Breeding Bird Survey 2021

In recent years up to 2020, coverage had been running at or just under 40 squares for the BBS and four WBBS sites. Last year Covid-19 restrictions prevented early season visits but a remarkable 75% of allocated BBS squares did have late season visits, with three of the WBBS sites covered too.

Although not all regular surveyors have confirmed, I do know that the following sites are available:

  • SE5974 – Martin’s Plantation, near Yearsley;
  • SE6169 – north of Farlington;
  • SE7774 – Swinton Ings;
  • SE7839 – Seaton Ross;
  • SE7961 – Acklam Wold;
  • SE6750 – south of Dunnington. 
  • Furthermore, there is a WBBS site along the River Ouse from York south to Naburn. 
Please contact me to volunteer and for more information.

Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows 2021

The Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows was originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic. The BTO is currently planning for it to go ahead this spring, but this is obviously dependent upon the Covid-19 restrictions permitting at the time.

There are around 90 sites in the list for the York Region to get covered, about half are priority, so there is plenty of opportunity for involvement. Some of these are known important sites, others are selected Lapwing plots on farmland. The survey requires three visits between mid-April and the end of June, with an extra visit if the site has Snipe.

Please visit BTO website to see the site request map and read about the details of the methods

Covid-19 affecting surveys

Unfortunately the BWWM has been cancelled, the BBS and WBBS are on hold and the Urban Gull survey (part of the Seabird Census) are postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Garden BirdWatch is now free as a special offer, please visit the BTO website for more details.

Stay safe.

Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows 2020

This year sees a repeat of a survey from the early 2000s to assess the status of England's breeding waders. A number of key sites will be covered by Natural England notably in the Lower Derwent Valley. However, there are plenty of opportunities to help out with visiting randomly selected Lapwing plots and sites which have stewardship agreements.

The site list has just reached me and I will post updates on here as well as sending out emails to local members and via Yorkbirding. After 9th March there will be a facility on the BTO website to request specific sites, look out for that.

If you are interested please use the send email function on the right of the website to let me know.

UPDATE - The request squares function is now available at

Breeding Bird Survey 2020

After another successful year in 2019 when 39 squares were covered in the York Region, I am looking for a few volunteers for this year's BBS. I have squares available near Byland Abbey in SE57, Acklam Wold in SE76 and Swinton Ings SE77. There will also likely be a square in SE66 available too.

Please contact using the email feature on this site.

English Winter Bird Survey

This winter, the BTO is running a survey on BBS squares with methodology based on the BBS itself to monitor the use of farmland by birds and brown hares. Around 75% of BBS squares in the York region have been signed up.

English Farm Woodland Bird Survey

The BTO has secured funding to run a English Farm Woodland Bird Survey, starting in March 2019 and running through to July. The survey is focused on small woodland plots on farmland and needs birders with good bird identification and survey skills (ability to recognise species by sight and sound as well as some previous experience of BTO surveys and/or territory mapping). Visits are expected to be fairly quick, possibly 20 minutes or half an hour.
The survey webpage ( has just been updated, providing details of the survey.  The site request map is now live so all sites are available to view and volunteers can start requesting their survey plots, grouped within 1-km squares. Access permission is being sought by the Forestry Commission but you can still register your interest in particular sites. The survey will be co-ordinated centrally by BTO staff.
Please have a look at the web page and see if there are any sites that you could help with, assuming there will be access permission granted.