Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Weekend continued

It is still only March, so we shouldn't hope for too much yet.
However, we (Ed and I) did get out to a new site (for us) at Randalls Farm Education Centre by the now defunct Stewartby brickworks. We got there late morning and set about erecting 4 nets around the southern part of the site. This area was a demonstration forestry plot for the Marston Vale and was planted in the 'seventies with a variety of trees to see which grew best and which failed on this heavy Oxford Clay.

The upshot was 13 birds, all of them new. Our current target species is Chiffchaff, as part of a project out of Sheffield University.

However, the object of the exercise was to have a few birds to show the 'Watch' group kids that meet here on the last Sunday of the month.

Chiffchaff 3 - a male & 2 females
Great Tit 2 - possibly a pair
Long-tailed Bushtit 3 - a pair & a helper male
Robin 3 - 2 males, 1 female
Bullfinch 2 - a pair

When pondering where to put one of the nets up, we spied a Buzzard hanging in a Hawthorn bush beside the railway and under a pole mounted transformer. We will never know the cause of death as it could have been (i) a train, (ii) electrocution, (iii) poisoning (unlikely) or (iv) completely natural.

It was long dead and home to a large, black (ground?) beetle and its larvae.

Home in time for tea; a satisfying jaunt in the sunshine.

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