4media Group recently worked with The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust to discuss the results from the fifth Big Farmland Bird Count. Over the last five years, 2,500 farmers have taken part in The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) Big Farmland Bird Count, and this year was the biggest with 1,000 farmers took part in the count.
The campaign was fronted by Jim Egan from GWCT, who gave his expert opinion on this year’s results.
The results from the country’s only farmer led survey of bird life included significant recordings of rare birds. The results below are a sample taken from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust website:
The most commonly seen species were blackbirds and woodpigeons, seen by over 80% of our participants. Robins, blue tits, and pheasants were seen by over 70% of the farmers.
At the other end of the scale, we were delighted to see that a total of 25 species from the Red
List for Birds of Conservation Concern were recorded, with 5 appearing in the 25 most commonly seen species list: fieldfares, starlings, house sparrows, song thrushes and yellowhammers. The most abundant of these were the first two, which were seen on nearly 40% of the farms taking part.
The five most abundant birds seen were starlings, woodpigeons, fieldfares, rooks and chaffinches. A total of 99,712 were found, making up nearly 50% of the total number of birds recorded.
The coverage for the campaign was exceptional with 19 pieces of coverage including 14 BBC stations including BBC Ulster, BBC Leeds, BBC Cambridgeshire, BBC Tees, BBC Suffolk and more! The radio day had an audience of over 3 million people.