Avon BTO

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ready for the breeding season?

A few days to go before the Breeding season formally starts. A few points worth making.
a) The first count must be bnetween April 1 and may 31st- so I expect many people will go for a may visit. The second count lies between June 1 and July 31, and I expect most people will opt for June. There should be a months gap between the two.
b) Many observers doing Atlas are also doing BBS, and BBS splits its two surveys on May 15th. Dont get confused!
c) Dont muddle any BBS counts with any Atlas counts. The Atlas tetrad survey is a time limited survey to all habitats within the tetrad. The BBS survey is a double transect across a one-km square.
d) Colony Counts. The Atlas breeding season surevy asks on its last page for counts of apparently occupied nests of colonial species. For us this means Heron, LB and HG, and Rook. If you come across any of these stop the clock and count. I have sent details of known Rookeries in tetrads being covered to observers because it is legitimate to count the colony quite separately from the timed count, and as rooks cant be accurately counted once leaves are out it is best to count them early. But you may of course come across a Rookery or Heronry during a timed count.
Finally as far as I can see 242 tetrads were fully covered during the winter season. One or two observers have had to drop out for various reasons, and a number have reserved tetrads for the second atlas season, so of 400 tetrads to cover, 297 have observers. If you want to book yourself a tetrad for the second season, go to the website and see what is available. And also you might consider looking at the needs of Wiltshire or Somerset, or even look across the estuary.

Good luck this summer.


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