The yellow wagtail has disappeared entirely from Wales
The sharp decline in some of Britain's most common bird species is resulting for the first time in their disappearance from some parts of the United Kingdom, conservationists warn today.
An annual stocktake of bird populations by a coalition of nature groups shows that many of the country's 107 most familiar species, such as the starling and grey partridge, are suffering "plummeting" population changes compared with the 1990s.
But as well as losing numbers across the board, The State of the UK's Birds
warns that species are vanishing from sections of the country where they once thrived as their geographical range shrinks with their population.
The unique British race of the yellow wagtail, which has a brighter yellow head compared to its European cousins, has declined by 45 per cent since 1995 but its range has also reduced by nearly a third and the species has vanished from large areas of England as well as the entirety of Wales.
The corn bunting, a dumpy farmland bird once abundant across the countryside, is now extinct in Ireland and the cuckoo has disappeared from large parts of South-east England and the Midlands.
Dr Mark Eaton, a conservation scientist with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: "I think many of us have been shocked by how poorly some of our most familiar species are faring. Many of the birds we're referring to aren't rare and don't occur in remote locations.