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.
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|
|SS9592||Mynydd William Meyrick||Allocated||SS9796||Pentre||Vacant|
|ST1191||Glawnant||Allocated||ST0298||Coed Cae Aberaman||Allocated|
|ST1893||Nant-y-draenog Reservoir||Allocated||Vale of Glamorgan|
|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|
|ST2377||Maerdy Farm||Allocated||ST1274||Culverhouse Cross||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:
tel: 01443 430284