This morning I got up at 5.30 to be at Peterley Wood, Prestwood in Bucks to start my survey at 6.30. I do this survey for the British Trust for Ornithology, walking two, one-kilometre routes across a grid square twice a year and recording all the birds I see and hear. I have to note how far away the birds are too.
It’s not easy! Standing in the wood at 6.30 I can hear a yammering of birdsong near and far, echoing so you can’t judge the distance, and merging so it’s impossible to identify them all. My motto is when in doubt leave out, so I’m afraid much goes unrecorded – but I hope it’s better than no one doing the square.
It’s a lovely, varied patch, I start in the beechwood and then pass large gardens to the street through Prestwood, past the pub and out into large fields and parkland. My route back is through another wood, across a bit of park, past the church, then more woods.
This is my fifth year of the survey, and I although I haven’t come across any rarities it’s good to know that there are plenty of robins, blackbirds, wrens and tits around. This morning I saw treecreepers and a yellowhammer, and heard a cuckoo too.