We started ploughing some land yesterday and by the end of the day there were about 500 Lapwings on the ploughing picking up grubs and worms.

Where did they all come from?

Aren’t they clever at finding food. Well of course they spend at least half of their life looking for food and if they cannot find food they will die. Flying around at 100 or 200 feet up you get a wonderful view and see so much more and when the plough is turning around at the ends of the field those shiny breasts show up well.

The land that we are ploughing is coming sugar beet. When we cultivate we expose food and so those farmers who sow all their crops in the autumn do not give birds so many opportunities to find food. 60 years ago every farm would have some spring cropping and there was more food around in all directions. We are gradually starving many of our birds, mostly of insects. Insects are of course the basis of life and without them the world would be a different place. For those of you who saw the last episode of Africa last night, David Attenborough was talking about that very same thing. He was saying that to get all the big game back into a nature reserve in Mozambique they would have to get the insects there first.