At Hope Farm we count birds in every month of the year. The breeding numbers are key, but the winter figures are interesting and tell us something about the feeding conditions for those hardy species that stay with us through the winter.
A few days ago the December count was done at Hope Farm by a gang of counters.
In December 2000, soon after we acquired Hope Farm, the count, of 22 species, and including wood pigeons, was of 203 birds.
This week, there were 2075 birds of 44 species - quite an increase. Even if you exclude wood pigeons (c600), pheasants and rooks (c150) there were over 1400 birds on the farmland. That's actually a 10-fold increase in a 10-year period.
Species of note include 199 yellowhammer, 172 skylark, 61 linnet, 27 bullfinch, 137 redwing, 37 grey partridge, 1 corn bunting, jack snipe and waxwing.
Bullfinch and grey partridge counts are a record for any winter count.
Jack snipe and waxwing (grrrr!) are new species for the farm.
Hope not Hype!
Thank you very much Mark number 2 yes my point perhaps meant that farmers could do it on the scheme but lets not forget that not all general public wildlife friendly so not all farmers are going to be even though it looks as if they get lots of money unfortunately it is not enough to cover all the cost of paperwork and especially the disruption of having a beetle bank in the middle of a field with all the disruption to implements.Number 5 Sounds as if i am being critical i think but not the case,i think your partner gets in my opinion a better deal than is usual between landowner and share partner which is what i would expect for what you desribe a slightly awkward diversion.Neither of these comments meant in a critical sense just found it extremely interesting that you at Hope Farm cope with what is mostly called intensive farming and proved to get extremely good increases in lots of birds because this is the only way to do it,farmers are not going to take lots of backward steps losing money in the process and making more work for themselves.The difficult part is getting your results known in the right place.
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