most often seen in people’s gardens as part of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch.

It knocked the blue tit off the top spot, having been seen on an average of 3.5 birds per garden.

The woodpigeon came into the top three, pushing the blackbird into fourth.

Altogether 600,000 people took part and counted more than nine million birds.

The survey revealed that starling numbers were at an all-time low since the survey began 30 years ago – they have dropped from 15 in 1979 to an average three.

This figure was even lower in Hampshire at 2.1, with possible reasons for the decline changes in their feeding habitats.