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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Bullfinch


Pyrrhula pyrrhula
The Bullfinch was so named because of its thick, stocky neck, which resembles that of a bull.
Males are unmistakable with their stout shape, bright cherry-pink underparts, black head and face, bluish-grey back, black tails and wings, with white wingbar. The female looks like a browner version of the male, with buffish-brown back and underparts.
Size
15cm
Weight
21 - 27gms
Habitat
A regular visitor to gardens, expecially in rural areas near woodlands or fruit growing areas.
Nest
A loose construction of fine twigs and moss, with a neat inner liner of roots and hair. Built in thick cover.
Eggs
4-5 green/blue with purple-brown spots and streaks.
Food
Mainly seed eaters, but also eat berries and fruit buds. Particularly fond of sunflower hearts.
Voice
a distinctive low, piping 'tue', which carries well.
Characteristics
With its bright, cherry-red plummage, conspicuous white rump and stout bill, the male Bullfinch is one of our most striking and attractive small birds. It is a secretive bird, with a preferred diest of seeds. When stocks of seed run out they may turn to fruit tree buds, even though these contain little nourishment.
The Bullfinch is a sedentary species,,which generally does not travel more than 100km (60 miles). Never far from dense cover, keeping to bushes and trees, Bullfinch rarely settle on the groun. When they do, movement is by a series of ungainly hops.
BTO Statistics
Although frequently spotted in the south and east of the UK, the Bullfinch is currently undergoing a rapid decline in population and is now an official 'Red List' species. The bad news is that according to the Common Bir Census, there has been a 62% decline in Bullfinch numbers in a 25 year period (1972 - 1996).
There have been a number of suggestions as to why this particular species has been affected so badly. Declining numbers have been attributed to the loss of straggling hedges, which are the preferred nesting sites of the Bullfinch. Another major contributing factor is the intensification of agriculture, stripping the land of vital food supplies and nesting sites. You can help reverse this decline in the numbers of Bullfinch by providing nutritious havens within your garden for nesting birds.
Breeding
Unlike many other garden birds, breeding pairs of Bullfinch stay together throughout the year rather than splitting up after breeding.
Their breeding season begins in late April, where the male takes the initiative in choosing the nesting site. The female then builds the delicate nest, where she will normally have two broods, which are incubated for 12-14 days.

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