Winter Thrushes Survey

During winter, the UK is home to many thousands of resident and migrant thrushes seeking food and refuge from the cold of continental Europe.  What are the key habitats for these birds?  How does their distribution change over and between successive winters?  What are the differences in feeding behaviour between thrush species during winter?  BTO is looking to find answers to these and other questions.

Fieldfare by greensnapper2011, on Flickr
Fieldfare by greensnapper2011, on Flickr

Over the next two winters, BTO are conducting a national Winter Thrushes Survey.  The aim is to identify the key habitats and food sources used by our passage and wintering thrush species – Blackbird, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Song Thrush.

The survey has two parts. Both parts of the survey entail walking along a chosen route, recording all thrushes seen, sighting location, key habitat features and food resources associated with each thrush or flock of thrushes noted.

The first part is based on volunteers selecting their own chosen sites (loosely based on 1km squares) and collecting information on thrushes each time they walk there. Walks can be made any time during the survey period. In the first year, this part runs from 12 September 2012 to April 2013. Volunteers wishing to take part in the monthly walks can select and register squares directly from the survey website.

The second part of the survey will focus on randomly selected (core) sets of squares for synchronised counts planned for the Christmas holiday period. Just one mid-winter visit will be needed to core squares, during 27 December to 10 January. These results, because of the random selection, will be far more applicable to wider regions or the UK as a whole as a snapshot of thrush distribution and food in midwinter.

Available core squares for East Glamorgan are outlined below:

Core Squares for mid-Winter Surveys
Merthyr Tydfil Rhondda Cynon Taf
SO0805 Garth Fawr Vacant SN9802 Cwm Dare Allocated
Bridgend SN9908 Onllwyn Allocated
SS9186 Cefnmachen-uchaf Allocated SO0104 Coedcae Farm Allocated
SS9378 Waterton Allocated SS9395 Nant Erw-cwm Allocated
SS9379 Coychurch Allocated SS9196 Llethro Cadno Vacant
SS9592 Mynydd William Meyrick Allocated SS9796 Pentre Vacant
Caerphilly SS9889 Gilfach Goch Allocated
ST1191 Glawnant Allocated ST0298 Coed Cae Aberaman Allocated
ST1295 Nelson Bog Allocated ST0487 Castellau-ganol Allocated
ST1689 Bedwas Allocated ST0579 Llanerch Farm Allocated
ST1893 Nant-y-draenog Reservoir Allocated Vale of Glamorgan
ST1887 Garth Place Allocated SS9177 Corntown Allocated
Cardiff SS9576 Twmpath Farm Allocated
ST1181 Cefn Colstyn Allocated SS9771 Siginstone Allocated
ST1183 Coed Rhiw’r Ceiliog Allocated ST0265 West Aberthaw Allocated
ST1282 Garth Wood Allocated ST0366 East Aberthaw Allocated
ST1482 Rhiwbina Farm Allocated ST0370 Coed y Colwyn Allocated
ST1583 Briwnant Allocated ST0968 Green Farm Allocated
ST1677 Pontcanna Fields Allocated ST1080 Tre-wern Allocated
ST1684 Thornhill Allocated ST1170 Bear’s Wood Allocated
ST1983 Church Farm Allocated ST1173 Twyn-yr-odyn Allocated
ST2179 Rumney Allocated ST1179 Rhydlafr Farm Allocated
ST2377 Maerdy Farm Allocated ST1274 Culverhouse Cross Allocated
ST1469 Pymbylu Moors Allocated

More details of the survey are available from BTO, if you’d like to take part in the randomly selected core square element of the survey – a single visit over the Christmas break – then please contact:

Wayne Morris
tel: 01443 430284

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