The RSPB is opening a new store in Brighton and to mark the grand opening, the charity is offering the first 1,000 customers a free pack of six suet balls (details of the offer at the bottom of this article).

Here are the ten most popular birds in Sussex and some information to help you identify them.

The Argus:

House Sparrow: Despite remaining at number one spot, the house sparrow is a red-listed species. Their numbers are down 62% since the first birdwatch. Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness, have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, recently estimated as dropping by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 with substantial declines in both rural and urban populations. Whilst the decline in England continues, Breeding Bird Survey data indicate recent population increases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The Argus: Blue Tit: The blue tit has becoming the second most spotted bird in UK gardens for this time of year. Blue tits are fantastically adaptable birds which benefit from food in the gardens and nest boxes. A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search for food. A garden with four or five blue tits at a feeder at any one time may be feeding 20 or more Starling: Starling numbers have plummeted by 84% since the first Birdwatch in 1979. The RSPB are urgently researching their decline. Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. Their flight is fast and direct and they walk and run confidently on the ground. Noisy and gregarious, starlings spend a lot of the year in flocks. Still one of the commonest of garden birds, its decline elsewhere makes it a Red List species.


The Argus: Blackbird: The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the most striking garden birds. The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the most striking garden birds. One of the commonest UK birds, its mellow song is also a favourite.


Woodpigeon: The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in towns and cities. Its cooing call is a familiar sound in woodlands as is the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away.


The Argus: Chaffinch: The chaffinch is the UK's second commonest breeding bird, and is arguably the most colourful of the UK's finches. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders - it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You'll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls Goldfinch: Goldfinch have swooped into the number seven spot. Before 2001 they were amber-listed. They are visiting our gardens more now and are particularly partial to nyjer seed. A highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow them to extract otherwise inaccessible seeds from thistles and teasels. Increasingly they are visiting birdtables and feeders. In winter many UK goldfinches migrate as far south as Spain.


The Argus: Great tit: The largest UK tit - green and yellow with a striking glossy black head with white cheeks and a distinctive two-syllable song. It is a woodland bird which has readily adapted to man-made habitats to become a familiar garden visitor. It can be quite aggressive at a birdtable, fighting off smaller tits. In winter it joins with blue tits and others to form roaming flocks which scour gardens and countryside for food.


The Argus: Collared dove: .Collared doves are a pale, pinky-brown grey colour, with a distinctive black neck collar (as the name suggests). They have deep red eyes and reddish feet. Their monotonous cooing will be a familiar sound to many of you. Although you'll often see them on their own or in pairs, flocks may form where there is a lot of food available.


The Argus:   Robin: The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders. They will sing at night next to street lights.



The new store is located at 149 North Street, Brighton. There are stores on RSPB reserves and at selected retail locations. Their shops offer a great range of bird care and wildlife products, as well as books, outdoor clothing, home and garden gifts, cards, stationery, binoculars and telescopes. All profits go to helping bird and wildlife - for more information go to


The RSPB is offering a free pack of six suet balls to the first 1,000 people who go into the store and mention the offer.