Saturday, 30 January 2010

Can we have our birds back, please

Today seemed like a good day to get out and do a TTV (Timed Tetrad Visit) for the forthcoming BTO Atlas. Mind you although it was bright it was cold out today.

The tetrad I did was TR34G, which goes by the name of Connaught in my notebook, because the Barracks are part of it. This, along with the Duke of York's Royal Military School and lots of"No entry" MOD land, does cause some access problems. The right hand side, East, is nearly all grass land, flat along Upper Road and then dropping down to Jubilee Way as it runs into Dover. and then slopes up again to the A258, nest to the Barracks. Never very promising habitat it has in the past had numbers of Yellowhammers, Corn Buntings and other farmland birds. Today was very disappointing. In the first 10 minutes, walking across towards Beer Farm all I saw was ONE Skylark and nothing else. Even in the hedgerows leading from the farm birds were hard to find.

Along Dover Road, that runs to the west of the Barracks, there are a couple of small bits of woodland and lots of gardens when the new housing has been built at Burgoyne Heights. The most prominent birds in this area were Great Tits, already noisily calling.

There were also a few House Sparrows around the gardens and Collared Doves called from a couple of roofs. I have to say that 20 species was a lot less that I had expected and I began to think that I'd have been better off watching Championship football on the box. But I knew that would be rubbish, there's always the hope of finding something good when you are out surveying!

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