Birds spotted by twitchers in year-long survey of parks
EAGLE-EYED birdwatchers have spotted more than 50 species in the town centre.
A year-long survey of wild birds has been carried out by Cheltenham Bird Club volunteers.
They found 50 species in Pittville Park and 35 species in Hatherley Park.
And nature-lovers have been encouraged to try and spot more of our feathered friends during the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch event on January 26 and 27.
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Winged wonders recorded in the survey included woodland species such as treecreepers, nuthatch, robin, wren and great spotted woodpecker.
They also spotted 14 species of water birds.
Alan Richards, from Cheltenham Bird Club, said: "Some of these results have surprised me.
"I never expected to see a bullfinch or whitethroat in our parks.
"One day I hope to find a kingfisher."
More common garden birds, such as blackbirds, house sparrows, finches and members of the tit family also featured strongly.
Janice Payne, community ranger, said: "Both parks offer a variety of habitats which are appealing to birds from lakes to woodland and grassland."
Chairman of Gloucestershire RSPB, David Cramp, said: "If rivers freeze, you could well see a kingfisher.
"It seems to be a waxwing winter in Cheltenham though."
He said people wanting to help birds survive winter should put seed or fruit in their gardens, but avoid bread as it attracts gulls and pigeons.
Gloucestershire RSPB will celebrate its 40th anniversary on April 12 with a talk by Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams.
For tickets, call 01242 620281.