Rare flock of Linnets swoops into Crow Country

A RARE flock of birds has swooped into Crow Country. Around 700 linnets landed on farmland at the Bayer CropScience s development farm at Great Chishill last week. The birds are one of 48 dwindling species on the UK s official red list of endangered ani

A RARE flock of birds has swooped into Crow Country.

Around 700 linnets landed on farmland at the Bayer CropScience's development farm at Great Chishill last week.

The birds are one of 48 dwindling species on the UK's official "red list" of endangered animals.

Ornithologist Alan Harris, who has been advising Bayer for the last eight years, said: "The UK's breeding population of linnets has declined by 59 per cent in just 40 years, largely due to the loss of weedy, scrubby areas on farms.


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"But with very little effort needed to replant such areas, this instance shows how improvements to farmland biodiversity can produce rapid results.

It is thought the birds were attracted by a specially planted wild bird area, comprising white millet, fodder radish, quinoa, buckwheat and kale.

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Mr Harris added: "Linnets are social flocking birds so, once a food source is found, birds will come in from all around. This group at Chishill will comprise birds from a large surrounding area.

"And it doesn't take a lot to bring birds back - the area planted here was only about 0.2 hectares in total."

Bird monitoring work has been carried out at Great Chishill since 2002, with population numbers being monitored by the British Trust for Ornithology.

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