Excellent survey results show that with careful conservation management, wild birds can thrive in the farmland environment.
Three Year Survey
The purpose of this survey was to monitor population trends and was prompted by the Government Farmland Bird Indicator List which shows some alarming falls in the numbers of certain species.
The three year survey was undertaken by local experts, Ian and Judith Hadgkiss, and gives an overall picture of the species seen on site. Two to three visits were made each month.
- This makes a total of 66 species over the three year period. Of the 19 species listed on the Farmland Bird Indicator List 15 species have been recorded on site.
- These statistics are excellent for a farmland site of this size and, of course, based on surveys two to three times a month, other species may have been missed. Some trends have been very encouraging such as the steady increase in the number of warblers seen each year, particularly Common Whitethroat, which are clearly breeding well on site. Stonechat and Whinchat sitings are also on the increase. The provision of a well placed nestbox in 2017 resulted in Kestrels breeding on site for the first time rearing four young.
- The feeding stations have helped increase both numbers of birds and species. However restrictions on their use as a result of the bird flu outbreak in 2017 definitely had a detrimental impact on figures.
- The four species on the Farm Indicator List that were not seen over the three year survey were Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Turtle Dove and Grey Partridge. This is sadly in line with the trends from 1970 – 2007 when populations of these four species all fell by 87% or more. An overview of the survey certainly indicates more positives than negatives.
The list below details the number of months each species was seen over the three year period.
|COMMON VISITOR||REGULAR VISITOR||RARER VISITOR|
|Carrion Crow||36||Skylark||17||Long Tailed Tit||8|
|Red Kite||30||Greater Spotted Woodpecker||10||Meadow Pipit||6|
|Dunnock||30||Common Whitethroat||9||Reed Bunting||5|
|Pied Wagtail||28||Stock Dove||3|
|Yellow Hammer||24||Lesser Whitethroat||3|
|Lesser Black-backed Gull||1|
The custodians of this site should be applauded for their wildlife friendly approach and excellent countryside management.
Ian & Judith Hadgkiss