Which bird species are thriving on Norfolk farmland?

The Big Farmland Bird Count - a bird identification day was held at Field Farm in Hockwold. Picture:

Farmers, land managers and gamekeepers across the country have been urged to take part in the 2021 Big Farmland Bird Count between February 5 and 14 - Credit: Matthew Usher

Farmers and wildlife enthusiasts are being urged to join an annual survey to identify which farmland birds are benefiting from conservation efforts – and which ones are most in need of help.

The 2021 Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) is a nationwide “citizen science” project which calls on land managers and gamekeepers to spend 30 minutes spotting species on their land between February 5 and 14.

Organiser Dr Roger Draycott of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust said: "With 71pc of Britain’s countryside looked after by farmers, land managers and gamekeepers, they are crucial to ensuring the survival of cherished bird species like skylarks, yellowhammers, corn buntings and wild grey partridges.

“Many of them are already doing fantastic work to support and conserve our native species, which often goes unrecognised. The Big Farmland Bird Count gives them a chance to see the results of their efforts and provides a crucial national snapshot of the health of the UK’s farmland birds.”

Despite poor weather, the 2020 count saw record numbers taking part, with Norfolk topping the list of participating counties with 129 returns, recording 105 bird species – 22 of which were on the “red list” for conservation concern. The top five most-seen species were blackbird, woodpigeon, robin, pheasant, and blue tit. 

For more information see www.bfbc.org.uk.

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