Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our survey says...

An early(ish) start this morning saw us gathering information for the Bedfordshire Bird Atlas... in Northamptonshire.

Since the 10 km square sits on the border between the two counties, records from it can contribute to both. Or something. Anyway,  our allotted patch was around Newton Bromswold. We were after any birds showing signs of... well, anything. Found Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Buzzard, Wren, Swallow, Moorhen, Whitethroat and all manner of exciting things.

We might have found even more, were it not for a Longhorn bull, his cows and calves which were in a field. They blocked our route to the opposite side of the field, so we opted out. That was after we'd negotiated the live electric fence which ran round the perimeter, including the stile! Ouch!

The butterflies were better than the birds, on the whole. An area in an environmental stewardship scheme held loads of butterflies - more than I've seen all year so far. Large Skippers, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Common Blues ran riot. There were pleasing numbers of Small Tortoiseshells, too.


Large Skipper

Common Blue butterfly


Before you accuse me of turning into a church-spotter...


Newton Bromswold church


...it was lovely to see the village churchyard was being managed sympathetically. Someone in Newton Bromswold cares about wildlife. There were patches of long grass, nestboxes on the trees and these Common Spotted Orchids. It was full of life.


Common Spotted Orchids

Ostrich


And, unless I'm mistaken, this is a young Ostrich. There wasn't room for it on the survey form, though. Oh well.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, or Canon Powershot A640