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.
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|