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.

House Martin Nest Study 2016 launched today

Help is needed for the new House Martin Survey which is launched today. Called the House Martin Nest Study 2016, it is complementary to last year's survey which was based on random tetrads. It aims to investigate the timing of breeding and the number of broods raised. It is hoped to help find reasons behind differing population trends; declines in some areas, increases in others.
If you can observe a nest or group of nests for a few minutes a week throughout the breeding season (April to September), you can help. It's ok to miss the odd week for holidays. Observations can be made from ground level or from vantage points where nests can be safely viewed, there is no need to look in nests. Most visits will be to note the condition of the nest and any activity that is taking place.
You can pick your own study site and it is ideal for those who have nests on or near to your home, work place or anywhere you visit regularly. The first visit is due in the first half of April.
You find out more information on methodology and register your interest from today at

I hope that this will appeal to many people and there will be a good take up of the survey locally.

Breeding Waders of English Upland Farmland 2016

This year the BTO is running a survey of breeding waders in England. There are tetrads available in upland areas on "in-bye" land, which is the area of farmland just below moorland. As the York Region is basically a lowland area, there are no squares selected for this survey. However, there are squares available nearby in the North York Moors and the Pennines.

Have a look at the BTO website for what the survey entails and to register your interest.