Avon BTO

Sunday, June 29, 2008

One month to go

Im glad to see the number of second breedings eason visits picking up- 64 to date which means 140 to go; on the whole the later these are done the fewere birds will be seen, as song declines very rapidly in july; the upside to later visits is the number of juveniles that wiull be encountered and the chance of maximiising breeding status by entering fledgling. I also hope that the 164 first visits that have so far been entered will increase to the full 200 when observers enter both sets of results.
I am doing a full analysis of the winter tetrad results, and will make it available to anyone interested, as a comparison of both density and distribution with the 1981-84 winter atlas is possible, and there are many changes.
Now is also a good time to think about the second Atlas season. I hope that we will be able to complete the full 400 tetrads; several observers have alredy booked their tetrads for next season but there are still 100 left to be covered. The earlier tetrads are booked the sooner I will know where there are problems. In particular ST77 on the Cotswolds, and ST 47, have been poorly covered so far.
Finally if you go off on holiday anywhere in july keep a close note of Juveniles of any species and send in Roving Records of them- the local Atlas organiser may be very grateful.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

House Martin survey

The BTO has just launched a national house martin survey with the help of Radio 4. Breeding is now in full swing. Go to the bto website and follow the House Martin link.
So far rather few tetrads have recorded breeding House Martin, and they are not on the list of colony nesters; please make a note of any sites in the region and put them in as Roving records at the least.

Mid summer

All the paper records for the winter have been loaded on to the system and you can see the excellent start we made. 249 tetrads received both counts. So Far 160 have had first counts in the breeding season and 40 have had second. It is interesting to compare distribution recorded so far with that in the last breeding atlas. Of course comparing 40 tetrads with the 394 we surveyed in full last time does not give accurate results, but on first indications most species (77%) have an increased distribution, which is caused in part by the fact that the period of observation is double what it was last time, ensuring that the less common species are more likely to be recorded, and giving thus a more realistic impression of distribution.
As there are lots of fledglings around, please make sure that you record any that you see on the second visit with the status as FL. Some 10-km squares still have rather low proportion of confirmed breeding records. It is also a good time of year to make a Nocturnal visit- for Nightjars or Owls; every 10km square opught to have one, and we will do more on this next year when we know what has been missed. They should be entered as Roving Records, and if a nocturnal; visit is made and records nothing this should be noted as well.