Bird Atlas, Final Breeding Season

April marks the start of recording for the final breeding season of the Project.  This year we are looking to complete coverage in those TTV allocations, boost species number counts in those tetrads that currently have low numbers.  We are also looking to further collect breeding evidence, especially confirmed breeding evidence wherever possible.

The map below shows tetrad species numbers after three breeding seasons, compiled from records received via the BTO.  Records from our own GBC database will supplement this.  Over 90% anticipated species richness has been reached in all 10km squares except SS77 and SS96.

Tetrad Counts after 3rd Breeding Season
Tetrad Counts after 3rd Breeding Season

How you can help

TTVs (Timed Tetrad Visits)

This is the final chance to complete TTVs.  If you’ve been allocated a tetrad, please endeavour to undertake your visits this April-July.

Roving Records

The map highlights areas where we’ve had no or low coverage so far. The table below highlights priority tetrads where we think recorded species number are lower than we expect. Can you survey in these tetrads?

Tetrad Location Count Notes
SS87P Tythegston 0
ST18A South east of Pentyrch 1 Mainly open farmland
ST19N Pengam 2 Outside Glamorgan?
SS89R Mynydd Bach, Maesteg 3 Upland – low count expected?
SN90L Mynydd Bwllfa 4 Upland & conifers. Low count expected?
SO00X Merthyr Common East 4
SO00T Dowlais Top 6 Largely inaccessible. Low count expected.
SO01G West of Ponsticill Res 6 Upland – low count expected?
ST19G Mynydd Eglwysilan 6 Upland – low count expected?
ST18R Thornhill 7
ST19C Nelson 8
ST19L South of Ystrad Mynach 8 Outside Glamorgan?
SO00Z Gelli-Gaer Common 9 Upland – low count expected?
ST18J Abertridwr 9
SO00Y Merthyr Common Mid 10
SN91Q Cefn Cadlan 11 Upland – low count expected?
SN90U Mynydd-y-Glog 12 Upland – low count expected?
SN90Z East of Mynydd-y-Glog 13 Upland – low count expected?
SS87N Newton Beach 17
ST18E Mynydd Meio 17
ST19D Trelewis 17
SS89L Maesteg North 21
SS98H Cefn Carfan 21
ST18M Caerphilly Common 23
BTO Atlas Website

Take a look at the Regional Results web pages (accessed from Latest Results) to see which 10-km squares need most help with Roving Records and TTVs.  Also look at the ‘Any Square Summary’ pages in Data Home for your nearby 10-km squares and see what species still need to be recorded and what breeding evidence is still required.

Categories of Breeding Evidence

It is very important to record evidence of breeding during the forthcoming survey period.  The higher the rating the better of course, but please try to add any of the codes below when collecting your data, even if it is just for suitable nesting habitat or a singing male.

Select a code that best describes what you have seen.  Except M and U, all should relate to individuals in potentially suitable nesting habitat. In this final survey period we are also looking to ‘upgrade’ breeding evidence whenever possible, with Confirmed Breeding being the goal.

Details of which species need ‘upgrading’ in each 10km square are available.

Non-breeder Possible breeder
F Flying over H Observed in suitable nesting Habitat
M Migrant S Singing Male
U SUmmering non-breeder
Probable breeder Confirmed breeder
P Pair in suitable nesting habitat DD Distraction-Display or injury feigning
T Permanent Territory
(defended over at least 1 week)
UN Used Nest or eggshells found from this season
D Courtship and Display FL Recently FLedged young or downy young
N Visiting probable Nest site NE Nest containing Eggs
A Agitated behaviour FF Adult carrying Faecal sac or Food for young
I Brood patch of Incubating bird
(from bird in hand)
ON Adults entering or leaving nest-site in circumstances indicating Occupied Nest
B Nest Building or excavating nest-hole NY Nest with Young seen or heard

Evening visits

Where possible, we need to record crepuscular and nocturnal species.  As a result we are keen to encourage volunteers to make evening visits to 10-km squares/tetrads to record owls, Nightjars, Grasshopper Warblers, Water Rails etc.