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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Friday 14th April 2006
Staplefield BBS

We had decided that today would be the day when we carried out our first breeding bird survey for the BTO. We started at 8.30am and finished 10.00am and were back at home before it started raining. It went really well and we ticked off quite a few species. Not all of them were sighted, but hearing them was good enough. In fact, identification of the birds by song alone is a large part of the survey.
Here's our list:
Robin, Chiffchaff, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Magpie, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Jay, Nuthatch, Wren, Goldcrest, Pheasant, Green Woodpecker, Mallard, Coot, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Mandarin Duck, Song Thrush, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
We notched up 25 species with large numbers of most of them. The area is very rural with fields and hedgerows covering most of it and has numerous ponds and lakes in the area. We have to survey the area again in May, and the survey is carried out yearly. 

There were lots of clues to the time of year all around us today. Plants were coming into flower, buds and catkins were bursting out all over and the Swallows were flying over the lake catching insects. It will soon be summer now. All we're waiting for now is the sound of Swifts.

Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)

Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Primula (Primula vulgaris)

Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

I'm pretty sure this is an Osier (Salix viminalis). A name that may not be familiar to you, but it is in fact a very common small tree. It is commonly coppiced and the withies used in basket weaving.

Most of the habitats were along a small rural road with old hedgerows on either side. Behind the hedgerows and banks were fields and farms.

The Baron of Staplefield (or Lord Snooty as we call him) was not willing to help us by allowing access to his land. In fact, the locals say he has done nothing towards the community whatsoever. What a surprise!