Farmland birds around Nine Wells

Farmland birds are indicators for the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy. Birds are indicator species because of their place as consumers in the ecosystem, and declines in bird populations indicate wider problems. 11 of the 19 indicator species are ‘red list’ birds of ‘high conservation concern’ and include the first nine birds below, all of which breed (or have bred in the case of lapwing) in the fields around Nine Wells. In total 17 of the 19 indicator species breed in the area or very nearby (rook, kestrel).

All photos taken on the site except for greenfinch and turtle dove. Of the two other indicator species (both red-listed), a juvenile turtle dove passed through on migration in 2019; I have never recorded tree sparrow on the site.

Several other farmland species breed on or near the site. Lesser whitethroat breed in the hedgerows, swallows in the barns and house martins have established a colony under the railway bridge:

*Photo of red-legged partridge kindly provided by Caris Rubenzer.