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Birdwatching at The Community Farm

Birdwatching at The Community Farm

"The Community Farm aims to show how farming can work in harmony with nature and wildlife rather than against it. As a birdwatcher I visit the farm from time to time with my binoculars to see what kinds of birds can be found.

"While we try to manage the farm as a whole biological entity, the farm is not as rich as it could be in the kinds of habitats that attract birds (though we do have plans to make it more so). A sharp pair of eyes can spot a wide variety of bird species over the seasons. Fellow board member, Sarah Pitt, and I have compiled over the last 18 months a list of 27 species seen on the farm. We use the classic definition: birds seen or heard the farm or above it, discounting any which need a telescope to identify. We also know of at least two more seen by others. This puts us at just short of 30 different species spotted without any systematic survey and there are certainly more to be found.

"The highlight of our sightings has been a pair of Stonechats passing through on the spring migration in 2015. Stonechats, small birds around the size of a finch, have strikingly attractive plumage, this is particularly the case for the males. They breed in moorland habitats and this pair was probably heading for the Mendips or Knowle Hill. We would like to build up a larger, more impressive list and post up at the farm for all to see - and hopefully add to.

"The farm’s unofficial motto is “Get on our land!”. Come pay us a visit any time and keep your eyes and ears peeled for what you can discover. We would like to organise a group bird watch in the New Year.  Do let us know if you would like to take part in it.

"Finally, for those not used to this sport, here are two important tips. Listen before you look. The majority of bird species will typically be heard before they are seen. Listening carefully will improve your chances of a good list. Birds are more active, and therefore more easily spotted, in the hours nearer to dawn or dusk than in the middle of the day. Do This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. what you see.  All sightings are important, it doesn’t have to be a rarity!"

 

- Hugh Norton
Board member
The Community Farm

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