Monday, 10 January 2011

BTO/SOC/BWI Bird Atlas 2007-11 – The final winter

Bittern by Ron Marshall

Chris Wernham (BTO Scotland) has provided the following information and appeal:

This massive project to document the current distribution of birds, by 10km square blocks, throughout Britain and Ireland is coming to the end of its fourth and final year of winter fieldwork.  Data collection ends on 28 February. 

Although moorland habitats only tend to support low densities of birds, in mid winter they do hold important populations of many species such as Red and Black Grouse and raptors like Golden Eagles. Having experienced two severe winters in a row now, our volunteers have had difficulties in accessing moorland areas.  Many Moorland Forum members are out and about on the moors throughout the winter and are no doubt seeing birds. Your records could be really useful to help us produce accurate distribution maps. Look at the map of Red Grouse distribution.  Are there any gaps you could fill?

The project website allows you to enter “Roving Records” for any square in the country. Log in to the website and click onto the Submit Roving Records button. A handy Google map (top right) allows you to zoom in to your recording site and informs you (below the map) which 10km square you are in. It is then easy to add records using the submissions sheet.

The Any Square Summary button allows you to see which birds have been recorded so far in any 10km square in the country. Any species not on the list that you know to be present in a square should be added as a Roving Record.

It is also worth checking out “Bird of the Day”. Each day a different species is picked at random and a map appears of its current distribution as shown by Bird Atlas 2007-11 data so far.  Join the thousands of other volunteers that click on it to find out which species is highlighted each day.

For further information please contact Bob Swann, Scottish Organiser, Bird Atlas 2007-11. 

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