March 2018 - Newsletter

I have recently written a newsletter for members and surveyors about what is going on in the York Region, giving a summary of 2017 surveys and what is coming up. This is available as a pdf, please use the contact details in the right side-panel to email me if you want a copy.

House Martin Nest Study 2017

With House Martins now being seen regularly in the region this spring, now is the time to start to monitor your nests. The BTO's House Martin Nest Study has been extended to 2017 and is particularly suitable if you have nests on your house, your work or somewhere you visit often. It does not take much effort to monitor a nest or two, just a few minutes a week, but it is very rewarding to see the progress through the season.

For full information, see the website at


Are you one of the many people who miss atlassing? Here's an opportunity to contribute to the second European Breeding Bird Atlas. You can help by recording breeding evidence in your BirdTrack records, recording complete lists which will help to determine abundance and recording lists when on holiday.

See the information at,4W8NT,3GK6ZR,IJK7B,1

BTO Yorkshire Conference 2017

The next BTO Yorkshire Conference is planned for Saturday 18th March 2017 at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York (Hes East). There will be a full day's programme of talks with refreshments for £22.

This is one for the diaries. I shall circulate the programme to members in the York Region when it becomes available and also publish it here. There will also be more information in due course on the BO website at;

York Region BBS update - fabulous 40!

Brilliant news, we have just hit a high of 40 squares covered in the region for the first time. There is even a possibility of another to come. It's also great to have most of the data returned already.

Moreover, three WBBS sites are also complete for the year with one to go.

Many thanks to all volunteers for your efforts.

State of Nature Report 2016

You may have seen or heard on the news about the State of Nature 2016 report that was published yesterday (14th September). BTO monitoring schemes, including the BBS, contributed to this important work. So many thanks to all volunteers and supporters for your efforts. This shows how our results can be used to understanding the wider environment.

You can read more online and download the report:

York BTO Survey mid-June update

Here's a mid-June update of the BTO surveys in the York Region this survey season.
Out of 44 squares allocated in the Breeding Bird Survey, there have been data returned from 25 squares so far with 14 of these having had their second visit recorded online. There is still time to carry out the late visit and, if you were unable to do an early one, it is still worth a visit as the BTO can make use of the data even from just one. It would be great to see if we can match or beat the recent years' efforts when we have had coverage in the high 30's. Can we get to 40 squares in the region this year? That would be excellent.
The Waterways Breeding Bird Survey is now tied in with the main BBS in terms of systems and organisation. We have four sites for the WBBS in the region, three of these have had both early and late visits completed and the data have already been entered on the system, which is great news.
This year we see the second part of the House Martin survey, this one being the nest study elements. The survey continues throughout the season and volunteers are monitoring nesting activity from April/May through to September. In the region, 26 sites have been logged on the survey system, 21 of which have had data recorded from visits so far.
The annual Heronry Census covers four known heronries in the region, we have data input to the new system from two of these so far and another historic site was checked out earlier in the year to see if herons had re-colonised (they hadn't).

Very many thanks to all volunteer surveyors and supporters.