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The Countryside Restoration Trust is taking part, once again in this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count 2019!

The winter bird survey which is organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust is currently underway (8th – 17th Feb) across the UK.  The survey involves a count of the traditional farmland birds seen in one area of a farm during a 30 minute period.  Anyone can take part but will need to register to submit their results.

Head of Wildlife Monitoring, Vince Lea has completed the Lark Rise Farm Big Farmland Bird Count this morning and it seems like the Grey Partridge know it’s the most romantic day of the year! Normally, at this time of the year, the Grey Partridge would be seen in a large group noun as a covey. However, when Vince returned he reported back the Grey Partridge had already paired up!

Recently, tenant farmer, Tim Scott was awarded for the ‘Redlist Revival: Highest Density of Grey Partridge’ on Lark Rise Farm. However, there were many other red list species of conservation concern was seen on the farm including Song Thrush, Yellowhammer, Linnets and of course lots of Skylarks!

This ‘snapshot’ survey provides important data on the health of winter bird populations in the countryside, and also captures data on species which only visit this country in the winter months to feed and are not recorded as part of spring and summer bird surveys.  Large flocks of redwings and fieldfares; winter migrants, have been recorded by the wildlife monitoring staff on the CRT farm properties, along with large flocks of starlings; some of which are resident birds and some are passage migrants. In the UK the Starling is a red listed species because of the loss of suitable habitat including traditional pasture and suitable arable land.

Give it a go and take part in the Big Farmland Bird Count 2019!

This survey has been branded a ‘crucially important citizen science survey’ as it enters its sixth year. Farmers and landowners are being encouraged to take part in the survey when they have a few minutes to spare.  For such a short amount of time an important amount of data can be recorded on the state of farmland birds in this country, so please take time out and take part.

More information, including aids to bird identification, can be found on the Big Farmland Bird Count website www.bfbc.org.uk