Thursday 16 February 2012

Recording Birds

I had a lovely birding walk in Musselburgh again today. There were loads of birds about and a lot of courting behaviour going on. The male goldeneyes must get a sore neck from throwing thenr heads back so much! Plus the redshanks were chasing each other like crazy, their little red legs glowing in the sun! In contrast, turnstones, normally a very active bird, usually seen dashing round the beach turning stones, were sitting in a tightly packed group of over 30. The Lagoons were full of two beautiful species of duck - wigeon and teal (and one of the female teal even lifted her wing so I could see the flash of green she keeps hidden underneath there!) . Then on the way back I was delighted to see three snow buntings, I guess they won't be around much longer this year! Lots of other birds too.

As I always do, I made a list of all the birds I saw (26 species in all, bringing my year list up to 69 species!) When I got home I emailed the snow bunting sighting to Birding Lothian (who are interested in sightings of unusual birds in the Lothians). I then filled in my spreadsheet for the Lothian Wildlife Information Centre (who are interested in all wildlife records in the Lothians) and put my records online at Birdtrack (which collates records of birds all across the UK)! It sounds like a lot of work but it doesn't really take long and it offers invaluable information about the state of wildlife in the country.

So if you're in the UK and a keen birdwatcher it's well worth joining Birdtrack and finding out about your local Wildlife Information Centre (or Biological Record Centre as many of them are called) and doing your bit for wildlife recording!


Howard of Belvedere Mountain Express said...

Sounds like a lovely morning out. Debbie Grant took some great photos of the snow buntings there last week, incidentally.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It was Howard, thanks. Oh those are good photos from Debbie!

WildBill said...

That's a great way of collecting data. In this cyber age much of our wildlife info comes from amateur birdwatchers, volunteer scientists, and interested citizens. Citizen science engages people and helps them to care about out ecological world. A win/win situation!

Lori Lipsky said...

I am neither in the UK, nor an avid bird-watcher, but still I enjoy hearing about your discoveries as you walk. Thanks for sharing.

RG said...

I'm like Lori - always fun and interesting to hear of what's happening with birds elsewhere.

It is really great that so much citizen input to science is now available.

I hope in the near future that the various "official" agencies and citizen bodies do much better at tapping, training, certifying and utilizing citizens. Now, a lot of what we citizens here do to advance the science is viewed as amateur work, most of which needs to be redone by professionals to be valid. It is very ironic, because most of us are/were scientists in our "professional" careers and lives!

Ms Sparrow said...

Wow! Twenty six different birds on one walk is really impressive.