The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBs)
The Wetland birds of the UK are surveyed on a monthly basis by teams of volunteer counters. The results are collated and published by a consortium consisting of the BTO, WWT, RSPB and JNCC.
The mudflats and salt marshes around Sunderland Point and in particular Middleton Sands are part of the Morecambe Bay complex of estuaries. Morecambe Bay is Internationally important for twelve species of waterfowl.
This page looks at the contribution that the birds of the Sunderland Point area makes towards these totals.
WeBS data CBC data
The Common Birds Census (CBC)
Sunderland Point first took part in the Common Bird Census in 1998. It is now designated CBC Farmland Plot 1562. The area surveyed is essentially all the farmland south of the car park, including the gardens of the houses
The British Trust for Ornithology run the CBC surveys in order to monitor the population trends of common woodland and farmland birds. The system works well provided that the same plots are surveyed on an on-going year to year basis. My figures will only become useful after the second year of surveying.
The methodology involves ten survey visits between late March and early June. Every bird seen or heard is recorded and mapped. Birds seen on suitable territory at least three times are usually accepted as breeding. Birds carrying food or nesting material are also recorded. Eventually the number of species and territories are worked out by an expert at the BTO. It is possible that species that tend to go quiet and skulk after mating might be under-recorded. (Robin and Dunnock come to mind!) However provided that the same methodology is used each year than the trends will still show up.
Last year (1998) the CBC showed up thirty one breeding species holding one hundred and five territories. This was out of a total of about one hundred and twenty species seen from the point that year!
WeBS data CBC data
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