Thursday, 19 February 2015

Our letter in The Times: Bird in the bush

Dear Sir

Bramblings have “irruption” years when masses of them over-winter here due to lack of food on the continent (letter, Wing and a prayer, Feb 17).  This year there is an abundance of food in the form of a massive beech mast harvest – a favourite food – so many are feeding within woodland and very low numbers are being recorded. Chaffinch too are also feeding on the abundant beech mast crop. Bramblings could be everywhere next winter – that is the nature of the bird!

Yellowhammer have declined – and are quite a sedentary bird so this may be reflecting a local trend. However, keep growing millet – a real favourite of theirs and that might help them get through this period called the ‘hungry gap’ – a difficult time for many birds in the late winter.

On a positive note – 150 Reed bunting is a wonderful count – so keep up these great efforts.

Peter Thompson
Farmland Biodiversity Advisor
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

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