Saturday, 27 July 2013

Counting on Beddington Farm!!

With waders turning up in various regions of the country I took a trip to Beddington Farm this morning. I was not up early enough to see the Black Tailed Godwit but spent an hour in each of three areas on the Farm. I was going to use a Timed Species Count which is described in the Bird Census Techniques book by Bibby, Burgess, Hill & Mustoe.
(Peregrine Falcon)
First up was the path from Mile Road to 100 Acre. The sun was out which was a surprise as rain had been forecast. I spoke with Pete Alfrey & Tank who informed me the Ruddy Shelduck & a few other birds had been found dead on the site over the last few days. The reason for this was not known. Had the stifling weather caught up on these birds?!

The path was slightly overgrown in places & fairly quiet but I guess the heat was keeping the birds low in the bushes. I recorded thirteen species using the habitat along the path. The pick of the bunch was a Peregrine Falcon that was using a pylon to scan the area for a potential meal.
(Dry area of 100 Acre)
I spoke to Frank & Bulldog at the gate to 100 Acre. The Blackwit had earlier departed SE. I recorded twenty-seven species including a Cuckoo, Green Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper during the hour spent in this area.

The last area I was covering today was the Lakes (N & S).  I recorded twenty-three species in this hour which included a count of 77 Canada Goose, 53 Grey Heron & a brood of Tufted Duck on the S Lake. Surprisingly I did not see a single Tree Sparrow in this area which is a concern as this species has been in decline on the Farm in recent years!

For the Timed Species Count abundance method to work at least fifteen counts of each area at different times of the day & season are required. One count down many to go!!

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