Crop and estate management
The crops (wheat and oilseed rape) received their final treatment (a herbicide) in mid November and then, as they say, the gates were closed and the crops left for the winter.
Birds and biodiversity
The wheat in store has been steadily going out of the barn for final drying before sale. The inevitable spillage that occurs with these movements has attracted pheasants, collared doves and around 30 chaffinches.
The systematic counts across the whole farm have confirmed the dearth of wintering seedeaters such as yellowhammer and reed bunting. Skylarks peaked at 71 in early November, falling back to five in December - moving from our highest to lowest winter count. We have presumed that the peak was of passage birds.
The snow between Christmas and the New Year did not pull any birds in, nor did it drive any away (because there were so few any way).
Site firsts have been redpoll and blackcap, the latter coming to the bird table by the office.