Posts tagged ‘NEWS’
During the winter of 2015-16 the BTO ran a ‘Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey’ (NEWS) around the coastline of the UK. The purpose of this survey was to monitor important populations of several species which occur around our shores away from estuaries which are not monitored annually via the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS): species such as Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpipers and Turnstone. All the data are now in and the plan is to make them available via the WeBS Online Report next spring but, in the meantime, here are some top line NEWS headlines from the BTO East Glamorgan region.
For full details about the survey please have a look at this NEWS page. But in a nutshell, in our region, the coast between Penarth Head in the east and Kenfig Burrows in the west was split into 58 different sectors up to 2 km in length. 20 of these were designated ‘priority sectors’ which we were asked to make a special effort to cover. Volunteers were required to conduct a single count of waterbirds along each sector, recording waders as a priority, but they were encouraged to record other species such as wildfowl, seabirds, raptors, non-waterbirds and, if encountered, mammals too.
Across the UK, 1,890 priority sectors (75% of all priority sectors) and a further 1,735 non-priority sectors were covered, which equates to over 4,400 volunteer hours in the field. Thanks to the efforts of 21 brilliant volunteers, 57 of our 58 sectors in East Glamorgan, and 100% of our ‘priority sectors’, were covered for the survey. We can be forgiven for not achieving maximum coverage: the one sector we couldn’t cover was Flat Holm Island in the middle of the Severn Estuary, which proved inaccessible in the winter months! One volunteer alone covered an incredible 10 sectors.
Our volunteers counted a total of 3,937 individual birds of 50 different species during their coastal walks along the East Glamorgan coast. Excluding counts of some of the species more associated with inland areas, here are the totals for our region:
|Lesser B-b Gull||179||Grey Plover||11|
|Common Gull||111||Little Egret||4|
|Ringed Plover||46||Purple Sandpiper||2|
|Great B-b Gull||38||Guillemot||1|
These totals are made up of counts conducted on several different dates between 01 December, 2015 and 28 February, 2016. No great surprises that Herring Gull is at No.1 but, although more closely associated with inland areas, I have included the count for Carrion Crow in the table because several volunteers commented that this was the most common species seen in their sectors. There must have been rich pickings for them along the tideline.
The BTO also ran a Winter Shorebird Count in 1985 and NEWS counts in 1997/98 and 2006/07. It’ll be interesting to see how the 2015/16 counts compare. Look out for another update here once the UK results become available via the WeBS Online Report next spring.
Our thanks again to all 21 volunteers who took part in the survey.
BONG! Volunteers required in East Glamorgan for BTO’s Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS)
BONG! This is a great survey which involves an enjoyable walk on the wonderful East Glamorgan coastline, counting birds and doing your bit for citizen science and conservation.
BONG! It requires only a single count of waterbirds along a c.2km sector of non-estuarine coastline on any date between 1st December 2015 and 31st January 2016
BONG! You can choose and then download a map for one, or more, of the c.2km pre-defined sectors of coastline you’d like to monitor
BONG! Recording waders is the priority however, whenever possible, volunteers are encouraged to record other species such as wildfowl, seabirds, raptors, non-waterbirds and, if encountered, mammals too
What is the Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS) and what’s it trying to achieve?
The United Kingdom is internationally important for its numbers of wintering waterbirds and many of these are monitored annually by the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) counts. However, the WeBS counts are mostly made on estuaries and inland waterbodies, therefore leaving the majority of the coastline uncounted. NEWS 2015/16 will focus coverage on these important and under-recorded habitats.
Why is a new survey required?
Several species such as Purple Sandpipers, Turnstone, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher occur around our shores away from estuaries, but they are poorly covered by WeBS and consequently are not monitored annually. Following the original Winter Shorebird Count carried out in 1985 and NEWS counts in 1997/98 and 2006/07, the third repeat of NEWS will be carried out this coming winter.
How the survey works
The coastline along East Glamorgan has been split into two ‘regions’: a). Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan – Gileston to Kenfig Burrows and b). Vale of Glamorgan – Summerhouse Point to Penarth Head. These two regions have been further split into count sectors approximately 2km long.
Volunteers for this survey can choose one, or more, of these pre-defined sectors of coastline they’d like to monitor. The survey visit will entail a walk along the intertidal area of their chosen sector(s) to conduct a single count of waterbirds on any date between 1st December 2015 and 31st January 2016.
Interested in taking part?
If you’re interested in taking part, please visit the BTO’s main NEWS webpage for more information and a full set of survey instructions. From this webpage, you can login (or register first if you’re not already registered as a BTO Online user – a simple process) and request one or more sectors:
- Click on ‘Request a NEWS Sector’ and you will be taken to ‘Select a Geographic Area to Request a NEWS Sector’.
- In this page, search for ‘Glamorgan’ and you will see the two ‘regions’ of the Glamorgan coastline referred to above.
- Click on one or other and you’ll be taken to a map showing the sectors available.
- Choose one, or more, sector(s) that suit you best and then put in your request. If your chosen sector hasn’t already been allocated to another volunteer, an email will be automatically generated to me and then I’ll allocate the sector to you. If possible, please try and choose a High Priority sector first – they are colour coded so you’ll know which ones are the High Priority sectors.
Alternatively, if you’d like any more information please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be delighted to hear from you.