Wales Chat Survey

Stonechat by markkilner, on Flickr
Stonechat by markkilner, on Flickr

Plans are under way for a Wales-wide survey of three species of chat in 2012, the resident Stonechat and the migrant Whinchat and Wheatear.  Results from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) show that Stonechat numbers fell sharply after the last two cold winters, while Whinchat and Wheatear have shown declines in both range and numbers.  Wales is a traditional stronghold for these species.

Welsh birdwatchers have noticed that our Whinchat population has disappeared from much of its traditional range, and that Wheatear is no longer a common breeding bird.

East Glamorgan is home to all three species, and many of us are witness to their changing fortunes in our uplands in particular.  We hope many of you will take part in this forthcoming survey, the first for BTO Wales.

The Chats in Wales survey will launch in the spring of 2012.

More details to follow.

Tracking Winter Thrushes

Redwings have already been seen in East Glamorgan this autumn, and it won’t be long before the familiar seep-seep call of migrating parties are heard overhead during our darkening nights.  Fieldfares will soon be here too, raiding our hawthorn and berry bushes.

In 2012-13, BTO will be running a Winter Thrush Survey.

Redwing by oldbilluk, on Flickr
Redwing by oldbilluk, on Flickr

This winter, we want to encourage volunteers to help us prepare for the 2012-13 survey by recording in BirdTrack as much information as possible about the Redwings and Fieldfares you see.   For example, you can record a count, activity and note about habitat.

For over-flying birds (arriving migrants or birds moving about within the country, rather than birds making local movements to or from feeding areas) the direction of flight can be recorded too.  A measure of effort will also be very valuable so observers are asked to include a start and end time for any species lists submitted.

Further information and help on what to record here is available.

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