York Ornithological Club March Meeting - 3rd March

The next indoor meeting is a talk by Professor John Altringham entitled 'Wharfedale to WesternGhats: Bat Ecology and Conservation'.  

The talk is at 7.30pm at St Olave's Church Hall, Marygate Lane, Marygate York and the adjoining car park should have reopened. 

Further information at: http://www.tka.co.uk/yoc/events.htm

Yorkshire Birdwatchers' Conference March 14th

There are still tickets available for the conference at Askham Bryan College on 14th March. These are available from http://www.bto.org/news-events/events/2015-03/yorkshire-birdwatchers-conference.

In addition to the names in the previous post, Andy Clements will be speaking on Bird Migration.

Yorkshire Birdwatchers' Conference March 14th 2015

The Yorkshire Birdwatchers' Conference will be held at Askham Bryan College, York on Saturday 14th March. Tickets are £20 per person and include lunch and refreshments. There will be talks, discussion, stalls and displays.

Speakers include Professor Sir John Lawton (making space for nature), Stephen Murphy from Natural England (technology for conservation) , Gareth Jones (wildlife crime policing), Keith Clarkson from RSPB (breeding birds in Yorkshire), Carl Barimore from BTO (nest recording) and another BTO speaker.

Details of the programme and how to purchase tickets can now be found at the BTO's website:

Regional Network Meeting

A couple of weeks ago I attended the annual meeting for BTO regional reps in Thetford. Here are a few things for members and volunteers to look out for:

  • BBS - there are plans for a questionnaire for surveyors to explore such things as motivations, improvements, recording methods, communications, age profile.
  • House Martin Survey - this will be going ahead in May to July 2015. This will be an online survey.
  • Colonial Birds Recording Scheme - this is a new name for the Heronries Census, which has been running since 1928, to mark its launch as an online scheme. The name change recognises that a number of other species are now included in counts: Little Egret and Cormorant, for example.
  • There are further surveys being looked at but these will require funding before more details are available.

Now on Twitter

I was at the Regional Network Meeting in Thetford the other day and heard about how Twitter can help spread the word about the BTO at a local as well as national level. So, following the lead of some colleague RRs, I took the plunge and set up an account @btoyork. So far, I have been looking who to follow but, in the first 24 hours, I have picked up more followers than this blog has done in 8 years!

I will continue with the blog as a complementary means of communication and I will cross reference to here for more details.

Oops - corrected the account name - it is @btoyork

A couple of surveys to look out for in 2015

House Martin Survey 2015

There has never been a national House Martin survey before, previous population estimates have been derived using statistical methods from census data. In order to produce a population estimate as a baseline to measure future changes, there will be a survey in spring and summer 2015. There will be randomly selected squares to cover.

International Swan Census 17–18 January 2015

Using a similar approach to the Golden Plover Survey in the previous post, there will be an opportunity to contribute records of Whooper and Bewick's Swans through BirdTrack (www.birdtrack.net).

International Golden Plover Survey 11–12 October 2014

On 11-12 October 2014 (WeBS Count weekend) there will be a coordinated census of Eurasian Golden Plovers across Europe, repeating comparable surveys carried out in 2008 and 2003.  The majority of Golden Plovers are concentrated in northwest Europe in October making it the best time to assess the status of the population. As in 2008, the BTO will be collating all counts of Golden Plover within the framework of an International Wader Study Group project.

For the UK, Golden Plover numbers provided through standard WeBS Core Counts will represent the key source of data in combination with records provided through BirdTrack. Anyone can contribute by submitting counts of Golden Plover (and Lapwing) into BirdTrack (www.birdtrack.net) over that weekend.