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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Atlas listing (1 Viewer)

Hi Stephen

Good to hear you've started your TTVs. We had a cold wind blowing across East Anglia over the weekend so I'm waiting a week or so to do mine. Managed to pick up some good Roving Records and breeding evidence through.
Dawn
 
Did a couple of rural tetrads yesterday, very pleasant. Few summer migrants yet - just one Swallow, one Blackcap and ten Chiffchaffs. One Goldcrest singing, good to hear after the winter we've had.

Oh, and one Cirl Bunting.
 
I did a heavily wooded local tetrad yesterday. My best sighting was a muntjack deer - first I've ever seen in the wild! There were lots of blackcaps and chiffchaffs but no other summer visitors. I was pleased to see grey wags nest-building. 30 species in all.
Ken
 
Use of M - Migrant breeding code

On Thursday in NZ29E, I came across a flock of 200 Golden Plover feeding and resting in a ploughed field in lowland Northumberland. I'm tempted to give them a code of M - Migrant as they are probably migrating from their wintering sites on the coast up to their breeding grounds in the hills, as my validator does not seem to like records without breeding codes at this time of year.

However, birds doing internal movements like this are not usually referred to as "migrants". I've emailed my RO for advice, but in the meantime, what do other atlasers think?

Best wishes
 
Did my Sussex farmland and woodland TTV early this morning. I did wonder, what with the northerly wind whether it was a good idea or not but it was bright and sunny so I did it. Lots of woodland in this tetrad so was pleased to get singing treecreeper and nuthatch and pleasantly surprised to find a small flock of yellowhammers, (18 altogether in the 2 hours). The golfcourse pond turned up a little grebe. Singing whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap were noted but unfortunately no hirundines, 34 species altogether.
 
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I had a similar quandry with a pair of gadwall in Surrey. They seemed to be doing some sort of display with the male arching his head back. But I just don't think that they are likely to breed. I entered them as 'D' but I'm going to change them to M.
Ken
 
No38b

I did my first breeding TTV of the year today - NO38B (Map). This is a remote tetrad in Glen Muick in Aberdeenshire, at the end of an 8 mile single track road. Due to the snow I hadn't managed to do my winter visits to this tetrad, so it was good to finally reach it today. The weather wasn't that great today either, only 3 Celsius when I parked the car and light drizzle turning to snow above 600m, but still some decent birds.

Driving up Glen Muick, I passed a lek with 9 Blackcock and 2 Greyhens still strutting about at 10am and then walking up the Allt Darrarie from the Spittal of Glen Muick, I flushed a Ring Ouzel and two Wheatears from the side of the path before I even got to my tetrad. The first part of the 1 hour TTV was a clamber up steep boulder and heather slopes, with a couple of Meadow Pipits and another Ring Ouzel here. Once I got onto the peaty plateau at the top I flushed the first of 11 Red Grouse and started seeing and hearing more Meadow Pipits (the count for the hour was 34).

It was fairly hard going through the heather and I decided against going to the highest point of the tetrad as I wanted to reach a small forestry plantation lower down the other side of the hill before the hour was up. Descending towards Loch Muick, I heard a Snipe 'chipper-chipper-ing' from a wet flush on the slopes to my right and later heard another drumming.

Approaching the trees, I encountered more Black Grouse - three Greyhens flushed from the tree tops, followed by nine Blackcocks, which landed on the ground next to the plantation and started displaying, oblivious to walkers on the path below. The trees also held a small number of Willow Warblers, Chaffinches and a Mistle Thrush. A Buzzard, pursued by a Carrion Crow briefly appeared above the ridge behind me and the last bird of the hour was a Curlew, displaying close to the loch.

Returning to the car park, I passed no less than 25 Blackcocks loafing on the grassy flats at the bottom of the glen, bringing my Black Grouse total for the day up to an impressive 48.
 

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I did my first breeding TTV of the year today - NO38B (Map).

Returning to the car park, I passed no less than 25 Blackcocks loafing on the grassy flats at the bottom of the glen, bringing my Black Grouse total for the day up to an impressive 48.

Pretty good Paul!

