Sunday, 13 July 2008

Buckland Dinham Tetrad

Finally, a morning when I could get out and do one of my bird tetrads for the British Trust for Ornithology. This is a four year survey of the birds of Great Britain for both the breeding season and also winter. Today I went to a village just north of Frome called Buckland Dinham. The area I covered was mostly farmland, both pasture and arable.

In Britain, we have a fabulous network of public footpaths and these help a great deal when planning where it is permitted to walk in the countryside. Luckily I managed not to enter any fields that had cows in them. They can be very curious beasts!
On the paths that I walked, I was able to photograph some lovely plants - Great Willowherb and St John's-wort as well as a basking male Gatekeeper butterfly.
Highlights for me were seeing several Mistle Thrushes together in one field and finding a couple of Tree Sparrows (this species has recently declined by nearly 90%). I also surprised a fox which ran away from me in leaps and bounds (too quick for my camera)!


Eve said...

A beautiful walk Jen!! I'm glad you got the tree sparrows! The Gatekeeper is very handsom!!! I'm off to GE Buckland Dinham!!

Jenny Vickers said...

Eve, on GE, I walked the fields SW of Buckland Dinham, near Lower Street.

Eve said...

I'm on my way!!

Anonymous said...


Well done for doing a Tetrad, such dedication. I didn't want to commit to such regularity. You have got a nice area to monitor.

Thanks for Identifying the St Johns Wort. I took a photo of some the other day and just couldn't find it in the book or on the net for some reason.

Mistle Thrushes, they are really difficult to get close enough for a decent photo, I still haven't managed that yet.

Jenny Vickers said...

Hi Roy

Glad the St J wort pic helped. I actually went mad and put myself down for 4 Tetrads as well as doing my usual annual BBS survey and a Waterways survey, so I've had my work cut out this year. Phew! Only one more summer survey to do for this year and then I'll see how I feel for next year. It's a really great way of getting out and seeing more local countryside.

Mosura said...

Sounds like a good day.

When we were in Scotland we were right at the limit of the Tree Sparrows range but there was one place we could always see them in good numbers. Then the gardener at the site removed all the bushes around the perimeter of the place and we never seen a Tree Sparrow again.As Tommy Cooper would say, they were gone, "just like that."

Jenny Vickers said...

What a shame! That just shows how small changes in the countryside can have such a large effect! Scary!