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.

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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 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.