The English Grey Partridge?

Discussion in 'Agricultural Matters' started by MX7, May 23, 2019.

  1. spin cycle

    spin cycle Member

    Location:
    north norfolk
    works well(y)....except for getting paid:(....only one grey pair here....can't compete with hybrid french released in droves:rolleyes:
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  2. 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
     
    Will Blackburn likes this.
  3. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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
     
    juke likes this.
  4. Did you measure it beforehand?
     
    Brisel likes this.
  5. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    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
     
  6. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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 !
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    Doing it for the kids likes this.
  7. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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
     
    martian likes this.
  8. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    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.
     
  9. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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
     
  10. MX7

    MX7 Member

    Location:
    cotswolds
    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.
     
    GOPHER89, yellowbelly and Brisel like this.
  11. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    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
     
  12. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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 !
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  13. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    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.
     
    Feldspar likes this.
  14. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    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
     
    Trutti, MrNoo and Brisel like this.
  15. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    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
     
  16. MrNoo

    MrNoo Member

    Location:
    Cirencester
    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.
     
    Brisel likes this.
  17. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    The majority of grey eggs hatch during Ascot week (mid to late June). If the chicks get wet in the first few days of their lives, their survival rate is very low.
     
    Fish likes this.
  18. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    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
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  19. yellowbelly

    yellowbelly Member

    Location:
    N.Lincs
    Us peasants in Lincolnshire use the Lincs Show (similar time to Ascot) as the 'yardstick' for hatching:whistle::bag::bag::p

    Unfortunately we get a good few thunderstorms at that time of year:(
     
    Patrick JE, Brisel and turbo like this.
  20. turbo

    turbo Member

    Location:
    lincs
    Very true?usally see my first chicks around show week
     
    yellowbelly likes this.

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