The English Grey Partridge?

We had some (no accurate numbers)
here until a few years back.

They disappeared around the time that large numbers of reds were being released in the area.

Coincidentally we also had an explosion in Buzzard numbers at same time.

I watched Buzzards hunting partridge.

My theory is that the large numbers of reds were easy pickings for the Buzzards and other predators - but of course they took greys too and sadly the population has now gone.

Funnily enough we still have plenty of reds (released annually) and I now very rarely see any Buzzards.

TSS
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Plenty here and not a single cover crop grown,they do seem to like the osr now that it’s grown using the subsoiler leaving plenty of stubble for early winter and the hybrids grow quickly in the spring giving them plenty of cover when they need it in the early spring.Predator control is vital if you want a thriving population and some rough old pp that is cut late for hay also helps.
We had none pre cover crops - in fact I (or even my father) had ever see one on my farm

Conservation agriculture has made a massive difference to the bio diversity of bird life here
 

turbo

Member
Location
lincs
We had none pre cover crops - in fact I (or even my father) had ever see one on my farm

Conservation agriculture has made a massive difference to the bio diversity of bird life here
I fail to see why cover crops should make a big difference unless your land was barren of wildlife beforehand,putting a crop in the autumn only to destroy it in the spring when the partridges needs the cover just doesn’t add up to me especially if the drilling coincides with the nesting season as the nest and any eggs are destroyed.A change in rotation could help and also stopping applying insecticides in the spring will of been more beneficial than any cover crop imho
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Did you measure it beforehand?
Yes - things called eyes - never saw one in my 35 yrs living here until we changed to conservation ag

There are now several large coveys I see most days I take my dog a walk

Don’t get me started on owls or the many other birds that have returned or numbers significantly increased

When changes are so large you don’t always need a ruler to measure them !
 
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Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
I fail to see why cover crops should make a big difference unless your land was barren of wildlife beforehand,putting a crop in the autumn only to destroy it in the spring when the partridges needs the cover just doesn’t add up to me especially if the drilling coincides with the nesting season as the nest and any eggs are destroyed.A change in rotation could help and also stopping applying insecticides in the spring will of been more beneficial than any cover crop imho
Habitat and food - simple, build it and they will come !!

No insecticides used mean more insects for birds to eat

More much cover mean more field mice etc for birds of prey to eat, we have barn owls, little owls and tawny owls - we never used to

Over winter covers mean more habits for bird to evade predation and the birds food to survive

Less or no cultivation mean less disruption of ground nesting birds

Compare that to our old cultivated winter mono crops and much less diverse landscape, routine use of insecticides and it’s really not hard to see why it’s made such a big difference
 

turbo

Member
Location
lincs
Habitat and food - simple, build it and they will come !!

No insecticides used mean more insects for birds to eat

More much cover mean more field mice etc for birds of prey to eat, we have barn owls, little owls and tawny owls - we never used to

Over winter covers mean more habits for bird to evade predation and the birds food to survive

Less or no cultivation mean less disruption of ground nesting birds

Compare that to our old cultivated winter mono crops and much less diverse landscape, routine use of insecticides and it’s really not hard to see why it’s made such a big difference
I don’t use insecticides unless it’s absolutely necessary!,a well established winter crop of wheat or osr that is not disturbed again until the next autumn is just as beneficial as any cover crop and unless you are broadcasting the spring seed on nest are destroyed just the same as they are with mechanical weeding of organic crops!.we have always had a good variety of wildlife on our farm but it drop of a bit when we got rid of the cattle and most of the pasture but since moving to mostly winter cropping it has increased and is still increasing now.
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
I don’t use insecticides unless it’s absolutely necessary!,a well established winter crop of wheat or osr that is not disturbed again until the next autumn is just as beneficial as any cover crop and unless you are broadcasting the spring seed on nest are destroyed just the same as they are with mechanical weeding of organic crops!.we have always had a good variety of wildlife on our farm but it drop of a bit when we got rid of the cattle and most of the pasture but since moving to mostly winter cropping it has increased and is still increasing now.
A mono culture like wheat or osr is never going to be as biodiverse and therefore will never support as large and diverse ecosystems as a multi species cover crop
 

MX7

Member
Location
cotswolds
We have a few but sadly not as many as we had on the 60's and 70's.
You can't beat that 'cheeerping' call they make...

Joe Nickerson was a big fan (and a bigger 'slayer') of Perdix perdix, so much so that he named one of his wheat varieties after them - Rothwell Perdix. Ironically it became 'extinct' due to a massive breakdown to yellow rust in the 1960's.
I have a book written by Joseph Nickerson entitled “A Shooting Mans Creed”, a very interesting book,all about shooting and managing land to encourage wild game birds.
I have to say bragging about some of the large numbers of birds they shot on some shoots seemed a bit excessive, but I get the impression Joe was a bit of a flamboyant character.
I have another book about the life and work of Joe Nickerson entitled “Roots In The Soil” an adventure in agriculture , written by Ralph Whilock, again another interesting book.
The isbn no’s for the books:
First Book 0-283-99978-0
Second Book 0-9512021-0-3
Many year ago I also went to the small private Joe Nickerson museum at Rothwell,which was interesting.
At the time we were renting a lovely farmhouse just along the road from Rothwell, on the lovely Lincs Wolds.
 

