Fri 20 Jan, 20:41 (last edited on Fri 20 Jan, 20:42)
I assume that much of the decline can be traced to the increased use of offensive chemicals for so many years, coupled with the grubbing out of hedges to make larger fields in order to accomodate increasingly larger farm machinery, combine harvesters in particular.
In my childhood, we had access to a very large estate in North Hampshire, where the Green Plover/Lapwing/Peewit was commonly seen, and my Dad used to take us out looking for plovers' eggs. I can taste them to this day ... probably the most delicious egg that I have ever tasted ... and when I drive down there now to see my Mum I often cast my eyes over those same fields ... I have not seen a Plover there for years.
In the mid 1930's that same estate (currently owned by a former F1 World Champion) boasted the best Partridge shooting in the land, and the shoots there were attended by the Great and the Good of the time, as records that I own bear out. I see an occasional Partridge round Charlbury, but (as far as I can tell) they are only French Partridges, rather than the Grey Partridge that is native to this land, and which has been in decline for many years. However, a couple of years ago I looked out of my window and was astonished to see a Woodcock on my lawn! I hope that he or she has many relatives living locally; they really are so beautiful, as well as being rare!
Anyway ... enough rambling ... I wish the Farmland Bird Aid Network every success, and I am certainly up for taking a look at what they do.
Fri 20 Jan, 15:30
The number of farmland birds in the UK has declined dramatically since the 1970s. Formed by Louise Spicer, The Farmland Bird Aid Network promotes the conservation of farmland bird species, by working with local communities and landowners, through supplementary feeding, monitoring and habitat conservation.
If you would like to help feed the birds at the two feeding stations in Charlbury, from January-May, please contact CharlburyWildlifeSociety@gmail.com.
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