Spent the morning walking around the Kestrel Fields (under threat from developers – see other pages on this site) as part of the birding part of a biodiversity census … trying to catalogue what lives there in the vain hope that such information will persuade the city to refuse planning permits. You have to try.
There are a known 157 bird species in there or passing through each year. Some vulnerable species amongst the, plants and insects and the like are being checked out by specialists in those fields and then the report has to be written up – I get to do the first draft once the data is in.
Anyway … it’s hard walking and I was mostly by myself so I walked farther than I anticipated (14,500 steps according to my iPhone which counts such things). Juvenile Bald Eagle, Bobolinks, assorted Sparrows and Warblers, a Ruffed Grouse that I almost stepped on twice as an hour after I had spooked it the first time I returned, inadvertently, to the same spot and up he went once more. The ground is very tussocky, the grasses long, the buckthorn prickly and the ground, in parts, surprisingly marshy. There’s a map on the right showing the trail followed, starting and finishing at the top and going more or less clockwise.
Oh, lots of butterflies too. A good morning (and I am knackered now, but in a good cause).
So, I took a few photographs (click thumbnails to see in their full glory). Not too many birds though as they mostly stayed out of sight and sang at me from the shadows.