Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quicky Birding

It’s just a hurried post as Another Bird Blog has an appointment and then won’t be around for a day or two. 

This morning I met up at Pilling with Andy so that he could learn the whereabouts of the Skylark nest found on Monday and continue with nest recording in my absence. As there are a good number of Skylarks in the area we hoped we might be able to come across other breeding activity.

The Nest Record Scheme (NRS) gathers vital information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by asking volunteers to find and follow the progress of individual birds' nests. The two pictures below show the information recorded to date on the Skylark nest first found on Monday.

 Nest Record - Skylark

Nest Record - Skylark


To monitor some specially protected species, it's necessary to obtain a Schedule 1 permit in addition to registering as a nest recorder. As with all British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) surveys, the welfare of the birds comes first, and therefore all nest recorders follow the NRS Code of Conduct, a protocol designed to ensure that monitoring a nest does not influence its outcome. 

The data collected for NRS are used to produce trends in breeding performance, which helps to identify species that may be declining because of problems at the nesting stage. These trends are updated every year and published in the BirdTrends report. NRS data also allow measurement of the impacts of pressures such as climate change on bird productivity. 

Both Skylarks were still in the area of the nest, the male singing close by, the female not immediately obvious to us but we quickly looked into the nest and departed. 

Less than 75 yards away was another pair of Skylarks, a pair I’ve been aware of for a while. We watched the female taking nest lining material back to the nest where upon inspection we discovered a single egg, the beginning of nest laying and a reason to complete another nest record for the BTO. 

Nest Record - Skylark

Close by we found Lapwings with just one chick which we located for ringing. It is  one of the very few youngsters and nests to survive the intense farming activity of recent weeks. 

Lapwing chick

There was limited time for birding before heading our separate ways but in an hour so we managed to clock up 8+ singing Skylarks, 4+ “Greenland” Wheatears, 15 Linnet, 2 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Little Owl. 

Little Owl

Another Bird Blog will be back soon from somewhere warm and sunny. Don’t miss it.


eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, I am glad to hear that the nesting birds are protected.. Love the shots of the Skylark, Lapwing chick and the Little Owl. Happy Birding!

David Gascoigne said...

I have taken part in nest record programmes here. Very worthwhile activity.

TexWisGirl said...

adorable owl and lapwing chick. have a good break!

Linda said...

All are sweet and beautiful, Phil. Thank you so much for sharing, and enjoy your time.

Margaret Adamson said...

Love the LApwing chick and Owl. All the bestin the next few days.

David Gascoigne said...

A quicky you say! Sadly, I fear my quicky days are over!!
Have a great time in sunny Spain. Great weather here now - 22 degrees and warblers pouring in.

Stewart M said...

Citizen scientists at work!

Nice lapwing chick.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Wally Jones said...

Great report! I have fond memories of living in Europe and hearing the Skylarks and watching their impressive courtship flights.

I'm off early tomorrow to also search for nesting birds as part of Florida's five-year Breeding Bird Atlas. I wish us both good luck.

Take care and hurry back!

Charlie Bowman said...

Just seen (04/05 1230 pm) a Barn Owl hunting close to the road between Weeton and Mythop. Not a good sign to see one during broad daylight.

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