Friday, 21 November 2014

Launching the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count

By Jim Egan, GWCT Allerton Project
#BFBC on Twitter - @JimEgan08

The 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count is fast approaching and planning is now well underway. Things kick off on the 5th December with a launch event in Suffolk which will be hosted by E J Barker & Sons.

Our plan for the day is to run the first of a series of farmland bird identification days where my colleague Peter Thompson will take an invited audience through a training session to help them identify those small farmland birds that many of us struggle with.

Pete will be ably assisted by Patrick Barker who is an excellent birder; when he completed the 2014 count he spotted 44 different species in his 30 minute survey so there should be plenty to see.

There is one big new addition for 2015. Between the 12th and 31st of January we will be running 9 more farmland bird identification events at various venues across the country. We’re being supported by many partners including the FWAG Association, LEAF and the RSPB in delivery of these events and our sponsors BASF have been very generous with some additional funding.

I’m particularly pleased that the RSPB have allowed us to use their fantastic drawings to illustrate a simple farmland bird id guide that will be available on those days. Dates and venues will be announced on the 5th December and you will be able to book your place on our website.

Our reason for counting hasn’t changed; we want to highlight the good work done by farmers and gamekeepers in helping farmland bird numbers. We want to help them record the effect of any conservation work on their land and hopefully inspire them to do more!

Last year we had a fantastic response and in one of the wettest weeks on record over 500 farmers and gamekeepers took part. They recorded 116 different species; many of these are on the red-list of birds of conservation concern such as starlings, lapwing, and tree sparrow. We can’t book the weather but surely it can’t be worse than last time, hopefully this year we’ll get more than 1000 people taking part. It only takes 30 minutes and shows you care about birds on your farm – please give it a try.

Farmland Bird ID Days

Places are limited to just 20 for each of the ID days we’re running in January. Click here to register to receive your invite on 5th December.

1 comment:

  1. How can you take money from BASF given that they and other chemical companies have been responsible for the bird declines in the first place?
    Shocking - when will you speak out?