turbo

Member
Location
lincs
A mono culture like wheat or osr is never going to be as biodiverse and therefore will never support as large and diverse ecosystems as a multi species cover crop
I am sorry Clive but that’s just plain wrong,any crop growing in the autumn is beneficial I just think that not disturbing it in the spring to drill another crop is the best way of helping ground nesting birds like the English partridge to increase in numbers. I have seen cover crops destroyed and drilled in the spring and there is nothing there to protect the ground nesting birds were as in a wheat or osr crop there is plenty of cover and an abundance of insects for them to survive on
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
I am sorry Clive but that’s just plain wrong,any crop growing in the autumn is beneficial I just think that not disturbing it in the spring to drill another crop is the best way of helping ground nesting birds like the English partridge to increase in numbers. I have seen cover crops destroyed and drilled in the spring and there is nothing there to protect the ground nesting birds were as in a wheat or osr crop there is plenty of cover and an abundance of insects for them to survive on
Sorry but wheat and osr are not fantastic wildlife habit no matter how much you want to tell yourself they are

If cover crops don’t help partridge I guess shoots countrywide are wasting their money and really should just plant wheat and osr !

Diverse ecosystems = diverse wildlife, only a blind fool would try and suggest otherwise

I used to have no English partridge (and many other species) and now I have lots, it’s simple really, only thing that changed was my farming system to a conservation ag approach ... you explain why please

Maybe Packham has point faced with thinking like yours !
 
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Brisel

Member
Location
Dorset
How good is a forward OSR crop in this respect?

How good do you think the AB6 extended overwinter stubble option is likely to be?
Good for cover but that's all unless it's full of seed.

The overwintered stubble is the best you can get if you lay off the late herbicides in the previous crop.
 

turbo

Member
Location
lincs
Sorry but wheat and osr are not fantastic wildlife habit no matter how much you want to tell yourself they are

If cover crops don’t help partridge I guess shoots countrywide are wasting their money and really should just plant wheat and osr !

Diverse ecosystems = diverse wildlife, only a blind fool would try and suggest otherwise

I used to have no English partridge (and other species) and now I have lots, it’s simple really, only thing that changed was my farming system to a conservation ag approach ... you explain why please

Maybe Packham has point faced with thinking like yours !
I find you just as arrogant as packham with your worshipping of your system,some of us didn’t boll@cks our eco system up in the first place! I have never had cover crops and always had plenty of English partridge so can you explain that for me.As for shoots having cover crops most are just for holding the birds and only have a lot in because they supplement feed them,a piece of cover with no extra feed is an empty piece of cover
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
I find you just as arrogant as packham with your worshipping of your system,some of us didn’t boll@cks our eco system up in the first place! I have never had cover crops and always had plenty of English partridge so can you explain that for me.As for shoots having cover crops most are just for holding the birds and only have a lot in because they supplement feed them,a piece of cover with no extra feed is an empty piece of cover
Ok - let’s put this into perspective

I posted that I have a good number of English partridge now

I also posted that I didn’t used to have any here

I said the only significant thing that’s changed is my farming system

All the above is factual

I think it’s reasonable common sense to suggest that the greater diversity of ecosystem the greater the diversity of wildlife - a rainforest vs a desert might be a good but extreme example of this

I see no issue or anything unreasonable with any of the above however if it upsets you for whatever reason I apologise
 

MrNoo

Member
Location
Cirencester
Good for cover but that's all unless it's full of seed.

The overwintered stubble is the best you can get if you lay off the late herbicides in the previous crop.
I find this is the case here, we have margins too that help, I also plant plenty of covers, although spring planted, maize, millet, linseed and sorgum but these are no good for nesting and brood rearing as they'd be sat on eggs now or looking after hatchlings.
Foxes, Carrion's etc need controlling for any benefits, but even some years when you do a good job on this front they will not thrive if you get bad weather early June.
 

turbo

Member
Location
lincs
Ok - let’s put this into perspective

I posted that I have a good number of English partridge now

I also posted that I didn’t used to have any here

I said the only significant thing that’s changed is my farming system

All the above is factual

I think it’s reasonable common sense to suggest that the greater diversity of ecosystem the greater the diversity of wildlife - a rainforest vs a desert might be a good but extreme example of this

I see no issue or anything unreasonable with any of the above however if it upsets you for whatever reason I apologise
I have no problem believing that your numbers have increased but I just cannot see it’s because of covercrops as I have previously explained,your changes to your cropping will of made a difference as they host different types of food at different times of the year. The bit that really gets my back up is saying packham has a point with thinking like mine, I have plenty of wildlife on my farm but just because I don’t knell at the no till alter I am a bad farmer!,god knows what you would think if I told you I am mostly min till,run John Deere’s and a vaderstad drill and am a proud member of the Nfu!Jumping to conclusion is what packham and his followers do and I thought you were better than that
 
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Machinery destroyed in latest of 4 farm arson attacks

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Written by Agriland Team

Machinery was destroyed – along with a shed and a number of bales – in an overnight farm fire in Co. Down over the weekend – which is the latest in a series of shed fires believed to be started deliberately.

In a statement on social media, local members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed the news of the incident, which took place near Banbridge...
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