Friends And Relatives?

The 2021 Big Farmland Bird Count is taking place from 5th to 14th February. Sponsored by the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust and the National Farmers Union, the event has the dual objectives of assessing the numbers of birds and species on our farmland as well as evidencing the conservation measures that so many farmers undertake to support birds and other wildlife.

Farming organically ourselves to the strict Soil Association standards, we are particularly keen to work in harmony with nature and the environment. So we thought it would be interesting in 2021 to see how many different species of birds we see on our farms and their environs during the year. We suspect it could be fifty or more…..

Already, starting on New Year’s Day,  we have spotted thirty four different species.

What is also interesting is to watch the behaviour of the birds at different times and in different situations.

Early in January we witnessed a furious battle between visiting Mistle Thrushes and our resident Blackbirds on a Hawthorn Tree covered in red berries. The larger thrushes, sitting on the topmost branches easily saw off their Blackbird relatives in an extremely noisy squabble and carried on consuming the plentiful berries.

Imagine our surprise a couple of weeks later to see Mistle Thrushes again on top of the tree, feeding hungrily, and, this time, totally ignoring the five BlueTits feeding acrobatically in the lower branches. Maybe they didn’t see the latter as presenting the same kind of threat to their food as the hungry Blackbirds? Or maybe they just don’t get on with the relatives?

Whatever the answer, we shall continue to encourage more birds on our farms, and report each month in our blogs on the interesting bird species that we see, and how they are doing.