A spring-like winter bird survey

I was back to my farmland site to do the February visit for the English Winter Farmland Bird Survey on Sunday. It was a sunny day – and actually warmer than some May early mornings when I have surveyed this square for the BBS.

There was a lot of bird song and so it felt, despite the lack of warblers, quite springlike.

There were no startling bird records though a flock of Greylags flew over and there were several Buzzards sitting around in fields.

So I’ve accumulated another bunch of survey data but the online data entry was down over the weekend and still is today after its brief resumption in mid February, and so I have a pile of data to enter soon. I’m not looking forward to that at all.

This field has obviously been sprayed – maybe with Roundup? How nice.


5 Replies to “A spring-like winter bird survey”

  1. Your Roundup field is an important represents an important step on the intensification ladder of British farming. It was introduced while I was doing my Agriculture degree. Up until Roundup heavy land had to be fallowed at regular intervals to control couch grass – the available herbicides burnt off the above surface growth but didn’t touch the incredibly strong root system of couch. Roundup translocates through the plant and killed the roots – so no more need for fallows and one of the many steps in reducing resources available to farmland birds.

  2. In addition to Roundup, I have noted how some fields have been covered in slug pellets, with blue pellets and dead slugs everywhere over large fields. How could a hedgehog, and some other insects, as well as slugs, exist in many parts of this world of ours?
    We need the whole gamut of biological classification’s ranks to survive properly on earth. Because many productive fields are now effectively dead and used as a substrate on which to grow our plants, and our rivers, soil and even our bodies carry detectable amounts of antibiotics, pesticides and other persistent harmful chemicals capable of killing insects and more, I wonder how the present system can be defended so vehemently by people who should know better.
    It’s no use saying “I’m a vegetarian or vegan, I don’t contribute to the problem”, even vegans need to exploit all living organisms, and do so. Even organic farms are now contaminated.
    This could be helped enormously by having proper environmental laws to eventually protect us, but the opportunity is slipping away in the UK.
    Sorry for the rant.

  3. Not a rant. Well put and true.

    Is that really a ‘field’? It’s enormous and I’m not sure we can see all of it.

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