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Sunday, 30 September 2012

BTO Winter Thrush Survey. Early days

The UK countryside supports large numbers of several thrush species through the winter. The BTO Winter Thrushes Survey aims to find out more about their numbers and distribution, and the  resources that they need to survive to spring and the next breeding season.
It is an online Survey and I signed up for it a few weeks ago. I have selected 3 squares that encompass a route I walk on my local patch. To be honest I was not expecting any Redwings , Fieldfares  ( or Waxwings ! ) but I decided to do my first survey more for the exercise and to see what the food sources were looking like on the route, brushing up on my berry ID skills.
It was a windy and overcast day, not great birding weather, and it was sods law that there was not a singlee Mistle or Song Thrush even to be seen en route ( slightly unusual). The patch is undergoing quite a bit of pipe laying and much of it looked like a scene from the film "Tremors", which must be affecting the local wildlife.
I noted and recorded the Blackbirds and Starlings, and was pleased to see plenty of berries including Pyracantha, Hawthorn, Elder,Ivy and Contoneaster.
The most prevalent birds were from the Corvid family, enjoying the windy conditions and along with Wood Pigeons feeding in the fields and Paddocks. Jays were also showy and numerous. A decent sized group of Swallows did their bit for "Viz Mig" and a few of the summer offspring were still present along with a couple of House Martins.
I had 2 Cormorants flyover, only my second patch record. Other birds of note were Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker,Nuthatch, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. It was hardly conducive to butterfly sightings, but I did manage a single Comma.
Speaking of Lepidoptera, I also came across a colony of micro moths around a section of Bracken. Despite the wind I whipped out my Compact and managed a snap so I could ID what looked like a new species to me. It is Nettle Tap, a common moth, but new to me so very pleasing.

Nettle Tap moth

Also noted was a couple of Earth Balls, this one pausing for a rest.

Earth Ball

1 comment:

  1. I've also been noting a few Netle Tap moths at Shenstone over recent visits. Gonna start my Winter thrush walks next week I think