Ideal weather conditions for partridge brood rearing in recent months look set to be translated into impressive numbers of birds this year in Scotland.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – which is behind the Scottish Game Fair – has started its annual partridge count early and is now encouraging other landowners to take part to help assess the current situation.
As farmers know, dry growing conditions are excellent for cereal production and this meant that the landscape changed, from luscious greens to golden browns, much earlier than usual.
It has also meant great partridge brood-rearing conditions and it is hoped that many more chicks will have survived. Although early reports have been encouraging, it is only by doing the counts that the GWCT can actually be sure.
Scotland appears to have fared much better than England this year, which was marked by a very dry spring followed by a wet summer, with a large number of thunderstorms.
A GWCT spokesman explained: “Dry weather is great news for partridges, with more time available to feed and less time trying to shelter or even dry out following a torrential downpour.
“Young partridge chicks are particularly susceptible to wet conditions and so it is important that any wild bird seed mixes planted are not too dense to allow them to move around without becoming wet.
For more information or to take part, visit the PCS website at www.gwct.org.uk/long-term-monitoring/partridge-count-scheme/join