The Wetland Bird Survey: as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Can you identify the UK’s commonest waterbirds?
  2. Do you have half a Sunday free, once a month, between September and March?
  3. Do you want to add value to your birding?

If you can answer ‘Yes’ to all three of those questions, then the BTO’s Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) could be just the thing you’re looking for. WeBS is the survey which monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK, aiming to identify population sizes and determine trends in numbers and distribution of waterbirds.

We need more volunteers to join our local WeBS team to help count wetland birds in East Glamorgan. If you’re interested but not lucky enough to live in East Glamorgan (!), please visit

Wherever you live, the good news is that the survey is as easy as 1,2,3 . . .

  1. Turn up once a month on a specified date to your allotted wetland site
  2. Count the waterbirds you see there
  3. Submit your records to the BTO – either online or on paper forms 

You can find out more about the survey by visiting the East Glamorgan WeBS page which includes more information about our local wetland sites which currently need a volunteer counter.  If you find one that you’re interested in, or you know of a wetland site you’d like to cover which isn’t on the list, please get in touch.

The northern half of Talygarn Fish Pond
The northern half of Talygarn Lake

We’re looking in particular for somebody to count Talygarn Lake. At the risk of sounding like an estate agent, it is a very desirable WeBS site which has recently become available and which I’d recommend as an attractive proposition for any ‘first-time surveyor’. It is conveniently situated south of the M4 near Brynsadler. It is a large, shallow, man-made fish pond constructed I’d say around the late 19th/early 20th century. It’s an attractive location, surrounded by some lovely woodland, it also fringed with some reed.

Talygarn Lake attracts a nice variety of waterbirds such as Gadwall, Teal, Tufted Duck and Mallard as well as Little Grebe, Water Rail and Kingfisher. To add value to your visit the surrounding woodland is home to a nice variety of species, including Marsh Tit.

If you’re interested in taking on Talygarn (or any other site) for WeBS or , to continue the estate agent analogy,  you’d like me to accompany you for a ‘viewing’ first, please contact me for a no-obligation chat.

Dan Jenkins-Jones

East Glamorgan WeBS Local Organiser



One thought on “The Wetland Bird Survey: as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. I sent them this msg via their contact form, under the ‘Biology and Biodiversity’ subject which one would hope would reach someone sympathetic.


    I thought I’d tell you that I am conducting a monthly survey of the water birds on the ponds at the St Fagan’s museum site, on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology. I’ve done this twice so far. It’s part of the ‘WEBS’ national survey, see

    As I live in Fairwater, I sometimes drop in to the museum as part of a longer walk from my home around the St Fagans/Ely River Valley area. However, because the survey should be done as near as possible to the ‘core date’ each month, in future it may well be on a day when I have insufficient time to walk to the museum, or the weather is not suitable for a walk.

    In such circumstances, it would be very helpful if I could park in the official car park without paying. Of course, I pay for parking there when I bring visitors to see the Museum, but as this is a volunteer citizen science survey, I thought you might be able to arrange something for free.

    If you want official confirmation of my role, you can contact the regional coordinator, Daniel Jenkins-Jones, who works for RSPB Cymru ( as well as volunteering for BTO. Daniel’s email address for the WEBS survey is

    Diolch yn fawr




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