Sunday, 29 April 2012

Farm Survey Walk - 28th April 2012

Yesterday saw me out and about for  the first survey of the year as part of the RSPB's Volunteer and Farmer Alliance scheme. Each year I'm given a different farm and asked to survey the birdlife three times over the breeding season. These results are then sent to the farmer along with advice about how to encourage any that are missing or how to improve the number of those present. Especially important are those classed as being of conservation concern e.g. Yellowhammer, Grey Partridge and Skylark.

This year's farm is in North Notttinghamshire and consists of mainly arable land (oil seed rape and peas), as well as a couple of fields with cows and horses and an area of newly planted woodland.

One of the inhabitants.

This being the first visit and quite early on in the season meant that a total of 26 species was quite respectable. Included in this list were a few "red listed" birds, i.e. those of highest conservation concern, including singing Reed Bunting, a pair of Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer, Skylark, 3 Lapwing and about a dozen Linnet.

Male Reed Bunting

A few summer migrants were around and singing (Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and a single Swallow), but hopefully when I visit again in about a month's times there should be a few more in. Other, more unusual species, were a pair of Gadwall on the fields with the cows and 4 Greylag Geese.

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