Wetland Bird Survey (inland wildfowl counts)

Every month most of the still waters in the Societies area are visited and the wildfowl/waders counted.  In addition, the River Lune from Kirkby Lonsdale to Skerton Weir and the Lancaster canal from Stainton to Tewitfield are counted

At present, we have a few stretches of water which are not being counted, namely:

Does anyone fancy helping out with this easy survey.  One visit per month around (but not necessarily on) a set date, large easy to count/identify birds and a chance to visit somewhere you wouldn’t normally go.  If you would like to help then please contact Dave Sharpe on 822492 or at the next meeting.

We are also looking for someone to help with the Waterways bird survey on the same stretch of the Lune i.e. Leck Beck to Kirkby Lonsdale.  This involves 8 visits during the breeding season, for further details please contact Keith Woods on 811478.  It is important to try and get coverage for this as we have the longest continuously surveyed stretch of river under this scheme – 25 years.

Wintering Farmland Birds Survey (WFBS)

The BTO are introducing a new major survey this coming winter.  The requirements of the survey are as follows:

  1. When?   3 winters; 1999/2000, 2000/1, 2001/2.  Three visits each winter more or less evenly spaced between mid-November and mid-February.

  2. Where?  In randomly selected 1-km squares.  These selections are largely based on those for the Breeding Bird Survey and the Winter Skylark Survey

  3.  Which species?  29 farmland birds including declining species, common species and some localised users of farmland:  Grey Partridge, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Stock Dove, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Twite, Bullfinch, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting (& Woodlark).

  4. Which habitats?  Only survey farmland habitat patches.  Ignore woods, gardens and other non-agricultural habitats.

  5. How?  Visit as many fields as possible within the square and spend no longer than four hours doing so.  Walk around each field then walk one straight route across the middle of the field.  For each field, record the crop or habitat present.

  6. The Society has been allocated 13 1-km squares of which it is hoped we will achieve coverage for half.  The squares in order of priority are:

SD4357, SD4156, SD5163, SD4757, SD4464, SD4259, SD6072, SD4459, SD6469, SD4559, SD6969, SD4766 and SD5976.

Volunteers should either contact Dave Sharpe directly on 822492 or alternatively he will be at the September meeting with some maps etc.  Ideally, a list of volunteers should be forwarded to the BTO before 30th September to give them time to send out survey sheets, maps etc..

As this survey requires fields to be actually crossed, whilst the BBS can be carried out from public rights of way or through permission from farmers to access field edges, the BTO are a little concerned that some farmers might cry ‘enough is enough’ and jeopardise the BBS surveys by withdrawing all access permission.  Therefore, if you are interested in participating, it might be best to sound out the farmer(s) prior to contacting Dave. 

Hopefully, we will be able to provide the necessary coverage and keep up the reputation of LDBWS for high-class participation in BTO surveys.

Dave Sharpe


The Lune/Morecambe WEBS Team

Unfortunately, due to David Thompson moving to Liverpool, a family addition for Pete Crooks and Tom Wilmer’s frequent Sunday work commitments (and broken answer phone!), we have been struggling of late; ‘we’ being John Girdley and myself.

Ideally I would like to offload Bazil Point high tide roost, not least because the necessary ‘whistle-stop’ visits by car have been made unwelcome.  Ideally, a local Overton person who has the time to walk down to the Bazil Point area is required.  The ‘time to walk down’ being created by not having to do either Middleton/Overton/the ‘ponds’ or Heysham Red Nab/heliport/Morecambe south groynes over the same high tide!   However, if there is someone who wishes to help in other ways i.e. doubling up on the huge Middleton roost with John Girdley (always difficult to count on your own), you are very welcome to contact us.  John’s e-mail is john@birdtours.co.uk

Pete Marsh pete@pbmarsh.prestel.co.uk

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