Breeding Bird Survey 2009

I have recently received the forms for this year's BBS and have today sent out an email to regulars surveyors for confirmation that they will be continuing with their square. If you haven't received the email, it's because I already have you down as confirmed. This year's pack is cut down somewhat from previous years for those who use the BBS on-line for submitting their results.

I am likely to have a few squares available for new volunteers or for an exisiting observer to take on a new square. Please let me know if you wish to take one on. Let's see if we can continue the great efforts over the last few years and keep a high coverage rate. 2008 equalled 2007's record of 31 BBS squares being surveyed.

BBS for Butterflies - There will be a flyer in the pack requesting help with the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey. This will be based on the BBS and needs volunteers for visits in July and August. Let me know or follow this instructions on the leaflet if you want to take part.

Bird Atlas validation - YOC list

In addition to the records on the YNU list (see separate posting) and national rarities, these species are locally scarce and are likely (in bold expected) to need a description for the York Ornithological Club (list as YOC version at 2006):

White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Brent Goose – all races
Egyptian Goose
Green-winged Teal
Red-crested Pochard
Ring-necked Duck
(Greater) Scaup
(Common) Eider
Long-tailed Duck
Common Scoter
Velvet Scoter

Red-breasted Merganser
Black Grouse
Golden Pheasant
Red-throated Diver
Black-throated Diver

Great Northern Diver
Red-necked Grebe
Slavonian Grebe

Black-necked Grebe
Cory’s Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Balearic Shearwater
European Storm-petrel
Leach’s Storm-petrel

(Eurasian) Bittern
White Stork
Red Kite
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Spotted Crake
Common Crane
Stone Curlew

Little Ringed Plover
Little Stint
Temminck’s Stint
Pectoral Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Jack Snipe
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Spotted Redshank
Pomarine Skua
Arctic Skua
Long-tailed Skua
Great Skua
Grey Phalarope

Mediterranean Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull (^ of Baltic race fuscus)
Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull (^ including Kumlien’s Gull)
Yellow-legged Gull
Little Gull
Sabine’s Gull
Little Tern

Black Tern
Sandwich Tern
Arctic Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Guillemot
Black Guillemot
Little Auk

Ring-necked Parakeet
Long-eared Owl
(European) Bee-eater

Wood Lark
Shore Lark
Richard’s Pipit
Water Pipit
Rock Pipit
Yellow Wagtail (scarce races)
Black-bellied Dipper
Black Redstart
Ring Ouzel
Cetti’s Warbler
Icterine Warbler
Barred Warbler
Pallas’s Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler
Red-breasted Flycatcher

Bearded Tit
Golden Oriole
Red-backed Shrike

Great Grey Shrike
(European) Serin
Mealy (Common) Redpoll

(Common) Crossbill
Scottish Crossbill
Common Rosefinch

Lapland Bunting
Snow Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Apologies for the long list but I thought it may be a useful reference.

Atlas Validation - YNU list

Following from the posting about the validation of records for the Bird Atlas, these species need descriptions for acceptance by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union (list as YOC version at 2006):

Bean Goose – both races
Black Brant
Ruddy Shellduck
American Wigeon
Ferruginous Duck
Surf Scoter
Wilson’s Storm-petrel
(Black-crowned) Night Heron
Great White Egret
Purple Heron
(European) Honey Buzzard
Black Kite
White-tailed Eagle
Montagu’s Harrier
Rough-legged Buzzard
Golden Eagle
Red-footed Falcon
Kentish Plover
American Golden Plover
White-rumped Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope (in flight)
Caspian Gull
Ring-billed Gull
White-winged Black Tern
Alpine Swift
(Greater) Short-toed Lark
Red-rumped Swallow
Tawny Pipit
Red-throated Pipit
Aquatic Warbler
Marsh Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Greenish Warbler
Radde’s Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Woodchat Shrike
(Red-billed) Chough
Arctic Redpoll
Cirl Bunting
Rustic Bunting
Little Bunting

Bird Atlas validation overview

You may have seen that I have started validating some of York Region's Atlas records with the help of YNU and local recorders Phil Bone, Peter Watson and Andy Booth.

So what is validation all about?
To ensure that our records are of greater value to science and conservation and that the BTO analyses are based on solid data, the records are run through a quality checking process.

What is checked?
ID - Often this could be the result of a typo rather than mis-identification; e.g. wrong species selected from the drop-down list.
ID can also be used for scarce or rare birds to get confirmation of the identification. The BTO guidelines for these are that the record must be acceptable to the relevant local or national rarity body (e.g. YNU, BBRC). So birds on the lists requiring descriptions in the latest YOC Report will be followed up with this code.
Similarly for species normally not seen in that season; e.g. winter migrants in summer.

GR - Grid reference errors. These have proved so far to be the commonest reason for querying. For example, an unknown name could indicate transposing of numbers or mis-selection of the letters in the OS reference from a drop-down list; it could also indicate a mis-reading of the map.

No. - Mainly applies to TTVs. To check that unusual counts are valid, there may be cases where an extra number has been keyed; e.g. 551 House Sparrows where 51 is more likely.

BS - Where breeding evidence is unlikely; e.g. FL for gulls where there are no known colonies, or confirmed breeding in winter.

What happens if one of my records is queried?
When you log on to the Atlas website, you will see a message on your home page. You can click on the link to this and then take action.

Perhaps it was a mistake that you can correct online. Or else you wish to discuss the record or confirm that it is correct as recorded, in which case you can send an email to the validator using the link.

Please take any query in a positive way, the important thing is to ensure confidence in the data of the final product. Please note that your records can only be changed by yourself, the observer, not the validator.