Monday, 14 May 2012

Devon Bird Atlas Survey: Round 2

We made the most of the nice weather yesterday & headed off to the Blackdown Hills to start the second round of Tetrad surveys for the Devon Bird Atlas. Round one was in mid Feb ( & The first of the day's Tetrads was quite straight forward. We parked up & walked for an hour, going through quite a few different habitats including  orchards, fields & coniferous woodland. We had 28 species, 24 within the hour, including a Cuckoo & 4 on the walk back to the van. We had 7 species with evidence of breeding: Dunnock, Blue Tit, House Martin, Chaffinch, Crow, Great Tit & House Sparrow.
Dunnocks & Blue Tits breeding here
The second Tetrad was more difficult with very few footpaths or places to park. We had a short stint in some deciduous woods, then gave up on the only other path after wading through very tall grass & being unable to figure out where it went. We then drove to a few other places & just looked over gates & hedges. Not very satisfactory but the best we could do. We still found 25 species during the hour including Sparrowhawk, Raven & Buzzard and a Blackcap after the clock had stopped. We only had evidence of breeding for Blue Tits & possible for Robin.
Only one assistant this time.....
The 'path' with no obvious route after the initial sign
We made a short diversion on the way home to visit the old Smeatharpe airfield. There was still no sign of the Little Owl that's supposed to hang out in the old airfield buildings, but there were at least 12 Wheatears, probably more, as they popped up everywhere I looked! There was also a Common Whitethroat singing in the bushes along the track.

Weedy owl-less Smeatharpe

No comments:

Post a Comment