Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Record number take part in farm bird count

April 30, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

A record number of farmers participated in the fifth successive Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC), according to the final results from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.

More than 1,000 farmers recorded 121 bird species across 950,000 acres during the count, which took place from 9-18 February. A total of 25 red-listed species were recorded, with five appearing in the 25 most commonly seen species list.

The five most commonly recorded red-listed recorded species were fieldfares, starlings, house sparrows, song thrushes and yellowhammers. The most plentiful of these were fieldfares and starlings, which were seen on nearly 40% of participating farms taking part.

Rich habitats

The five most abundant birds spotted were starlings, woodpigeons, fieldfares, rooks and chaffinches. A total of 99,712 were found, making up nearly 50% of the total number of birds recorded – a pattern similar in previous counts.

BFBC organiser Jim Egan said he was delighted with the results. It was great to know many farmers would also be providing insect-rich habitat to help provide for breeding birds through the spring and summer months, he added.

“To have over 1,000 farmers take part this year, and 2,500 different farmers involved since the count began in 2014, is fantastic.We can also see from the data collated that 50% of farmers have been helping farmland birds in the recent cold snap.

“This is critical in getting farmland birds, particularly those on the red list, through the winter so they are fit and healthy to breed in the spring. Our research at the Allerton Project clearly demonstrates the benefits of winter feeding.”

For the full results, visit www.gwct.org.uk/bfbc

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