By Amelia Woolford, Project Development Officer, The Allerton project.
Farmers, gamekeepers and landowners are crucial in the survival and protection of many farmland bird species. However, several of these birds are in decline and efforts to monitor their numbers varies across the country.
The Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) is a great way for land managers to quantify the impact their work on habitat management is having. Additionally, we can use the records to build up our own data set. We hope that the flourishing community participating in the BFBC will create an opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact of farmland management and conservation on these birds.
Those who have taken part since the BFBC was launched have discovered the wide variety of birds that depend upon their land, including skylarks, yellowhammers, corn buntings and wild grey partridges. Hopefully, events like these will encourage more of the good conservation work already being undertaken.
This year, Swarovski Optik KG generously donated a fantastic pair of Swarovski binoculars worth £1,310 for a prize draw for those completing the BFBC. They were won by Elizabeth Simpson from Lincoln, who says: “We always take part in the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count and these binoculars will make it easier to identify more of our farmland birds - Thank you!”
The fourth Big Farmland Bird Count is taking place from 3-12 February 2017. All you have to do is spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm. You can choose your own location but somewhere with a good view of around 2 ha of the farm would be ideal. You'll be asked to record the types of habitat and cropping on and adjacent to your count site to help provide us with more detail about your count location.
For more information on the BFBC, click here.