Avon BTO

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last week

Well there are on the face of it 43 tetrads still to be covered this week- 13 were done last week, but I suspect many more have been done but not yet entered. It is best to enter results promptly, as it is easy to forget what you saw even if your notebook is excellent. 85 tetards have had their second counts, which is splendid. and 327 out of 400 have been done in the two seasons. 30 are being done on paper and should reach me at the end of the month.

So, a months rest, and then into the breeding season. I will be contacting everyone to check that they can do what I think they have said they will do, and if anyone wants to help more there are ten tetrads still to be covered, and I may find more. They are ST35 T Y; ST 55 Q V; ST56 D ; ST76 X; and ST77 A,B,C,E.

Also I want everyone in the breeding season to put in Roving records of PROVED BREEDING for every species they can. I will be producing lists of species in each 10k square which have yet to be proved. Roving records can be put in for March for early breeders such as owls and Ravens and Mistle Thrush.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day is for the birds

At least ten tetrads have been done this pas week- and probably more that have not been entered. A total of 70 second surveys have been done, and 59 are left to do- and just two weeks to do them. Provided the weather stays kind this should not be a problem.
One or two people have put in breeding status- this should only be done in the case of early nesters, such as owls, Ravens at nest or building, GS Woodpeckers drumming ( D for display).
In March I will produce a list foe each 10k square of the species that need confirmed breeding evidence still. I hope everyone will take on the Roving Recorder role to get proved breeding evidence. Some species are very hard to prove.
There are a few tetrads that still need observers for the summer- ST35 T and Y, ST55 Q and V, ST56D STT76 X and Y and ST77 A,B,C and E. These have been done in the winter , but the observers cant spare the time in the summer. Volunteers welcome. There may well be other gaps that appear as well.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cold weather

Not a week for tetrading- but there have been one or two tetrad results input, so we now have 75 to do in three weeks, or 25 a week- possible unless it stays icy.
Quite a lot of interesting observations- dont forget Roving Records of rarities.
Am, still chasing around with validation, and some observers have not responded to e-mails I have sent them- but many have, thanks. In futureI will validate as records come in, and , for rarities, await the Recorder's verdict.
Not everyone gets the Avon Bird Report of course, and hence does not see the list of species for which a description is needed. If in doubt check with me- but on the whole it is a list of the very exceptional.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

One month left

41 tetrads done, 79 to go- Lets hope the weather improves a bit; The cold snap may well cause population changes across the region, because food is pretty hard to come by in many areas. And two points- few species and low numbers is itself important information, but the Atlas will use the maximum number for each species from the two counts. I think we ought to monitor winter populations in the same way as we do summer ones, and have been running a winter bird count to taht end for about ten years, but for the results to be significant it needs more support.

I have completed the tedious validation exercise, and queried some 170 records. Most of these are rarity records that need to be validated by the county recorder, which will take time. In future records will be validated as they come in, which will be much more efficient. If there is a query on your home page please react- and let me know that you have done so. The process of checking will take a while. But if you do see a species requiring a description, ie a rare bird, please send a description in to the county recorder at the same time as submitting the atlas record. This applies to Firecrest, inland Merlin, but not to Hobby. The full list is in the Avon Bird Report. The same applies in the Somerset area of the BTO region.