Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Yellowhammer problem

The Yellowhammer is one of the farmland species that is not doing too well. It has been in steady decline for about the last 40 years. One of the main reasons seems to be the lack of winter seeds available. Fields are cleared and replanted almost immediately, and fallow or stubble fields seldom seen. In the village there is a horse manure dump, and this can provide some good food at times when in the right conditions. Today, with my new walking partner Betty, I waked along Collingwood Road, but there was a tractor and trailer bringing a load from the stables and consequently no birds were around. We took the foot path back towards St Vincent Road on the return route and I was surprised to see quitter a large flock of birds feeding n the large field. The area hadn’t been cleared or replanted and a lot of dead vegetation was on the fallow field, making good conditions for seed eaters. The curve on the field, humps and bumps and depth of the vegetation made it quite difficult to count the birds on the ground, but as they flew around I was able to get some idea of the numbers. There was a minimum of 50 Yellowhammers, and a few each of Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Pied Wagtails. Disappointingly I didn’t find any Corn Buntings.
Yellowhammer at the manure dump an a previous visit.

Fallow Field

Suitable feeding for finches and buntings

birds scattered in the feeding area.

 Feeding Yellowhammer

feeding Yellowhammer

1 comment:

Derek Faulkner said...

Clearly no shortage of Yellowhammers in your area then. Last ones on Sheppey were around 20 years ago and that's despite having plenty of wildflower/weeds cover strips round many of the arable fields here.