Sunday, 13 May 2012

BBS - My thoughts

So, that's the first visit done and out the way. I have entered all my data online and set a date for the second visit. Overall I was pleased with how the visit went, considering it was my first time at attempting this survey. There were however some things that I could improve on, and others that I think I will speak to my regional representative about. In north Wiltshire this is Bill Quantrill, who has been very helpful to me so far.

Firstly, I should say that I enjoyed doing the survey a great deal. It was in no way a hardship or chore. However, it was quite hard to juggle clip-board, binoculars and other paraphernalia whilst simultaneously keeping one eye on the bird code list, one eye on the birds and my third eye on the road ahead, in-case of traffic. This illustrates two points for me.
  1. I need to spend some time studying the bird code list and try and memorise it a bit better.
  2. I'm not altogether happy about my chosen route.
This is because due to time constraints and my initial reluctance to speak to farmers and ask for access permission to their land, a large portion of my route consists of walking down a road. I would be happier if I could get access to a few fields which would therefore enable me to walk a route that fitted the criteria better. However, I am not even sure the route can be changed now. I will have to speak to Bill Quatrill about this.

I also need to improve my bird song recognition skills. I am not a complete novice at this, I can distinguish most of the common species and a few of the less common, but it is something that I could improve with a bit of work. Bill has come to the rescue here as he has sent me a CD entitled 'learning bird songs and calls for bird surveys in lowland Britain' by Geoff Sample. The introduction for each species even includes  the relevant BTO two-letter species code. Bingo! Just what I'm looking for. I can now 'kill two birds with one stone', as they say.

Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) penciled in for next weekend and Bird Track (BT) observations ongoing. That's all for now.

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