Monday, 28 February 2011

Winter atlas: one race ends, another one begins

So here we are at the end of 4 years hard work winter atlasing and I thought it would be good to look at where we are on the last evening. As you can see by comparing this map to the one in the 21 Jan post below we've continued to add species over the last few weeks and all but a few squares have had well over 80 species recorded. In addition well over 99% of ttvs have been completed and data submitted; with a few stragglers still to come, our density maps will look pretty good when the atlas is published.
There is still alot of work to do flushing out more records and validating the ones we already have so the totals are bound to change but this is probably not far away from the final out turn.
This map represents thousands of hours of birding effort from well over 600 birders in Lincs and a very big thank you to everyone who has participated.
We now have a months rest and then we'll be into the final summer of breeding bird atlasing where the focus will be on confirming breeding records for as many species as possible. In fact if you are keen now is a good time to locate species like Tawny Owl and Long eared Owl which should be vocal at the moment. The latter seems to have declined substantially as a breeding species in Lincs but how many of us have been out listening for them? Not me so far I have to confess, but I'll be making a special effort during March.
Its also a good time to check out Rook nesting activity which is proceeding apace at the moment and can be easily seen before trees come into leaf. There are a few squares where Rooks are not yet confirmed. The 2 in East Lincs are Mablethorpe TF58 and Gib Pt TF55. I had the pleasure of seeing 2 pairs of Rooks nest building this morning in a new location in TF58 so I'll be keeping a close eye on them looking out for signs to confirm breeding.
Why not check out the atlas website to find out what species need confirming in squares where you live/have a patch or regularly bird. Click on the "Any Square Summary" Option, enter your square number and select breeding from the drop down menu and look for the species without the greenspot (confirmed breeding) next to their name. You may already have evidence that could confirm breeding, if not you may be the best person to get it so start planning how now!

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