I was working in the Borders 2 weeks ago and took a B road down. I managed 5 greyhens in a roadside bush with a blackcock furiously lekking below. The greyhens flew in to a field and 3 males immediately appeared to scrap over the girls-great stuff . Further down the road 5 blackcocks were feeding 10 metres up on poplar buds and I totalled 35 birds over a 5 mile stretch. All good roving records. On the way down in an area where I have seen 5 cocks maximum a keeper stopped and spoke to me and said that when he had had to feed his grouse/red legs in February during the hard weather he had 38 black grouse feeding amongst his birds!!!
 
Put a good few miles in today on a BBS visit as well as two TTVs. Some nice birds including Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows on the mosses and migrants including Wheatear, Whimbrel and a late Shoveler. Striking as well that there were Buzzards on all three when ten years ago there would have been none.
 
Hello all. Have been Atlas TTVing for some time now. Have done in the 30's of them so had better start contributing to this thread.
The squares in question are SD88 and 89 in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. The area possibly lacks the variety and species diversity of some of the more southerly ones, but can sometimes make up for this with some cracking upland species.
Yesterday's tetrad was a mixture of sheep pasture, a small village and a shooting estate comprising heather moorland and conifer forestry.
As the count began, a female Sparrowhawk caused havoc amongst other birds hunting through a small patch of deciduous woodland. Small passerines included Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Starling nests with young, the 3 common thrush sp. and an excellent singing Tree Pipit. A drumming Great Spotted woodpecker rounded this area off nicely.
Heading uphill onto the sheep pasture, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Curlew, Buzzard and Lesser Black-backed Gull were added.
A lone cock Red Grouse, Lapwing and Golden Plover were on the heather moors.
Dropping down into the conifer woodland, singing Greenfinch, Robin, Chaffinch, Coal Tit and Siskin were fairly numerous, but Goldcrest were noticeable in their absence. Pheasants were everywhere.
The village area and beck had Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher and Snipe bring the total sp. of breeding waders to a good count of 6.
42 species in total.
 
Hi all

Is there any general advice for an urban Tetrad? One of my tetrads (recently allocated) is SJ97B which is in the middle of Macclesfield. Obviously i can't go trapsing through people's gardens, and walking the streets with a pair of bins is right out the question. Please help!

Alex
 
Hi all

Is there any general advice for an urban Tetrad? One of my tetrads (recently allocated) is SJ97B which is in the middle of Macclesfield. Obviously i can't go trapsing through people's gardens, and walking the streets with a pair of bins is right out the question. Please help!

Alex


I think you will have to do that, I survey a BBS square that is suburban and that's what I do but it's generally early in the morning and they're not many people about.

My Atlas tetrad squares have all been rural and not knowing Macclesfield at all I'm probably not the best person to respond to this but I would say select your area to survey based on habitat that is likely to have birds. Are there public parks or gardens, open spaces, water bodies or churchyards? I find churchyards are often very good for birds.
 
I don't think walking the streets with binoculars is out of the question, but if you aren't comfortable with that and the tetrad is very urban perhaps you need to consider giving it up. Having said that in densely urban tetrads most birds can be identified without binoculars, especially if you know the calls.

I have done tetrads in the heart of Blackpool and carried bins around.

Today by contrast I was on Longridge Fell, where it was pleasing to see a couple of pairs of Stonechats had survived the hard winter.
 
I'd suggest early morning and perhaps going with a friend, even a non-birding friend, who has binoculars as well. You wont look so suspicious! And you will feel more comfortable.
 
Pied/white wagtail

There is a possibility of confusion with this species if you click on the new "My Local Gaps" option. The system tells me that for hectad NZ26, the highest breeding status for Pied/White Wagtail is "H - Seen in suitable nesting habitat".

When I click on "Any square summary" and select NZ26, it confirms that the highest breeding status for Pied/White Wagtail is "H - Seen in suitable nesting habitat" but that the highest breeding status for Pied Wagtail (yarrellii) is "FL - Recently fledged/downy".

I think that the moral is to check the "Any square summary" before spending time trying to improve the breeding status of Pied Wagtails. I don't know if this applies to any other species/subspecies pairs, but I've emailed the Atlas Organiser, so I'll post her reply here if Dawn does not reply here directly.

Best wishes

Mike
 
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