BLACKBIRDS, robins and blue tits have been ranked as the three most common birds found on Oxfordshire's farms.

Wood pigeons and carrion crows came in fourth and fifth in the local results for this year's Big Farmland Bird Count.

Forty Oxfordshire farmers took part in this year's citizen science survey recording 83 species across a total of 18,090 acres.

A total of 17 red-listed species were recorded in the county, and the results also revealed that 65 per cent per cent of farmers who took part in the count are in some kind of 'agri-envrionment' scheme.

The results follow hot on the heels of the RSPB-run Big Garden Birdwatch which in Oxfordshire found that sparrows, starlings and blue tits were the most common species in gardens and parks.

The RSPB said its results showed that a warm summer and mild winter had provided perfect conditions for smaller bird species.

The Game and Wildlife Trust, which organises the Big Farmland Bird Count, said a record number of farmers joined the fifth survey this year between February 9 and 18.

The five most abundant birds spotted across the country this year were starlings, wood pigeons, fieldfares, rooks and chaffinches.

The BFBC, which is sponsored by agricultural chemicals giant BASF, was launched in 2014 to 'highlight the positive work done by farmers and gamekeepers in helping to reverse the decline in farmland bird numbers'.

Numerous environmental studies, including the first Oxfordshire State of Nature report produced by Wild Oxfordshire last year, have concluded that intensifying and industrial farming practices are among the biggest threats to wildlife in the UK.

This year's BFBC chief organiser Jim Egan said of the results: "We can see from the data that 50 per cent of farmers have been helping farmland birds in the recent cold snap.

"It's great to know that many farmers will also now be providing insect-rich habitat to help provide for breeding birds through the spring and summer months."