Avon BTO

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I hope all is ready for the second breeding season. I am still short of a few observers in the Bath area, but we will I think get most tetards covered.

The key this season is to get breeding status right for every species in every square. I have sent round summaries of the existing situation to many people- please ask if you have not had one - but the best advice is if you see evidence that confirms that a species is breeding, ie Occupied Nest,(ON) Nest and eggs, (NE) nest and Young, (NY), Feeding Young(FF) or a young Fledgling (FL), put in a Roving Record. There should be at least 60 breeding species in every 10km square.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Winter results

Results from 378 tetrads in, six more paper ones on the way, and six computer ones promised, or 390 of 400 complete- quite a record.
I have calculated the maximum winter counts for each tetrad,and there are a few interesting results, representing minimum population numbers;- Little Egret 81; Buzzard 820; Shelduck 1109; Mute swan 535 ; Canada Geese 836; Rook 9766 ; Crow 9158 ;Raven 250
Average species per tetrad 35.4 Av max total per tetrad 710 Maximum total counted 258,571 ( note this is not the same as all the birds counted. I have yet to calculate that.

Looking ahead There are now 14 tetrads not covered for the breeding season. They are;-
ST35 L S T Y. ST45 Q. ST75 A. ST 76 AFWXY ST 77 ACEK That is S of weston, and the Bath area.
If you can help go to Choose TTV on the website, and type in the appropriate 10k square number- or contact me direct

Finbally i have breeding status lists for every 10k square if anyone who has not had one wants one.
Richard Bland

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breeding Status

Almost all paper records are in, and chasing up of other records has resulted in a situation where we have probably covered 390 0f 400 tetrads in the winter. The ones missed have been through illness mostly, though there are still four outstanding queries.

There are now 13 tetrads needing cover in the breeding season, and there may be three or four more to come. If you have any spare time in the summer, and I know things are tight, check the website to offer help, or just contact me direct. The tetrads concerned are; ST35 STY; ST55 Q V : ST 56D ; ST 76 FWXY : ST77 ACE:

I have send sheets showing the Breeding status of all species in each 10km square to those involved in that square- anyone who has not had one and would like one please contact me. The aim this summer is to provide lots of Roving records to raise the breeding status to Proved Breeding in every square, as well, of course as covering all the remaining tetrads, which is a big ask.

Richard Bland (richardbland@blueyonder.co.uk)

Monday, March 02, 2009

The breeding season beckons

To date we have got records for 343 tetrads. In the last week 14 new tetrads have been entered- there are another 28 I am waiting for, and I will be jogging a few observers for their records soon. Paper records are starting to roll in, and I will do a summary of this winter for anyone interested. All being well we will have covered all but a dozen of our 400 tetrads this winter.
I have a number of impressions- how few BH there have been, how very thin MP are spread, how low GR counts are, how amazingly widespread RN and BZ are ( 75% of tetrads in some 10k squares), how few, by contrast, PE are seen. It will be fascinating to see the statistics. I am working on three main figures for each species for each 10k square- % distribution, max number/tetrad and overall rate/hour. Another interesting figure is average species per tetrad, which is running at around 35, and, with 400 tetrads is a fairly powerful figure to play with, and also average maximum numbers per tetrad, which varies between 500 and 1100, averaging around 700; That gives a figure of c280,000 birds counted for the region- how that translates into actual population estimate is another matter!

For the breeding season I have prepared a Breeding Status list for each 10KM square, which I will send out to those doing tetrads in them, and to others who did them last season because this is where Roving Records come into their own. We need to ensure confirmed breeding status for every species that is possible, and also to ensure that those species that are non breeing are identified as M (migrant) or U (summering/non-breeders). My lists make it clear what needs to be done, and anyone can contribute information at any time for any area of the region for which they have evidence. Also there is a new facility on the website, Any Square summary- which allows you to see the maximum breeding status of every species in any square you are interested in.
Incidentally Proved breeding records for early nesters for March can be entered and will be used.