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 (https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/english-farm-woodland-bird-survey) 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.

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Tawny Owl Point Survey

The BTO's first survey that forms part of Project Owl, called the Tawny Owl Point Survey, is under way. There are still three priority tetrads available in SE56 in the Tollerton and Easingwold area and one in SE53, south of Sherburn.
This is a point survey where observers count from a central point for 20 minutes on two or three visits to a tetrad. The survey period started in August and continues to October, with follow up counts in the spring, but I am still looking for volunteers.

The counts ideally should be done within a two week period, weather dependent. It would be suitable for beginners to surveys as well as those more experienced though one may have to travel and it will be after sunset.
The survey is using a pattern of 10km squares across the country, with a regular pattern of tetrads within these. There are two 10km squares selected within the region: SE53 and SE56.

Information is on the BTO website at https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/project-owl. Signing up for tetrads is done through the website using normal BTO credentials and registering for the survey. That will send a request to me for approval. There is a map so you can see where they are.

BBS 2018

All data from the 2018 Breeding Bird Survey in the York Region have been returned to the BTO. This year we equalled the record for numbers of squares covered - 40. This is a great effort by all surveyors. Many thanks to all.

In addition all four Waterways BBS stretches were covered.

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 https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/house-martin-survey