According to the RSPB, more than 40 million birds have vanished from the UK in 50 years.
One of our missions at Courteenhall is to conserve our wildlife, especially our birdlife.
We regularly take part in the annual Big Farmland Bird Count organised by GWCT and sponsored by the NFU. Over 1,700 farmers regularly take part in the initiative which offers a simple means of recording the effect of conservation schemes.
This month we also called in ornithology experts to help us to carry out an audit of both the types, numbers and movements of the birds we have living on the estate. This helps us to understand how populations are changing and what we can do to help increase their numbers.
We’re restoring ponds, planting more trees and hedges and have lots of wildflower margins to attract more birds. We also do supplementary winter feeding for our birds.
Once very common and widespread, grey partridges have undergone a serious decline throughout most of its range and is now a Red List species.
We’re lucky to have some at Courteenhall and we’re working hard to increase our population, which is already pretty decent for this part of the world.
We’ve also been installing lots of new bird boxes, which we make onsite, including some new Tawny and Barn Owl boxes to encourage more owls to nest here.
Along with local wildlife and landscape photographer Tony Betts (TMB Photography), who regularly pops in to capture our wildlife, we have spotted the following birds this year:
· Barn Owls and Tawny Owls
· Red Kites
· Green Woodpeckers and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers
· English and French Partridge
· Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long Tail Tits
We also regularly see pheasants, blackbirds, herring gulls, goldcrests, woodpigeons, wrens and goldfinch.
Here we've included a selection of some of Tony’s photographs from 2023.