Carried out an arable bird survey yesterday of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Was met with a fantastic swirling flock of linnets and chaffinches right at the Firehills car park entrance. The large block of wild bird cover crop sown opposite is attracting a lot of wintering birds mainly 150+ linnet and 30+ chaffinch with a few greenfinch.
The other undisturbed, ungrazed arable fields were also attracting good numbers of linnet and chaffinch.
It’s very clear that the cover crops are attracting good numbers of linnet at the moment which was one of the main objectives of the arable management so this is good news. Although there is a distinct lack of large oily seeds in the cover crops which used to attract large numbers of yellowhammers, reed bunting and woodpigeon. There were very few of these species present in the arable fields.