Nationally, the Whinchat population has declined by 53% in the UK, and 44% in England, in only 21 years between 1995 and 2016. It was moved from the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern to the Red List in 2015 because of this severe decline in the breeding population.
Whinchat used to be widespread in Shropshire, but by the time of the first Breeding Bird Atlas (1985-90) they were largely restricted to the uplands, with a county population estimated at 300 pairs. The recent Bird Atlas (2008-13) found a large contraction of range, and the species was, by then, restricted to the Long Mynd, apart from the occasional pair on the Stiperstones, with an estimated population of 75 pairs, a decline of 75% in less than 25 years.
Local monitoring on the Long Mynd has found a decline there from 110-130 breeding pairs in 1996-1998, to around 60 pairs in 2006-09, a decline of around 50% in only 10 years, and a continuing decline since, to around 40 pairs in 2017.
For more on this project, take a look at the Final Report here and a set of photos to accompany the report here. Both documents are in PDF format.
Return to Bird Conservation