I had two trips to Beddington Farm this weekend. The first was Friday evening where I carried out my sixth Timed Species Count. I finally got Shoveler onto the grid on the lakes and 100 Acre. The areas seemed busier with birds. 100 Acre was the only area down on the previous counts. I did however photograph a bird on 100 Acre in a small tree at the edge of a dense reed-bed which has caused some interest with the regulars.
The characteristics that have caused interest is the brown on the crown and the complete eye-ring and consensus is that the bird is a Phylloscopus. The bird was Chiffchaff sized but the aforementioned features had me raising my camera and taking a couple of shots. Unfortunately the bird did not call which I’m sure would have solved the intrigue!......EXPERT VERDICT = Blackcap with odd features!
|(Mistnet run with a Dodgy geezer!)|
Sunday is the only day the refuse tip is not in operation and a variety of activities take place on the Farm including ringing. Dodge had created some new runs on the area known as the triangle. This area is adjacent to the permissible footpath! News headline "Man seen rummaging around in scrub!" came to mind...only thing to do is call the Police!!
|(Ringing a juv Blackbird)|
I was going to test the McMillan Bird Census Method on the lake. This method involves recording birds up to twenty species in length then a new list is created until twenty species is reached. The second and subsequent lists can have species contained in previous lists as long as the same birds are not counted. There is no time limit placed on completing the lists allowing more time to record species visiting the lakes. The list lengths can be adjusted but I thought I would try out the recommended number! The more lists a species appears on the more abundant it is.
The tricky part to this method was not re-counting the same birds that were using the lakes. A few birds used both the path and the lakes as feeding areas. A plus point was recording counts of all species and their activity on the area.
The path along the side of the lakes was alive with birds but fell short of a complete list. The lakes however produced three lists in just over three hours. 100 Acre was not tested as species numbers were similar to the lakes.
A lone Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, a Yellow Wagtail, 2-3 Common Buzzards, and 2 Sparrowhawk were new additions to species lists (considering previous timed Species Counts). I left the Farm thinking that the list lengths would have to be modified if I am going to compare the three areas for species richness using this method.