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 http://www.bto.org/birdatlas/index.htm 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.