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    • Do you know what birds are using your farm this winter?  Do you have large flocks of fieldfares and redwing from Scandinavia, resident yellowhammers adding a splash of colour on a drab winters day, or coveys of grey partridge searching stubble fields for food?

      On 7th to 15th February, the Game and Wildlife Trust (GWCT) are holding their second Big Farmland Bird Count, which provides a great chance for you to find out.  All you have to do is spend 30 minutes recording the species and numbers seen on one particular area of your farm.  If you’re not confident that you can identify the birds that you see, why not invite a local bird watcher to join you.  It can be a great way to learn and ensures you have a full and complete list.

      Despite the wet weather last year, more than 500 farmers managing nearly half a million acres of farmland took part.  Every county in England was represented, and in total 116 different species were recorded.  11 of these were red listed and included corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing, linnet, skylark and yellowhammer. 

      So why not take half an hour out and participate this year.  To get the best results, you could survey one of the wildlife habitats on your farm.  Areas such as wild bird seed mixtures and winter stubbles are a great draw to wintering birds – you never know what you may find! 

      Wild bird mixtures are a great place to find birds in the winter
      Wild bird mixtures are a great place to find birds in the winter (c. Hayley New)