Sunday, 2 February 2014

Big farmland bird count on a beautiful winter's day

It was a great start to our Big Farmland Bird Count; glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze. With the wet and windy weather that has been around this was an opportunity too good to miss. I persuaded my wife Ruth to be my trusty assistant, so off we set into the farm armed with binoculars, camera, pen and paper.

We chose a location near to one of our wild bird covers and supplementary feed hoppers. We reasoned that we needed a few things in our favour to count our farmland birds.

Site selected was near one of our supplementary feed hoppers.
Hedges, trees, wild bird cover and grass were all in close proximity.
It took a few minutes for the birds to get used to our portable hide (my truck) but once they started to come to the feeder we got some good viewing. The enjoyment was enhanced by the fact I'd left my mobile phone at home and the natural environment had all my attention.

Note to photographer "bigger telephoto lens required".

Farmer Phil on the look out at #BFBC
As for the results we saw blue tits, chaffinch, goldfinch, yellowhammer, greenfinch, fieldfare, song thrush, tree sparrows and blackbirds. Some of the bigger birds on display were pheasants, crows, wood pigeons, magpie and buzzard. We got to about 21 species although the debate still continues onto how many different species of 'tits' we saw. I guess that's part of the process, we may well have not correctly identified one or two species and equally we will have missed a few. However I'm sure we recorded a pretty accurate representation of what was about.

Farmers often get told what is happening to the farmland bird populations by others, here's a chance to report our own findings. I hope if you have registered for the count you have a spare half an hour to join the count(early mornings are good).  For me.... I'm off farming for the rest of the week!

Trusty assistant, bird verifier and photographer .... Mrs J

Ruth takes part in the BFBC

All done and dusted... time for a cup of tea and record our findings on line!!

1 comment:

  1. Good man! I did exactly the same near my game cover and hopper and saw very much the same incl. 14 yellowhammers- result!