Here's a Press Association story that you may have heard on the radio/tv today...grim reading (although there's good news for Buzzard and Raven fans)
Grey Partridge figures are particularly scary, they're getting so scarce on the mosses now I've heard that shooters are being told not to shoot them under any circumstances....
Anyway, here's the story...
Common bird species in decline
"Dozens of common bird species have declined across Europe over the past quarter of a century, with some pushed to the brink of extinction in the continent, a report warned today.
The RSPB found that 56 of the 124 widespread land-based European birds studied had seen numbers dropping since 1980.
The conservation charity said Christmas favourites such as the grey partridge, which has declined by 79% since 1980, were facing extinction in Europe.
Only sizeable populations in Asia were keeping the species from becoming globally threatened, the RSPB said.
The State of EuropeÃ¢ÂÂs Common Birds 2007 report showed that of the 10 species which have declined the most between 1980 and 2005, seven regularly nest in the UK.
They include the grey partridge and lapwing, whose numbers have halved, as well as the lesser spotted woodpecker, whose numbers have dropped by 81%, the nightingale which has declined by 63% and another Christmas icon the turtle dove which has seen a 62% fall in numbers.
The data confirmed that farmland birds are in decline throughout Europe - with total populations of all 33 species of farmland bird in the study suffering a 44% decline between 1980 and 2005. A number of woodland bird species have also been hit.
But there are some winners - 29 bird species have increased, while a further 27 have stable populations.
Woodpigeons, chiffchaffs, buzzards and ravens are among the species which have increased their numbers over the 26-year period.
RSPB conservation director Mark Avery said: Ã¢ÂÂSeeing a countryside increasingly bereft of familiar birds like the grey partridge and lapwing is deeply worrying.
Ã¢ÂÂThese declines are so severe that in Europe they are considered to be heading towards continental extinction - it is only the sizeable populations of both birds in Asia, which prevents them from being considered at risk of global extinction.Ã¢Â?
He said the grey partridge was coming under extra pressure in the UK from people shooting them in the mistaken belief they were the more common, introduced red-legged partridge.
Natural England also raised concerns about the grey partridge, with British populations falling by 84% since 1977.
The national conservation agency said warmer winters made it possible for crops to be grown all year, leaving fewer fields of stubble for the birds to feed on.
But Natural England said countryside and environmental stewardship schemes in strongholds for the bird such as Royston, Herts, enabled landowners to provide nesting and feeding habitats for the species and boost their numbers."
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...