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Friday, January 01, 2010

Winter Tetrad

I described in April 2008 a nationwide bird survey organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), in which I am participating. The Birds Atlas Project establishes the distribution of birds throughout the British Isles by means of two-hour counts in mapping Tetrads, namely 2 km squares in the ordnance survey grid. Four 2-hour counts in each tetrad are required, two in winter and two in summer.

The 1st January marks the beginning of the second winter survey period, and so it was with birding friend Pam that I set off early on the first morning of the new decade to survey one of my tetrads. Despite the wintry conditions we managed to locate 25 bird species in the tetrad (SD28T).

Daybreak on the first day of a new decade (1st January 2010) over ice-bound Cumbria fells

The sheep look surprised - what could have alerted them?

Oh, it's just Pam negotiating a style over one of the stone walls

Despite the wintry conditions we recorded a very respectable 25 bird species in the tetrad

The 22 tetrads (2 x 2km squares) in Cumbria which have been assigned to me for survey. Each square needs four ticks, each representing a two-hour timed count, two in winter and two in summer. The map above shows the 30 ticks (34% of the 88 total) that had been accomplished in April 2008.

January 2010, showing 75 surveys completed (85%)
The remaning 13 are due to be completed by the summer of this year

A Happy New Year to all my readers!

14 Comments:

Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

It all looks so beautiful out there. If I was in Europe I would love to come along on such an expedition. I mean, I don't know any of the birds..... but I guess I can carry the thermos!!!

6:21 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

And you can carry his rucksack, his binooculars, his sandwiches, his hip flask, his telescope and his camera. You can carry his jacket when he gets too hot and a spare woolly for when he gets too cold.
I know all about carrying things for Maalie. He's made me do it since I was little.
Only 25 birds. There's more than that hanging around my bird feeders!

10:19 am  
Blogger Metamatician said...

Happy New Year Jim and all the best for your birdwatching endeavors and other trials of life in 2010.

I'm making a dedication to follow your blog more closely this year. It's so interesting and well-written, I owe it to myself.

Cheers!
Justin/Meta

10:22 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Ahhhh but lorenzo...... you are his sister..... my carrying would be strictly limited to the thermos.... which I would try ever so hard not to drop!!

11:36 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

Kiwi, in this weather you would be designated to pull the sledge!

Lorenzo: 25 species, not individual birds!

Metamatician: Thank you, you are most kind!

11:54 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Me pulling the sledge? Not a chance.... that's what I would be bringing the huskies along for....

12:00 pm  
Blogger Shrinky said...

Hahaha, go on Lorenzo, tell it as it really is! No wonder those sheep look surprised, it's so cold, their bums have turned blue - but I do love the rugged majesty of the Cumbrian countryside, it's probably one of the prettiest regions in the whole of the UK, isn't it?

Good luck with the tracking, hope you remember to pack a second good flask of something other than just coffee to keep your pipes thawed. Happy new year my friend, hope it proves a good one!

12:38 pm  
Blogger simon said...

IS that similar to what we did on one of the islands off Shetland? where you walk in a particular grid fashion?

Always learning something mate. Thanks

10:55 pm  
Blogger Halfmom said...

Happy New Year to you as well, Maalie! I hope it will be you're best ever! I've just returned from a 2400 mile driving trip to see my family including my daughter and her new husband of 9 months! I think I stil have a bit of paint in my hair from helping to get their new apartment in shape for move in!!

Word Verification is funny - it's "scarce"

12:31 am  
Blogger Jenny Holden said...

Very good work Jim! I'm going to have to have a trip back to Cumbria because I took on a couple of tetrads before learning that I was moving to Cumbria. 25 spp isn't bad for an icy day... where's the list?
I'm another who knows about carrying briding gear with Maali :o)

9:36 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

Shrinky, yes certainly very beautiful, but so is Tailesscatland :-)

Simon, yes, similar kind of survey.

Halfmom: They say alcohol is good for removing paint, but what a waste ;-)

Jenny, why do you think we take on trainees?

2:07 pm  
Anonymous Ted M. Gossard said...

Nice! And Happy New Year to you as well, Maalie!!

8:45 am  
Blogger Susan said...

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6:34 am  
Blogger Jamie Spencer said...

His Majesty the Maalie King records his birding, fishing and travel exploits
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10:42 am  

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