Monday, 5 April 2021

Few and far between

Despite lockdown easing, visits to the patch (and therefore blog posts) have been few and far between and there's even fewer photos as I've damaged my hand and can't use the SLR until it's a bit better.

I did start my new challenge last weekend which is to map the breeding birds of the Druridge Links side of the reserve using a territory mapping technique similar to the Common Bird Census. This involves mapping all of the birds encountered during morning visits, along a set transects. The maps are then compiled by species to give rough territories for each species throughout the breeding season Visit should be roughly ten-days apart. Below is a sample of a visit map. 

Mapping sample

I'll pull all of the results together at the end of the season and produce some bonny maps. As well as a challenge, this survey is useful to show how management of the site affects bird populations. The survey should be roughly comparable to one I did ten years ago.

Mute Swan  - not a census species!

Otherwise migration has been slow to get going. Although a Swallow on 30th March was very early. It was 18 degrees back then, it was -8 (felt like) this morning with a light dusting of snow and a hard frost. The Budge field is attracting decent numbers of waders including Black-tailed Godwits, Snipe, Avocet, Ruff (up to six) and a single Little Ringed Plover. Several Lapwings are already on eggs.

As I can't manage the SLR at the moment, here are two photos taken with the  TG6.

False Puffball Reticularia lycoperdon growing on a willow stump

Bracket fungus  - Trametes versicolor