I was back at one of my BBS squares this morning. It was a cold morning and the birds seemed to be sulking a bit. However, there are always birds to be seen, noted and their existence entered online so that’s what I have done.
There weren’t many people about either.
‘Best’ birds? Bullfinch isn’t an every-year bird on this site, good views of Red Kites and Yellowhammers and a Cormorant overhead. Not, pulse quickening, but then that is not the point.
Yesterday the BTO further updated their advice and anyone contributing to BTO-partnered schemes should read that information.
It seems slightly unrealistic, or slightly unclear to me, that we are asked to survey within 3-4 days of our usual visit date. What is usual?
The way that BBS works is that you make an early visit and a late visit. The late visit normally has to be at least four weeks after the first visit. I’ve always aimed for the May Bank Holiday weekend for my first visit and often made that date, but sometimes not because the weather was awful (yes, it does happen on May Bank Holidays in England) or we were away, or had visitors, or the car was in the garage or something. And then four weeks later the weather could be bad, we had visitors etc etc. And I survey two BBS squares, so I’m looking for two slots not just one. So, looking at my late visits they are quite varied. And so I have done my first ‘late’ visit today and I’ll do the other one, for my other BBS square, towards the end of the month.
I wonder how everyone else is getting on. Surveying in built up areas will be different in terms of transport demands and social distancing from that in the countryside, and people will all have different personal health and mobility needs. But I can see that the BTO don’t want to call the whole thing off (even if little work will be done in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (surely?).
Losing a dot on a BBS graph won’t be the worst thing that happens this year (even if it happens).