Crop and estate management
Nothing has happened to the crops over the last two months. This is simply because there is nothing to do to wheat or oilseed rape in this period other than keep the woodpigeons at bay.
Birds and biodiversity
The systematic counts across the whole farm continue to reveal the lack of seedeating birds. Skylarks picked up again after the mid-winter low and have been singing occasionally for some weeks now. This includes in the fields with the undrilled patches but it will be some months before we can say if they are used for raising second or third broods. Initial comparisons between this winter and the last (part of the period was covered) suggest blackbird numbers up mid-winter and fieldfares down.
Yellowhammer numbers appear to have picked up more slowly in the early spring than last year. The last of the results from monitoring carried out last year are now trickling in. Amongst these was an assessment of the dragonflies and damselflies present. This picked up 12 species, seven of which were probably breeding.