Over the years Craigie Farm has been used as a site by BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) volunteers to record bird numbers. Clive Walton has been conected to Craigie Farm for a number of years.
Below is Clive's latest report:
It is difficult to draw too many conclusions from a simple comparison of two years, partly because of varying ringing effort and partly becuse of differences in the feeding regime. However, from what we have from ringing and other observations we can conclude the following:
West Craigie in winter
- Sustains good number of over-wintering birds including continental migrant Chaffinches, Robins and Blackbirds as well as residents of those species.
- Is important for maintaining local farmbird bird populations whose species overall are classed as birds of conservation concern due to national declines: Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock and Linnet.
- Sustains a small population of skylark and is important for Crows, Jackdaws and Rooks
- There has been an increase in the number of Great Tits using the farm
- There has been an increase in the number of Blue Tits using the farm
House Sparrows seem to have gone down. It is difficult to say why but it reflects national trends.
It is worth noting that the data from ringing (not just number of birds but also biometrical data collected) all goes towards the British Trust for Ornithology's national database monitoring of birds so it is part of a bigger picture too.
Clive Walton Feb 2011