This week I was given a Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) grid square by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and this morning I went out to complete the habitat survey for the two transects (survey routes).
The survey site is out near the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge, close to Bulkeley and just by the Bickerton Poacher pub on the road between Nantwich and Wrexham. The BBS will require two visits, one at either end of Spring, but I’ll go into more detail about what the surveys entail in a future post.
The two survey transects are very typical of that part of Cheshire, with large pastures, bounded by hedges, with the backdrop of the low wooded hills. Unlike much of the county, the land is quite rolling but the Cheshire Plain starts only a short distance away.
Spring really is in full swing now, with the daffodils out in full bloom, leaf buds starting to burst and the birds singing for all their worth. This survey and the similar surveys I’ve been doing for Cheshire Wildlife Trust have given me a better ‘ear’ for bird song and picking out individual species. I don’t think I have ever appreciated so much the sheer volume and strength of the combined weight of bird song at Springtime. Just standing by my car at the starting point of the first transect, by the woodland at the bottom of the hills, the sound was so intense and vibrant – the countryside bursting with life!