Last week I did my Big Society thing for the BTO winter thrush survey. There was a spell of what we will have to call fine weather in the morning and I was out looking for blackbirds, song thrushes, mistle thrushes, redwings and fieldfares, and indeed waxwings and starlings, and indeed anything else that might walk or fly past.
The most enjoyable part of the whole exercise was entering the route, bird sightings and area surveyed online on the map – to be perfectly honest. I enjoyed those bits very much and have a sneaking suspicion that this survey is being used to train the BTO workforce in online data entry. If so – well done BTO! And I feel I ought to have a ‘Big Society’ badge from David Cameron for all my efforts.
Yes I saw some birds too – but not many. In fact I saw 11 blackbirds and no other examples of any of the target species. But the best birds I saw, while looking carefully for the first time at a field I have driven past on numerous occasions, were 6 grey partridges. These were only about a mile from home in a straight line and were a nice surprise.
You can see my impeccably entered data online here and the location of my survey square is the red one under the ‘s’ of Raunds here. You can also have a quick look around the country at what others have seen – which is a nice and novel enhancement of the usual state of play.
I’m fairly sure that each time I drive past this area in the nest few weeks the trees will be laden with fieldfares and redwings (at least) but they honestly weren’t there last Friday. I promise.