Roof top bird survey 27th April and 11th May 2014

Friends of City Gardens volunteers joined expert birders on the roofs of some of the most iconic buildings in the City  to discover how roof top bird populations have changed over the last ten years. The survey was designed by Dusty Gedge, Urban Ecologist.

A roof top survey was last carried out ten years ago and since then there has been a huge increase in the number of green roofs. These are the habitat of birds, like the Black Redstart that like bare, ‘weedy’ environments.  Dusty has been instrumental in the campaign for more green roofs in the City.

In spite of the pre-dawn start and cold, windy weather, surveyors identified several pairs of Black Redstarts – there are reputedly only 100 pairs in the UK. They also spotted a Red Kite, a rarity in the City, a Peregrine Falcon and garden birds such as tits, gold finches and blackbirds. The roof tops were also a vantage point to see over-flying birds such as Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Greylag Geese, Cormorants and Mallards.

Data from the roof top bird survey has been entered on the Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) database. Friends of City Gardens are helping collect and record data on bird, insect and plant populations as part of the City’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

Friends of City Gardens would like to thank the building managers and tenants of the following buildings for granting access to their green roofs:
Allen and Overy, Bishop’s Square
Broadgate Estates, 201 Bishopsgate
Broadgate Estates, Ropemaker Place
Eversheds, Wood Street
Nomura, Angel Lane
Standard Chartered Bank, Basinghall Avenue
Unilever, Unilever House