Avon BTO

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some Recent Decisions

First a milestone- There are now 8 tetrads in ST77 with observers, and Flat Holm in ST26 will also be survyed, so that every 10km square in the region now has minimum coverage. If you go to Recent Results and Regional on the Atlas website you can see the pattern of coverage, and there are maps showing the 10km distribution of some common species. You will see blanks for ST37, part of Clevedon, which is being covered, but no-one has sent in any records from it yet. At the last breeding Atlas it had the longest species lits of any 10km square!
Secondly some Decisions form HQ. The system for allowing local organisers to view and validate results will not be up and running until the end of the first season- it has proved more complex that originally thought. As the Species maps in the Recent Results section are getting boring they are going to put in a different new species every day, especially of ones showing striking change. A count column will be added at some point to Roving Records by popular demand. The tetrad population estimate, which about 12% of people are doing, is being re-examined. (There is an obvious issue here in winter when flocks of many species change location during the winter) The issue of surveying coastal tetrads whose centres are offshore ( we have quite a few of these) will also be revisited. At present records from them are treated as Roving Records, but we surveyed a number last time, and hope to do so again. And dead birds, droppings, footprints, feathers, will not be counted in the national Atlas, (though of course eggshells are breeding evidence). So the Peregrine prey from St John's church Bath will not count, alas.
Richard Bland


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