At our recent Biodiversity Working Group, Neil Rawlings talked about the upcoming annual bird survey and invited people to take part.
Please get in touch directly with Neil at ndr(a)ebi.ac.uk<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> if you, or your colleagues, would like to support this year's survey.
See below for further information about what the survey entails:
The bird survey is known as a Common Bird Census and is done according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) guidelines - There are surveys throughout the breeding season (April to mid-July) which are done approximately ten days apart.
A surveyor plots on the map [see attached example] the location of every bird seen or heard using the two letter BTO code and the symbols which indicate whether the bird is calling, singing, with food, nest building, on a nest, with young, or which direction it is flying.
The maps are sent back to Neil, who will plot all the records for one species on a map and try to work out how many territories there are, and whether breeding was confirmed or not.
Surveys should be done before 9:00 AM or after 6:00 PM when disturbance from dog-walkers and the like is at a minimum, and the birds will be most active.
The core area is the Genome Campus lake, cricket pitch and surrounding areas to the road between Hinxton and Ickleton, the Wetlands and Grassy Lane (the lane that runs from the Wetlands past the sewage works and up to the layby on the A1301).
All a surveyor needs is a map and a pen, though a clip-board helps, and a little knowledge of what common birds look like. It also helps to know calls and songs of common birds, and to know when there is something unusual that requires investigating, for example an unusual call, then trying to see the bird to identify it. A surveyor will need to bring his or her own binoculars. The more surveyors taking part, the fewer visits each will need to do.
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