Monday, April 23, 2007

Breeding Bird Survey

Saturday morning we set off toward the village of Sywell to walk the two transects in 'our' grid, that is the grid provided by the BTO and the organisers of the Breeding Bird Survey. Unfortunately the two land owners on the second transect have refused us access to their land to undertake the survey work (which involves walking up clear paths in a straight line and recording all the birds you see and hear), which was kind of them - boo hiss!!!

We did get (grudging) permission to walk the first transect which we duly did. The second transect, because of the landowners refusal, is made up of a road that runs parallel to the grid line, which isn't ideal, but better than nothing. I will badger them and hopefully they'll be more generous next year.

Walking along the road we think we found the reason why they didn't grant us access, lots of game birds around including over 20 pheasants, some quail and a few Red-legged Partridge, including this one visible through a hedge:
















From Sywell village we drove to the reservoir at Sywell, a well trodden route. It was a lovely spring/summer morning and some of the annual migrants are starting to arrive in numbers now. At the far end of the walk around the reservoir, this Sedge Warbler was showing well, but I couldn't persuade the camera to auto-focus so it's manual and therefore a bit blurry:

















The eye stripe (supercilium) is the most outstanding feature on this warbler, with a song sharing similar characteristics to a Reed Warbler. I really liked this face-on shot, although again a touch blurry:















Further round this Wren was showing particularly well and is the best photo of the species that I've managed so far:

















From Sywell we headed over to Ravensthorpe Reservoir, to feed the local ducks and swans (with seeds and grains - not white bread!), have our own lunch, and for a wander around the perimeter there. The water was quiet which is quite typical for this time of year, not many terns around yet and most winter migrants have headed off to their breeding grounds.

This Grey Wagtail was hopping around by the water run-off:














8 miles walked so a good start to the weekend, but it was time to head home.

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