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Birds population crash (1 Viewer)

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Any field birder worth their Salt has been aware of this for 20 years or so particularly in this bird-denuded island...

That’s why we have to go to ‘scruffy’ countries like Portugal, Spain and Maroc to see anything like decent numbers and habitat that hasn’t been farmed to death.
EU subsidies and lazy ‘pray and spray’ farmers are primarily to blame imo. Token good guys and hankerchief nature reserves are not the answer. Increasingly birders are happy to do a round-trip of 30+ miles around here to a managed reserve they gleefully call a ‘local patch’:-O

This year, certainly in my part of the West Midlands, has been the worst for visible migrants and aerial feeders that i can remember - there is literally no food flying around. Vegetation is over-managed and thus a massive drop in invertebrates. It’s not rocket science but what do we ‘Townies’ know:C

Laurie -
 

Ppedro

Well-known member
All very depressing Laurie, here in south Devon there is square mile upon square mile of pasture fields that are pretty lifeless. In Devon we have lost what was one of the most ubiquitous farmland birds, Grey Partridge through over intensive farming in my birding lifetime. The only crumb of comfort I can offer up is that I do believe most things can recover fairly rapidly ( witness Cirl Buntings in south Devon ) if the will is there but it will take a bit of a sea change.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
All very depressing Laurie, here in south Devon there is square mile upon square mile of pasture fields that are pretty lifeless. In Devon we have lost what was one of the most ubiquitous farmland birds, Grey Partridge through over intensive farming in my birding lifetime. The only crumb of comfort I can offer up is that I do believe most things can recover fairly rapidly ( witness Cirl Buntings in south Devon ) if the will is there but it will take a bit of a sea change.

In NE Hampshire we have lost Grey Partridge (at least I haven't seen one for several years now) Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow and a high percentage of Yellowhammers; Willow Tit gone and a decrease in Marsh Tit. Hedges continue to be cut - flailed to within an inch of extinction - in the nesting season and lengths of hedge including mature trees continue to be grubbed out.

Of course, we have plenty of Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges.....

Farmers do this. Farmers are wholly inappropriate stewards of the countryside and as for their habitual claim to "understand" it, well, pshaw!

John
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
Grey Partridge and Turtle Dove no longer seem to frequent North Devon - when I first moved here in 1979, They were regular in Braunton Burrows (a National Nature reserve) so not subject to intensive farming. Could their rapid decline and disappearance have anything to do with the preponderance of dog walkers? there used to be two groups of bird ringers using the Burrows, but within a few years, the dog walkers arrived earlier and earlier until it was impossible to get the nets open without dogs bounding around. Of course it doesn't help that Grey Partridge is still on the shooters hit list...
I look after a small bird reserve near Braunton, and have been ringing there for 10 years. Numbers ringed fluctuate: mostly weather dependant I think. But Goldcrest and Chiffchaff have hardly featured at all this year.
There didn't seem to be the same number of Swallows around this year, but oddly, it has been the best year for ringing them: 450, nearly all juveniles. The only control was of one ringed at Slapton Bird Observatory 2 weeks before. The field outside the reserve has become a dog-walkers paradise, and the farmer (I share John's views!) doesn't give a monkey's.
On the up side, it has been a great year for breeding Kingfishers - I've ringed 15! - all juveniles.
 

Ppedro

Well-known member
Grey Partridge and Turtle Dove no longer seem to frequent North Devon - when I first moved here in 1979, They were regular in Braunton Burrows (a National Nature reserve) so not subject to intensive farming. Could their rapid decline and disappearance have anything to do with the preponderance of dog walkers? there used to be two groups of bird ringers using the Burrows, but within a few years, the dog walkers arrived earlier and earlier until it was impossible to get the nets open without dogs bounding around. Of course it doesn't help that Grey Partridge is still on the shooters hit list...

Grey Partridges definitely a victim of intensive farming down here Jon. Used to be 10 a penny everywhere, including plenty of places with no people/dogs.
What is a good day numbers wise for seeing trans-Saharan migrants now used to be the norm. Most of our birds are in big trouble.
 

Simon Wates

Well-known member
One example of this awful trend that always remember is that back in the early 1970s in the city of Manchester there was a small site close to what now is Chorlton Water Park, that the local birders would affectionately call Chorlton Meadows and it was my local patch as a 12-13 year old. These semi-wet meadows of rushes and grasses were/are on the bank of the River Mersey and held a breeding population of Grey Partridge, Corn Bunting and Grasshopper Warblers. I would expect that none of these breed anywhere near central Manchester nowadays, does anybody know?
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
A depressing litany of same old same old - although i welcome high profile ‘reintroduction’ schemes they are no subsititute for the common species that year on year fade into history - farming and the British ‘tidy things up’ mentality are to blame imo.

I yearn for the halcyon days when a horny-handed ‘son of the soil’ shouted at me to ‘get orff my laaand’:-O The sad truth is that there is little worth seeing so i don’t bother. Contrast that with my experiences in Portugal where i have bumped into farmers on tracks and they have been more than welcome for you to be there and take an interest in their birds and flowers.

Now i have Google translate the World is my Oyster. You can download a lot of languages and use them offline - i used it extensively for travel and communicating with locals recently in Georgia and would thoroughly reccomend it:t:

Laurie -
 

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