Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BTO Atlas

Everyone should be aware by now of the new BTO wintering and breeding bird atlas. It has had plenty of coverage on the TV and radio, and in magazines etc. We do need people to contribute their records, either through birdtrack, or the garden birdwatch, or directly to the Atlas itself.

In addition to general birdwatching records, there are "Timed Tetrad Visits" which are designed to give an idea of the relative abundance of common species across the country. You are not expected to see every species or every bird during your hour or two in the tetrad, but to simply count what you do see.

In Pembrokeshire we need to survey about 140 squares in this way, and to date have signed up volunteers for 52 of them. You can sign up for a tetrad now, or preferably four tetrads to be done over the four years.

Full details are on the BTO website

We've been looking at other counties, and Pembrokeshire is way behind in terms of the proportion of tetrads signed up and the number that have already had their first visits. Also, coverage by casual records seems relatively low, so please help us catch up at least by putting your records into birdtrack.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

WeBS October

Help needed: a volunteer needed to count the Cleddau section between Little Milford and Haverfordwest - just this month while Trevor is on holiday.

New counters needed: Dowrog Pools (St David's), Trefloyne Pools (Tenby).

Please email me

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BTO Atlas - breeding and wintering bird survey.

The new BTO atlas season kicks off in November this year, and all records are welcome. If you usually put your records into Birdtrack, they will count for the new atlases.

But in addition to general records, the BTO would like some systematic counts done so that they can get an estimate of the density of birds in different parts of the country. These systematic counts involve a commitment to visit a particular tetrad (or more than one) twice during the winter, and twice during the summer. The following season you can do different tetrads. The idea is to make counts of the species that you see in a one hour or a two-hour period. You are not expected to find all the species in the tetrad, just to count the ones you do find when visiting as much of the square as practical.

You can sign-up to a tetrad on-line - those of you who take part in WeBS, the garden bird survey or Birdtrack will have noticed an extra option on the BTO survey log-in page. You can also sign up directly at and then choose a tetrad or two - a request then comes to me and if no-one else has already taken that tetrad, I'll allocate it to you. I should receive the recording forms soon, and send them out to you. I'll also be giving a talk to the North Pembs group in November, and Bob and I will be promoting the atlas at the Bird conference.

We haven't had any systematic atlasing in the winter in Pembrokeshire since the last BTO winter atlas (1980s) so I hope you'll all take part.

Wetland Bird Survey

The 2007-08 season starts on September 16th, and I'll be sending out the recording forms soon. From this season, you can enter your results directly on-line.

Help needed for September - Jane Hodges has damaged her knee and won't be able to do the September counts, so if there are any volunteers for Sandy Haven or Bicton Reservoirs, please contact me and I'll send details of the sites. Jane hopes to be back doing surveys the following month.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The survey work for the Breeding Birds Atlas is now in its final year and we should have at least some coverage of all the tetrads in the county by the end of this season. The map above shows where coverage is still needed. We really ought to be able to turn most of the county yellow - more than 40 species per tetrad. So if anyone would like to help, let us know which area you are interested in, and I will send a map showing which tetrads have less than 30 species, so that you can concentrate your effort where it is needed most.

Meanwhile, you should be able to find signs of some species breeding at this time of year - ravens, crossbills, raptors - the nests of these birds are often more visible when there are no leaves on the trees. Look for Goshawks and others displaying over suitable habitat.During the spring and summer we are particularly keen for records of Green Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Yellowhammers, Skylarks.

If it's easier for casual records, just read off the 1km grid reference from the map which we can turn into the correct tetrad.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Breeding Bird Survey 2007

I'll be sending out survey forms in a couple of weeks time. If anybody would like to volunteer to do a survey, please look at the map for any open points in an area you would like. The filled points are already taken. Then contact me at

The survey only takes three mornings during the spring and summer, and the results can be entered on-line or on paper forms.
More information can be found at the BTO website -

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

WeBS counts totals for January 2007 -
all Pembrokeshire sites

Red-throated Diver 8
Great Northern Diver 7
Little Grebe 63
Great Crested Grebe 35
Cormorant 68
Shag 2
Little Egret 49
Grey Heron 13
Mute Swan 136
Whooper Swan 2
Canada Goose 598
Dark-bellied Brent Goose 1
Light-bellied Brent Goose 5
Shelduck 406
Wigeon 1601
Gadwall 16
Teal 1337
Mallard 567
Shoveler 51
Pochard 2
Tufted Duck 21
Scaup 1
Goldeneye 32
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Goosander 14
Water Rail 4
Moorhen 102
Coot 288
Oystercatcher 560
Ringed Plover 34
Golden Plover 300
Grey Plover 17
Lapwing 3116
Purple Sandpiper 3
Dunlin 1096
Jack Snipe 2
Snipe 291
Woodcock 2
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 10
Curlew 1011
Spotted Redshank 1
Redshank 675
Greenshank 8
Common Sandpiper 1
Turnstone 84
Kingfisher 2
Mediterranean Gull 6
Black-headed Gull 4556
Common Gull 72
Lesser Black-backed Gull 62
Herring Gull 1161
Great Black-backed Gull 57
Kittiwake 1
Snow Goose 2
Iceland Gull 1
Razorbill 2
Bonxie 1

Monday, January 08, 2007

WeBS counts totals for December 2006 all Pembrokeshire sites

Red-throated Diver 3
Great Northern Diver 4
Little Grebe 83
Great Crested Grebe 30
Cormorant 52
Shag 2
Little Egret 59
Grey Heron 23
Mute Swan 171
Canada Goose 916
Light-bellied Brent Goose 4
Shelduck 440
Wigeon 2835
Gadwall 14
Teal 1178
Mallard 624
Shoveler 34
Pochard 3
Tufted Duck 22
Common Scoter 43
Goldeneye 24
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Goosander 11
Water Rail 11
Moorhen 117
Coot 289
Oystercatcher 560
Ringed Plover 44
Golden Plover 200
Grey Plover 25
Lapwing 1799
Purple Sandpiper 2
Dunlin 2172
Jack Snipe 5
Snipe 235
Black-tailed Godwit 10
Bar-tailed Godwit 11
Curlew 974
Spotted Redshank 5
Redshank 512
Greenshank 16
Green Sandpiper 1
Turnstone 71
Kingfisher 4
Mediterranean Gull 4
Black-headed Gull 1996
Common Gull 62
Lesser Black-backed Gull 130
Herring Gull 417
Great Black-backed Gull 29
Feral/hybrid goose 1
Feral/hybrid mallard type 23
Snow Goose 2
Iceland Gull 1
Buzzard 5Merlin 1
Peregrine 3

Total 16311