This morning was perfect for my first Breeding Bird Survey of the spring for Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT). With a milky sun peeping through the cloud, a light breeze and (relatively) warm air, I set out to count the birds at the Trust’s Bagmere reserve.
After two years of doing both Winter Bird Surveys and Breeding Bird Surveys for CWT, there’s a bit of a change this spring. The Trust has been developing an amended methodology, so things are a little delayed this year. Instead of having one transect at Bagmere (and the Blakenhall Moss site that I also survey), it is divided into compartments of different habitats. Bagmere is divided into several grassland, woodland and fenland compartments, in which the birds are recorded separately to show what birdlife the different habitats support. This morning was my first outing with the new methodology and it worked well and clearly showed some differences between the various areas.
As I’ve written before, a bird survey on a spring morning is an idyllic way to spend a bit of time, wandering through the fields and woodlands, listening to the birds singing in their breeding prime. Today was as good a morning as there has been when I’ve done a survey and Bagmere was lovely with the flowers starting to show and the leaves beginning to unfurl on the trees.
All was peaceful…apart from this whitethroat who called out in alarm as I passed on the way out and the way back. He seemed to see me as a great threat and flew from bush to bush berating and scolding me until I was outside of his territory.