Monday, February 04, 2008

BTO Atlas

We are now into the 4th and final month of the first winter period of the Atlas. The weather has not always been particularly helpful, but the fieldwork effort has got off to a pretty good start.

Timed Tetrads

From records submitted on line so far, timed tetrad visits (TTVs) have been made in 73 out of 98 tetrads allocated since November. Twenty-five of these have received both early and late visits. The second visits have to be in either January or February, so there is still quite a lot to do! A minimum of one hour is all that is required per allocated tetrad, so please try to complete your second visits by the end of Feb. otherwise it will be too late!

Just to reiterate the protocols for TTVs. Both winter visits have to be done in the same winter season, so if you have not done the first visit yet, please leave this until next November and try to complete the two winter visits then. However, spring is not so far away, so you can do paired timed counts between April and July for the breeding season element - more about that a little nearer the time!


Roving Records
Thanks to everyone who has submitted on line roving records - whether directly to the Atlas web site or via Bird Track. The coverage has been pretty good so far, with records from 28 out of 29 ten km squares.
The only 10 km square that currently appears blank is SM62 (offshore islands - west side of Ramsey and Bishops and Clerks). Hopefully, Greg and Lisa Morgan have managed to get some coverage from Ramsey to help fill this gap.

However, don't assume that every dot means complete coverage of a tetrad or a 10 km square - it could be only a single species recorded there.
The Pembrokeshire Bird Group has signed an agreement with the BTO allowing us to have access to all the Pembrokeshire records for our own local atlas needs. Once we have this information, we'll be able to produce maps showing how many species have been recorded in each tetrad - so you'll be able to see where more coverage is needed next winter. Over the next 3 winters it will be great if we can add roving records from all tetrads - we are certainly well on the way to achieving this.

As the end of the winter approaches, it would useful to update the owl distribution maps. These are difficult species to find, but anybody hearing or seeing any of our owls could improve the distribution map. So please do look or listen out for them.

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