Monday, 11 April 2016

April 11th Mousehold Heath

Survey time at Mousehold Heath
I was at Mousehold Heath with Will the warden to do the first bird survey of the year today. We haven't done any until now as Will has been busy and the weather hasn't been kind enough during previously planned dates. So it is finally time to test my hearing once again to listen out for birds singing as they claim their territories. Will has his pencil and map at the ready as he jots down the initials of each bird species to reference where each territory is roughly located. Each song, call, sighting and notable behaviour is needed to work out which species are nesting on Mousehold as well as other information.

Today, we are only doing one half of the site which is split in two by a busy road. We went around the half that borders a golf course, then up to St James' Hill before finishing up back at the car park. It is a nice sunny afternoon and the birds were singing well. Though we recorded many wrens, robins, blackbirds, blue, great and coal tits, chaffinches, a few treecreepers, dunnocks and the odd greenfinch and song thrush, the volume of bird sound has not quite intensified yet. There aren't as many chiffchaffs, willow warblers and blackcaps at the moment either as we recorded about a handful of each at Mousehold today. We also saw a few jays this afternoon, too.

Blackbird having a bath
The paths were muddy in places around the site, but it didn't stop this blackbird to have a bath in the puddles. Butterflies were making the most of the sunny weather as we saw several small tortoises and a peacock fluttering around St James' Hill and we also saw our first white butterfly (possibly a small white) of the year today as well. It wasn't a bad survey to start with, let's hope the rest of the survey season is also as successful.

View of Norwich from St James' Hill
Small Tortoiseshell
 London Plane leaves

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