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How Well Do You Know Your Area?

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Old Sunday 28th December 2003, 17:18   #1
Dipper
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How Well Do You Know Your Area?

Hi Folks

Here is a little mapping exercise for you to try out, preferably with a 1:50,000 topographic map.

With your home at the centre select an area up to 20kmx20km, that's 400sq kms. Not as big an area as one may think! Those of you near large bodies of water will have to improvise. Next count off those kilometre squares that have public access, e.g. roads, public footpaths etc then count off which of those squares you have visited either by foot, bike, car etc and work out the %. This isn't a competition just a way to motivate you all to see more of your local area.

Could 2004 be the year you decide to visit more of those squares? You might be surprised at what you find.

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Old Sunday 28th December 2003, 18:00   #2
Michael Frankis
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I'd call 20 x 20 km getting distinctly 'un-local' at the edges!

Have been birding though in all of the 1-km squares of NZ26 that are in Northumberland (not counting the ones south of the river in Durham, that's foreign territory!) as I did this square for the Northumbs Breeding and Wintering Atlasses, and also several in NZ27, NZ36, NZ37 too, but not all.

Michael
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Old Sunday 28th December 2003, 20:24   #3
StevieEvans
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Hi

Personally i would class a 10km 'square' as being a local area. (but it still takes some covering!)

Its all too easy to jump in the car & head for a reserve or a 'site', but some of my most memorable days birding are local walks.
On more than one occassion, on a 'long' (25 - 28 mile) day, my dogs laid down & refused to go any further! Had to phone for a lift to get back home!

My main square for our County Breeding Atlas was/is NZ 24, where i was fortunate enough (at that time) to have 24/7 birding & carried out " a disproportionately large amount of survey effort".
Theres No reserves or places with bird hides there, just 'habitats'
Some patch highlights were 2 sites with 5 owl species.
My 1st ever Bittern & Red Kite
5 breeding pairs of Longearowls
Passage records of Nightjar, Corncrake, Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey& Hobby etc
Many Grasshopper & Lesser Whitethroat sites.
A Red Grouse (8miles from the nearest breeding site- as the crow flies)
A range of breeding species from Kingfisher & Dipper, Redstart & Tree pipit through to Corn Bunting, Reed Warbler, Water Rail & Heron.

IMO. you dont need an RSPB reserve if you own a pair of Legs....

Ste.
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Old Sunday 28th December 2003, 21:54   #4
jpoyner
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Won't be doing it this week! Most of it is over 3000 feet and currently under a few feet of snow. Temp about -15 and 80mph wind forecast for Wednesday.

JP
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Old Monday 29th December 2003, 10:08   #5
Dipper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steviewol
Hi

Personally i would class a 10km 'square' as being a local area. (but it still takes some covering!)


IMO. you dont need an RSPB reserve if you own a pair of Legs....

Ste.

I certainly agree about using your legs. Most of my birding nowadays is done from home on foot. Not quite as long as your walks, 20 miles is my limit. Most is done in one area to the west. But the south gets walked occasionally. The east and north gets ignored for years at a time, even though they have good potential.

So many reserves in my area are over run with dog walkers, tourists and off roaders. Not really a pleasant experience, whereas pounding the local public footpaths every Sunday is quite peaceful. Many walkers have not returned to the area since foot and mouth closures. As for other birders, rare as hen's teeth.

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Old Monday 29th December 2003, 10:12   #6
Dipper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoyner
Won't be doing it this week! Most of it is over 3000 feet and currently under a few feet of snow. Temp about -15 and 80mph wind forecast for Wednesday.

JP
Ever tried cross-country skiing? I lived in central Finland for a few years, Arctic winters. Several of us birders would go out on skis, birding, looking for Willow Grouse etc. A great way to keep active even in the worst conditions.
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