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Small birds make a swift recovery

Small garden birds whose numbers were depleted by the long, harsh winter a year ago appear to have made a comeback this year, the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch has revealed.

In the latest survey of birds seen in people's gardens, which took place at the end of January, sightings of goldcrests had more than doubled, while long-tailed tits had increased by a third and coal tits by almost a quarter.

According to the RSPB, small birds are especially vulnerable in harsh winters, but a good breeding season can help restore their fortunes. More than 600,000 people took part in this year's Birdwatch.