Bird Atlas - escapes and exotics

When doing Atlas fieldwork, have you seen any escapes or exotic species?

These should be recorded as they may contribute to a picture showing the first signs of their establishing themselves in the wild. Think of the establishment of Rose-ringed Parakeet since the first atlas at the end of the 60s.

As a guide, count any birds apparently in the wild. I would exclude pinioned birds and those obviously part of collections or in captivity. For example, Dawn Balmer, the National Organiser, has noted that she has recorded Helmeted Guineafowl that were not in a cage.

Computer problems

I have had a problem with my computer in the last week and have, temporarily I hope, lost my email history. I was unable to deal with all of my recent emails before it crashed. I have remembered some emails, or at least who sent them, but I fear that there are a few I may miss. I have now managed to get email working on a different machine, so if you have sent something to me recently and I haven't replied, can you please resend the email?
Thanks, Rob

Winter Atlas - species targets

From the species point of view, many birds have been recorded in all 10km squares but some birds have not been recorded everywhere we might expect. I have listed the main gaps, although scarcer birds are needed in most places so I have not listed all these. Please hunt them out on Roving Records visits.

Wildfowl - pretty comprehensive in the Derwent Valley but look out for them everywhere. Notably, Greylags in SE56, SE67 and SE76; Canada Goose in SE73 and SE75; Teal in SE54.

Cormorant hasn't been recorded in SE67.
Buzzard not yet in SE66.
Coot not yet in SE56 or SE67.

Waders - some parts well covered, but look for them across the region.
Snipe needed in SE56 and SE67.
Woodcock needed in SE53, SE55 and SE56.
Herring Gull in SE57.

Owls - Short-eared and Long-eared in most places. Tawny Owl needed in SE53 and SE64. Little Owl in SE53.
Kingfisher in SE53, SE66, SE67 and SE76.
Green Woodpecker hasn't been recorded in SE54, SE56 or SE75.

Meadow Pipit needed in SE56 and SE67.
Grey Wagtail in SE56.
Blackcap & Chiffchaff have been recorded in 5 of the 10km squares only.

Marsh Tit needed in SE53, SE55 and SE73.
Willow Tit in SE55, SE56, SE67, SE73 and SE77.
Jay is missing from SE75.

Brambling from SE54 and SE77.
Siskin from SE73.
Linnet from SE56.
Redpoll from SE75.

Bird Atlas - Third Winter

The third winter season for the Atlas starts 1st November and ends 28th February 2010.

Having had a look at the numbers of records, tetrad coverage and species records, here are some of the priorities:

Roving Records

To boost numbers of species and records, please submit records from these 10km squares as a priority: SE53, SE56, SE64 and SE73. These also need attention as highlighted by the species richness indicators on the Atlas website: SE57, SE66, SE67 and SE75. Of course, records are welcome from anywhere but please consider visiting these areas.

Timed Tetrad Visits

We've done really well to achieve minimum coverage across the region already, and several tetrads are allocated for visits this (and the final) winter so there's more to come. My focus for this method is to even out the recording effort across the region as much as possible. So the following 10k squares are the priority order for new TTVs: SE77, SE75, SE53, SE76, SE67, SE56, SE66, SE64.

Please let me know if you want to take on a new tetrad or two. Remember that once a tetrad has been visited twice in a season, it is complete for that season. It is better to do the two in the same season if you can.

If you have only been able to visit a tetrad on one occasion in a previous winter, please try to complete it this time around with the second visit.

2009 Breeding Bird Survey - 26 and counting

Some while since my last post, I'm afraid. But a quick update on the BBS for this year. So far I have data for 26 squares. You may recall that last year we had a record (joint with 2007) of 31 squares, which is great as several of you are involved in the Atlas too. There are still a few people who I know have covered their square yet to submit data and also one or two who I am waiting to hear from, so there's still a chance of beating the record - that would be brilliant.

A note on the Atlas - I have been working out where to focus the efforts for the forthcoming winter and shall post shortly on this, once I have done a bit more analysis of likely species. Volunteers for more TTVs to even out the coverage and for Roving Records are most welcome.