Monday, 27 April 2009

Early Spring Bird Survey

The other day I did my third visit for this particular area at Stourhead for the British Trust for Ornithology Bird Atlas. Two visits are made over the winter period and two during the breeding season. The idea is to note all birds seen and heard in a two hour time period while walking a route that will cover as many different habitats in your given area (tetrad). During the breeding season walks, you are also asked to assign possible, probable or definite breeding status by way of various codes as well as whether a bird is on migration.I know this female Wheatear was on migration as it doesn't breed in this area of the country.This Barn Swallow is a possible breeder as it was in an area of suitable habitat for breeding.I pass through some lovely countryside on this walk, but didn't really have time to stop and take loads of photos. The birds and survey take precedence on these walks.I did however, take this shot of the early morning sunlight on these Bluebells. (-:I was able to assign this Great Crested Grebe with definite breeding status as it was showing courtship display with another Grebe.This male Chaffinch was singing in suitable habitat so was put down as a possible breeder.My last survey walk for this area will be just at the beginning of June and so should show up more evidence of breeding I hope. I've really enjoyed doing these surveys around my local area, they certainly make me walk around places that I wouldn't normally go to. I'm sure I'll put my name down for more tetrads in the next couple of years. The survey goes on till 2011.

13 comments:

Mary said...

You must be the perfect person to do this with your knowledge of birds and their voices. The few shots you did take are wonderful. I particularly like that Chaffinch..he looks so handsome and perky, I'm sure he has his choice of females :-) The Grebe is lovely, too. I like the Wheatear photos, too and always think it is such an odd name.

Steve B said...

I know what you mean about shoot and doing surveys. I bring along a camera ~jsut in case~! I've done breeding surveys in the past. They are fun.

dog trot farm said...

Jenny, you offer such insight, I feel like I'm making the trek right along with you.

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, the Wheatear gets its name from old English words. First hwit (white) and aers (rump or backside). It does have a white rump which really stands out when it's flying. Your Yellow-rumped Warbler is affectionately known commonly by birders over there as 'butterbutt'! (-:

Hi Steve, It is great fun and also a great way to keep skills sharp.

Hi Julie, I'm glad you could join me on my survey! (-:

Shellmo said...

I really loved that Grebe shot! Thank you for taking us along on your survey - I get to see so many new birds!!

Roy said...

That's a nice Wheatear, I have not seen one for a while now. Maybe when you have completed the survey altogether you can go back and take it slow, because it shows a lot of promise like we said the first time you did it.

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
This is really cool to be able to participate in such a survey, and you are right it gives you the opportunity to go in places that you might have not seen before. It is also enjoyable to participate in survey that might help for the conservation of the species. I love your great crested grebe pictures as well as the wheatear and the chaffinch. These are really nice pictures.

Quiet Paths said...

Wow. These are simply great. The colors in those birds! I agree that you must be the perfect person to be waking these surveys.

Quiet Paths said...

I meant walking the survey....

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley, I thought you might like the Grebe, do you get any up where you are?

Hi Roy, I'm sure I will go back to the area as I have really loved this particular tetrad.

Hi Chris, do you do any surveys up where you are?

Hi Christine, one of my other birding friends is mad keen on this survey lark, so we compare notes on our different areas which is also great to do! (-:

Adrian said...

Hey Wren

Nice post. I suspect those bluebells might be hybrids even though they have the characteristic droop - the colour is a bit pale to my mind for full English bluebells???

See you soon, Adgi

Jenny said...

Hi Adgi

I think they are OK, the early morning sunlight was shining right through them which might make them look a bit pale.

Hope to see you next week.
love
Wren

Eve said...

Great photos Jenny...that chaffinch is stunning!