Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Surveying and monitoring

Well, the first week of the year has now passed and we've already got a pretty good bird list for the year, with 25 species having been recorded so far.

This year both me and Janie plan on doing a whole lot of surveying and monitoring of the species present on the reserve. Not just birds, but plants, mammals, insects, trees, etc. The idea is to build up a complete picture of what can be found on the reserve.

The Species list link to the right will hopefully contain a complete listing for everyone to see as it gets completed. Please do bear in mind that we are not experts and that this is a learning experience for us both, so some things will be missed. We will definitely do the best that we can, though.

With regard to the bird list, i plan on doing things slightly differently from how i have recorded them previously. I plan on working in a similar vein to the BTO's Bird Atlas scheme. Basically, birds will be recorded if they are seen or heard on the reserve. Unlike previous years, i will be excluding birds flying overhead from the list. I basically want to create a picture of what is actually using the reserve, not just those that can be seen from it. The 'flying' exceptions will be birds in flight which are clearly using the reserve, such as birds of prey hunting and swifts, swallows and the like.

The list does include a section on mammals, and it should be noted that in most cases the date of first sighting will not be the date the actual mammal was sighted, but rather field signs confirming their presence. Most mammals, particularly the small mice and voles are very secretive and you're not very likely to see them, so we must record confirmation of their presence rather than definite sightings.

Janie will be concentrating predominantly on the plant and tree species on the reserve, whilst i concentrate on birds and mammals. Insects, butterflies, dragonflies, etc will probably be done as a joint effort.

I have also added a calendar on the menu on the right. As with the species list, a google account is needed. I'll be updating it with every time we have a group coming on reserve for a tour, any eents on the reserve or any planned work. It'll give people a chance to either turn up or avoid the reserve on these busier days

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