Friday, 31 October 2008

October Roundup

I only managed to get into Hilly Fields four times this month, but on those visits I did count at least 97 birds of 9 species, including today's Kestral.

On my way home today I walked across Hilly Fields. I was halfway up the meadow when a small flock of birds, mostly Magpies but two were larger and brown, landed in a tree beside Prendergast School. Moments later a solitary Kestral flew from the tree to soar and hover over the meadow. Was that really two Kestrels I saw? I stayed a few minutes but without my binoculars I couldn't see the other large bird in the tree.

The nine species this month were:

Species (no. of visits) max. count

Blue Tit (2) 2,
Carrion Crow (4) 5,
Feral Pigeon (1) 1,
House Sparrow (4) 12,
Kestrel (1) 1,
Magpie (2) 3,
Ring-necked Parakeet (1) 1,
Robin (1) 1,
Woodpigeon (3) 26

Sunday, 19 October 2008

BirdTrack and Hilly Fields Park

Great news! The Bird Track Organisation has accepted Hilly Fields Park as one of its recognised bird sites. So now you can register with BTO and declare Hilly Fields Park as your recording site. Just follow these easy steps:-

1/ To register with BirdTrack, click
here and complete the BirdTrack Registration Form

Registered users logon to BirdTrack here , then go to Data Home and click Submit Species List to report a bird count.

2/ To declare Hilly Fields Park as one of your recording sites, from Data Home click Create New Site then, on the Site Registration screen under Option B, select London Nat Hist Soc.

Another screen will pop up where you should double-click Hilly Fields Park --> TQ3775 and then the Go button which will have appeared on the Registration screen.

That’s all there is to it. Almost everything else on the BTO site is intuitive. Have a good look around it.

I asked BTO if they had a facility to permit a group to view each others records of a site, which we would like to do. Mark Grantham of BTO replied:

“…there isn't a facility to do this at the moment, but we are working on something along these lines. This will work through the 'Species by Location' feature we have developed. By entering a specific grid reference you can see a species list for the site, but only by month or year at the moment. We hope to expand this so people can see individual lists soon though, which should suit your needs.”

To try this, go to Species by grid on the Data Home page. Either navigate to Hilly Fields Park via the drop-down menu at bottom left, or enter grid reference TQ3775 at bottom right, then select no buffer and a time period and you’ll get the list of species around the park.

Interestingly, someone reported a Redwing in 2006!