Farmland bird count extended after freezing weather delays surveys

Various images of wildlife seed around Fakenham - Red Deer Stag at Holkham,Pair of Robins bonding an

The 2021 Big Farmland Bird Count has been extended until February 21 due to last week's severe weather - Credit: Richard Brunton

An annual bird survey aiming to assess the conservation status of farmland birds has been extended by a week following the recent icy weather.

The 2021 Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) initially called on land managers and gamekeepers to spend 30 minutes spotting species on their land between February 5 and 14.

But after last week's heavy snow and freezing conditions hampered efforts to complete the count, organisers at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) have extended the survey to Sunday, February 21.

Organiser Dr Roger Draycott said: “We have heard from a number of farmers and gamekeepers that they are keen to complete the count, but the weather has so far been unsuitable or unsafe.

"The wintery conditions also tend to mean that the birds take shelter and are harder to spot. 

"We are extending the deadline for completing the count until 21 February to allow anyone who has not been able to complete the count so far to do so."

For more details on how to take part see the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count website.