Lockdown Birding

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28th May 2020


Though I am in the at risk age category, I enjoy my freedom and travel, so the lockdown period has been a bit of a trial, especially when birding is mainly a solo activity. For us, it started on March 13 as we had to make a hasty retreat from visiting family in Barcelona and self isolated. On our local walks around Broadford I started to do complete bird lists on Birdtrack and these have provided a bit of a focus. We have had a regular walk at Camas na Sgianadin and on 10 visits recorded 46 species with an average of 21 different species per visit. Herring Gull and Oystercatcher were recorded on every visit, and Common Crossbill on 60% of visits. I also made solo visits between Ashaig and Lusa, a patch which was larger but also more diverse. This patch has been visited 16 times and a total of 73 species recorded, with on average 31 species per visit. Meadow Pipit and Ringed Plover were recorded on every visit and a total of 17 species were recorded only once. These walks will continue for some time yet and breeding evidence recorded as much as possible. If there is any benefit of lockdown it is that local monitoring has been enhanced and has contributed to national datasets via Birdtrack.