Big Farmland Bird Count — Sandstone Farmers Results 2019 (Report by Nicola Hall)
In February, 10 farms in the group participated in the Big Farmland Bird Count 2019, involving a snapshot 30 minute bird count of species seen on the farm during the week of 8-17 February.
This was our first official bird count for the Sandstone Farmers, and helps us to set our baseline for the years ahead. Our results were very encouraging, with 11 RSPB Red List species observed, including fieldfare, redwing, mistle thrush, skylark, curlew, lapwing, tree sparrow, house sparrow, grey wagtail and yellowhammer.
Our local bird count success was reflected nationally, with organisers GWCT reporting record participation and judging by the profile of the records submitted, our count will have made a great contribution from livestock and mixed farms in particular. Many thanks to all those who took part and got out there to count birds.
Minette Batters, President of the NFU, the main sponsor of the count, provided excellent endorsement of the results: 'It is often unappreciated that many farmers provide habitats and additional feeding for birds during the winter months. The Big Farmland Bird Count is a fantastic way for farmers to record the birdlife found on their farms'.
With this in mind, we can now focus on our local priority birds and learn more about how to manage the farmland habitats that support them. Look out for 'Sandstone Ridge Bird of the Month', starting soon with the Tree Sparrow.