However, the State of the UK’s Birds 2006 report has also drawn attention to the fact the wintering populations of some species are actually declining, principally because of climate change.

Every winter the UK is host to two million birds, including important wildfowling quarry from northern Europe, Greenland, Siberia and Arctic Canada. Good habitat management, as practiced by wildfowlers, has significantly contributed to the marked increase in some other migrant species, most notably the black-tailed godwit and the avocet.

However, the report brought to light the declining populations of seven other quarry visitors, including the white-fronted goose, the shelduck, mallard and pochard.

Interestingly, climate change has been cited as the principal reason for the decline, as winters become milder all over the world, it seems some species are not forced to fly as far as the UK.