BTO Breeding Nightingale Survey 2012
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01386 710377
BTO Worcestershire Regional Representative
In 2012 BTO will be organising a new national Nightingale survey, following on from the previous surveys. The 2012 survey will investigate distribution and population change; habitat associations; and the proportion of males that are paired. The Nightingale is a declining summer immigrant to Britain, where it is at the north-western edge of its range. Worcestershire is now on the very edge of that range as the distribution here has retracted to the southern parts of the county in the last forty years although occasional birds turn up elsewhere. Numbers are now low. This means that records from Worcestershire are particularly important for following future changes.
The survey is based on tetrads where Nightingales have been recorded for the last ten years including the 1999 survey. The aim is to cover 2700 tetrads nationally. The survey sites will include those occupied in the 1999 survey, as well as additional sites occupied since 2007 (identified from County Reports, BTO Atlases, BirdTrack records, and local knowledge), and a ‘stratified random’ sample of 300 tetrads within the known range.
The Basic survey (provisionally 27 April – 14 May 2012) will involve two early morning visits (between one hour before sunrise and 0830hrs). Also there is an Optional Nocturnal Survey (provisionally 18 May – 4 June), to help determine the number of paired/unpaired males, which should ideally involve two nocturnal visits (between midnight and 0300hrs). This based on the fact that Nightingale males tend to stop singing when they find a mate and start to nest. Unpaired males sing on into the summer. Any additional visits or casual records would be very welcome.
Table 1. shows the 41 tetrads allocated for surveying in Worcestershire. They are designated either ‘Priority’ and ‘Non-priority’. The outline structure for the survey is as follows:
First survey period: provisionally 27th April to 14th May
1. two daytime visits to every priority tetrad
2. two daytime visits to as many non-priority tetrads as possible
3. additional daytime visits welcome, to any tetrad.
Second survey period: provisionally 18th May to 4th June
1. two nocturnal visits to as many occupied priority tetrads as possible
2. two nocturnal visits to as many occupied non-priority tetrads as possible
3. additional daytime or nocturnal visits welcome, to any tetrad
If you are interested in helping with this survey please contact me soon so tetrads can be allocated to observers. Ideally the same observer should make the nocturnal visits as well as the daytime ones. Of first importance is to survey ‘Priority’ tetrads but it is highly desirable to cover all tetrads allocated especially to document the changes in Worcestershire since earlier surveys.
The emphasis of this survey is firmly on tetrad coverage but any other Nightingale reports (or zero records) from any area will be welcome. For Worcestershire it would be very helpful if records can sent to me. They can also be submitted to BTO via BirdTrack or on casual-record forms (part of the survey documentation).
|Tetrad||10 km square||SiteName||Tetrad type|
|SO66D||SO66||Nineholes - Kyrewood||Priority|
|SO74H||SO74||Old Country House||Priority|
|SO74U||SO74||Leigh Sinton Road||Priority|
|SO74Z||SO74||Malvern Spring lane industrial estate||Priority|
|SO76K||SO76||NW of Martley||Priority|
|SO76R||SO76||Hockhams Farm - Martley||Priority|
|SO77V||SO77||Lickhill Manor Caravan Park||Priority|
|SO83H||SO83||Hill Court Farm - Longdon||Non Priority|
|SO83Z||SO83||Strensham Pool||Non Priority|
|SO83V||SO83||Priors Park||Non priority|
|SO84K||SO83||Upton upon Severn old railway||Priority|
|SO84L||SO84||Severn End||Non Priority|
|SO84R||SO84||Earls Croome||Non Priority|
|SO84S||SO84||High Green||Non Priority|
|SO84V||SO84||Strensham M5 Services||Non Priority|
|SO84X||SO84||Defford Airfield||Non Priority|
|SO84Y||SO84||Lickmoor Coppice||Non Priority|
|SO84J||SO84||Old Hills Common||Priority|
|SO86D||SO86||Shrawley Wood area||Priority|
|SO87B||SO87||Burlish Top, Stourport||Priority|
|SO93E||SO93||Strensham Water Works||Priority|
|SO94A||SO94||South Covert - Strensham||Non Priority|
|SO94E||SO94||Caldewell Mill||Non Priority|
|SO94S||SO94||Menagerie Wood||Non Priority|
|SO96I||SO96||Upton Warren||Non Priority|
Table 1. Worcestershire tetrads to be covered in the 2012 survey.
In addition, there will be some paid work undertaken for the survey and organised by BTO. The extent of this is dependent on funding and is very uncertain at present. If any keen and competent reader is interested in the possibility of limited short-term work at short notice, if the opportunity arose, please let me know.
If you are interested in the results of earlier surveys and the history of Nightingales in Worcestershire there are two articles in Worcestershire Record (Green 1998 and 1999) which can also be seen on-line at http://www.wbrc.org.uk/WORCRECD/Issue5/Nightgal.htm and http://www.wbrc.org.uk/WORCRECD/Issue7/nightgal.htm or even read on paper when you consult your archive of back numbers.
Green, G.H.1998. Nightingales in Worcestershire. Worcestershire Record 5:21-24
Green, G.H. 1999 Nightingale survey Worcestershire 1999 – Results. Worcestershire Record 7:9-10.