BTO House Martin Appeal

House Martins are thought to have declined by 16% in the UK in the last ten years. Worryingly in England there have been declines of 65% longer term which has led to the House Martin being amber listed as a species of conservation concern.

House Martin (RSPB Images)
House Martin (RSPB Images)

BTO’s Goal

We want to stop House Martins from slipping on to the red list for Birds of Conservation Concern, reserved for species which have seen declines of more than 50% over a 25 year period. But to do this we need to learn more about them here in the UK.

House Martin Survey

We hope to run a new, specially designed survey, comprising of two parts to gather vital information to help us understand more;

  • A national survey in 2015 to gather information on the House Martin population, local distribution and their habitat preferences.
  • A nest monitoring study in 2016 to learn about breeding success, timings and location of nests.

How you can help

Your gift will help us to establish population estimates, providing a baseline against which future change can be measured, and understand more about the reasons for the steep decline in England. Could it be that the mud they use to build nests is harder to find due to climate change or drought? Have changes in local land-use affected insect numbers and led to a food shortage or is there a lack of suitable nest sites?

Once we have further information we can use this evidence to inform policy and practice to give House Martins a better chance in the future.

Help by donating to the House Martin Appeal now.

International Golden Plover Survey

There will be a coordinated census of Golden Plovers across Europe this weekend of 11-12 October, repeating comparable surveys carried out in 2008 and 2003.

The majority of Golden Plover are concentrated in northwest Europe in October, making it the best time to assess the population.  As in 2008, the BTO will be collating all counts of Golden Plover within the framework of an International Wader Study Group project.

Golden Plovers by Sergey Yeliseev, on Flickr
Golden Plovers by Sergey Yeliseev, on Flickr

In our region, Sker Point near Porthcawl is a good spot to see Golden Plover flocks, with upto 140 seen at high tide in recent weeks.  This weekend, high tide is at 08:49am on Saturday and 09:24am on Sunday.  Elsewhere, flocks can sometimes be seen congregating on hill tops such as Cefn Eglwysilan, Mynydd y Glyn and Werfa.

For the UK, Golden Plover numbers provided through standard WeBS Core Counts will represent the key source of data in combination with records provided through BirdTrack.

Volunteers are encouraged to submit counts of Golden Plover (and Lapwing) into BirdTrack  over the weekend.

Welsh Ornithological Society Conference 2014

The programme for this year’s annual Welsh Ornithological Society conference in association with BTO and RSPB is now available. The event will be held at Ruthin in North Wales.

WOS Conference 2014

2014 Conference
Saturday 12 November
Theatr John Ambrose, Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, LL15 1EG

WOS Lifetime Achievement Awards and the 2014 Student Research Award, presented by Iolo Williams
Atlas 2007-11: what does it mean for Wales, Dawn Balmer
Skokholm Bird Observatory, the pioneer years, David Saunders
Trials and tribulations on North Wales’ moors, Stephen Bladwell
Pied Flycatchers, Pete Coffey
BirdTrack, what it can do for you and birds, Nick Moran
The future of bird conservation in Wales, Arfon Williams
Latest news from BTO Cymru and RSPB Cymru

Further details and booking form are available.

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