Unfortunately I have seen a lot of change in bird populations during my lifetime, some good and some bad, but most are man made in one way or another be it through climate change or changes in agricultural practices and the like. I would like to think I am not that old so these changes have been very quick in ecological terms and would have been very hard to imagine not that many years ago. Lapwings have disappeared from many farms in this area and have been all but lost from the remainder. The few remaining pairs rarely rear any young so local extinction is likely in the next few years.
On a more positive note this week saw the first juvenile Goldfinches following their parents into the garden. This is one species that is certainly on the up and has benefited from garden feeding, reclamation schemes and urban landscaping. Many pairs will have at least 2 or 3 broods so the garden should be full of them by September but that is only one increase in what is a sea of declines.
|Only 1 of the 7 young Starlings in this picture is likely to survive the first year of life.|