First bird survey of the year

I got up very early yesterday to head out into the Northamptonshire countryside to do my first Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) of the year. Leaving the house before 7:00am on a cold and cloudy Sunday morning didn’t seem very appealing and on arriving at the survey site, in the village of Clipston, the appeal had mostly worn off. However, on starting the first of the two transects the magic of these surveys immediately reappeared. A kestrel swooped down and dropped behind a hedge just beside but quickly flew off as I wander along.

This is the second year that I have been doing the BBS at the grid square around and including the village. It’s a lovely spot for the survey with a mixture of rural village, playing fields, sheep pasture on the surrounding low hills and a little arable land too. This mixture provides for a range of different birds, both farmland and garden birds appearing in the survey.

This first of two spring visits to the site found 27 different species of bird, two more than the same visit last year, and added some further species to the list for the grid square. On top of the kestrel, two more raptors were recorded for the first time, sparrowhawk and red kite, and I added green woodpecker to the great-spotted woodpecker seen on the first survey last year.

The particular gird square hadn’t been surveyed prior to my first visit last year, so it’s great that I’m adding information for a new place into the BBS records, even if the birds seen last year and so far this year are probably what would be expected at the location.

Hopefully, the second visit in May or early June will find a further few new species to the list for the grid square. The list reached 33 after the second survey last year and now stands at 37, so hopefully I might even get to 40 for the site by the end of this year’s survey