Carduelis cannabina – LLINOS – Breeding resident and passage migrant
|No of tetrads occupied||344 (of 478)|
|Percentage of tetrads||72%|
The Linnet was a common resident during the times of both Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949). It is still a widespread breeding species but is probably less numerous, as many rough areas of the county have been reclaimed for agricultural purposes in recent years. The unsprayed roadside margins are important feeding grounds. With an estimated average density of 25 pairs per tetrad, about 8,600 pairs probably breed at present.
A small spring passage has been recorded between 19 March and 29 May, when groups of up to 30 pass; some are apparently still on the move until 15 June. Larger numbers have been recorded moving through coastal regions in the autumn, from early September to late October, with up to 100 passing in a day.
They are less widespread in winter and some may emigrate, but flocks of 100-500 do gather at good food sources. Turnips that have gone to seed prove particularly attractive, as does unharvested flax.