Some 145 calling male corncrakes were recorded on the island of Ireland in 2020, according to Liam Loftus, corncrake officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

The number is down on 2019 when 163 corncrakes were recorded. However, Loftus has said that the decrease may be attributed to the lack of access for fieldworkers to the Donegal islands early in the season due to COVID-19. “As a result, the total number on the uninhabited islands may have been under-recorded as the fieldworker was unable to census these locations until late in the breeding season when the majority of males were already paired-up with females and had gone quiet,” he said.