And the stock reductions have led to changes in the vegetation composition of habitats, particularly in the uplands for golden plover
RSPB Cymru surveys of curlew and golden plover
show declines in Wales of more than 80% for both species since they were last fully surveyed in 1993.
Scientists from the RSPB and Newcastle and Manch-ester universities have found that the golden plover
, a typical upland bird found on the moors and peat bogs of the North Pennines, Teesdale, Northumberland and the Lake District, is breeding significantly earlier than 20 years ago.
These areas also provide a home to a whole host of rare birdlife, such as the hen harrier, merlin, peregrine falcon, golden plover
, curlew, red grouse and black grouse, many of which are vulnerable to disturbance throughout the year.
The plan has proved hugely controversial particularly as an environmental impact assessment has made it clear it will affect red kite, golden plover
and bat populations in the area.
and common snipe also passed through the headland, which has an excellent track record for producing a rarity during this next week.
"This in turn is benefiting breeding birds including merlin and golden plover
Upland wading birds, such as curlew, lapwing and golden plover
, declined by more than three quarters and there are fewer than half the number of swifts.
BIRDS n Widespread birds such as yellowhammer and starling have declined by 41% and 53% since 1994 n A curlew survey revealed an 81% decline between 1993 and 2006 n A golden plover
survey in 2007
Work to modify the drainage network and raise water levels has already seen an influx not just of lapwings, but also golden plover
, teal and wigeon.
The reduction in sheep will boost bird numbers in the area by helping the rich heather moorland regenerate more fully and enhance nesting grounds for black grouse, red grouse, golden plover
, curlews and other birds in the summer months.
Climate change is just one consequence of that." In the RSPB's latest State of Birds in Wales survey, it was revealed that golden plover
and curlew numbers have fallen by more than 80% since they were last surveyed in the period 2006-2007, and rapid declines already seen in starling and yellowhammer populations have continued.