Tuesday, March 9, 2010

8th March, 2010.

Coverage of the local area didn't come up with anything special, although all such things are relative. To a visitor, Hen harrier, Chough, Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted Geese would probably constitute some sort of "Red letter day" set against what was normally present on their home patch.

This set me musing on how thorough we are sometimes , as birdwatchers , and what must be missed by our repeated visits to favourite spots, convenient look-outs, lay bys and such like. So much is connected with our (car ) mobility nowadays, despite callings to be "green", that our real knowledge of bird distribution is skewed. The forthcoming BTO Atlas results ( in three/four years time ) will have cast a critical eye on precisely where our birds reside, or the areas they utilise in winter, by having surveyed at tetrad level ( 2 x 2 km.). Whilst major changes will doubtless appear, along with some worries and disappointments to consider, some pleasant surprises are also likely to emerge. Such was the case when, after tramping across an area I visit only rarely, I found a party of four Stonechat, including a magnificent male. A far flung corner which brought not just enjoyment , but relief that here was a group of birds vulnerable to winter weather that had made it through. Great!

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