AMATEUR ornithologists were out recording bird sightings for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch on Saturday.

The largest wildlife survey in the world has been held every year since 1979 to monitor bird populations in the UK.

Thousands were expected to take part, including Marston’s Jack McEwan 11, at the RSPB’s Otmoor Nature Reserve.

House sparrows were the most sighted last year in Oxfordshire, with an average of four spotted an hour.

The threatened starling, second in 2004, was fourth.

The wood pigeon was one of the few species to be thriving.

Sightings showed it rising from eighth to fifth, up 800 per cent since the survey started.