Big Farmland Bird Count – the results are in!
February saw the fourth annual Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC), organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), with record numbers of over 970 farmers taking part, recording species seen across about 900,000 acres.
The average farm size of those taking part was 959 acres, with over 65% growing arable crops, nearly 50% having beef or sheep, and nearly 15% growing field vegetables. There were also a number of dairy farms, horticulture units, poultry producers and pig producers submitting counts (and even 28 farms in Austria took part!).
The most commonly seen species were blackbirds and woodpigeons, seen by over 80% of participants, with robins, blue tits and carrion crows seen by over 70%.
The five most counted species were woodpigeons, starlings, fieldfares, rooks and chaffinches; a total of 104,993 were found, making up over 40% of the total number of birds recorded.
At the other end of the scale, a fabulous 22 species from the Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern were recorded, with five appearing in the ‘25 most commonly seen’ list; these were fieldfares, starlings, house sparrows, song thrushes and yellowhammers.
There were also eight species from the Red List appearing in the ‘25 most counted species’; these were starlings, fieldfares, lapwings, linnets, redwings, herring gulls, yellowhammers, and house sparrows.
Go to http://bit. ly/2o3bAv1 to see full results and to find out how you can get involved in next year’s Big Farmland Bird Count.