Farmland Bird Survey

Project Overview

Our research project seeks to  provide data on the range of birds using farmland at both Lower Sharpham Farm, Totnes, Devon and Labrador Bay RSPB reserve, Teignmouth, Devon. We hope to gain a deeper understanding of the  difference in bird use between the sites and the comparative potential of each site for breeding/overwintering Cirl buntings.


Farmland birds are an integral part of the biodiversity of farmland areas. The presence of a volume and variety of birds is evidence of good environmental stewardship as they are sustained by a variety of landscapes from hedgerows to woodlands to meadows. Cirl Buntings in particular are particularly susceptible to a reduction in key habitats, therefore they will be a key focus for our study.

Research Methods

We will select a 1km square within which all survey will take place centring on each of the two locations. Each square will be positioned to ensure a broadly representative example of the range of habitat types and geographical characteristics of each site. The survey will use a consistent sampling method at both locations based on existing established ‘industry applied’ fixed point farmland bird survey method and ensuring a representative sample of the range of habitat and geographical variability of each site. 2 surveys will take place 2 weeks apart. The data will be used to create a printed report detailing maps of the survey area and fixed point locations alongside all data presented in table form including the date, time period, location, species, number of individuals and weather conditions for each site.