Harry Green, BTO Regional Representative for Worcestershire.

The full national survey for 2003 is in full swing. For Worcestershire this includes the usual annual counts of known heronries (organised by Shaun Micklewright) and coverage of a set of random tetrads as part of a national trial to discover unrecorded heronries. In addition and new heronries anywhere in the county should be recorded. There seems to be tendency fro herons to nest in small groups rather than large heronries which were commoner in the past. Such small heronries may easily be missed as they can be surpris9ngly well hidden in small trees or large hedgerows, usually near rivers pr other wetlands. Please keep a lookout for these and let me know as soon as possible if you find any. The survey is of course of nesting herons and not simply of sightings of birds. I have heard that herons are nesting at Arrow Valley Lake in Redditch. Although Redditch has been covered by BTO Warwickshire Regional Representative Joe Hardman for many years it is possible that the square SP06 will be covered by BTO Worcestershire in the future so I we should be interested in receiving information from that area.
Although 2003 is not an official BTO survey year we are very keen to keep track of Nightingales in Worcestershire. If you have records of singing birds I should be very pleased to receive them

They can be sent to me directly by email zen130501@zen.co.uk or by phoning 01386 710377, or by leaving a message for at the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust office 01905 754919. I would be useful if you could let me know the exact location of the birds with grid reference if possible, the dates of the records, your name and contact details

As I mentioned in the last Worcestershire Record global warming may mean that nightingales increase again in Worcestershire although cool wet weather in spring appears to be unhelpful despite the overall rise in mean temperatures.
20th century with particular reference to climate change. Bird Study 49, 193-204.

If you have not done so already it is well worth logging on to the BTO webs site and following migration "as it happens" Records are added to the site on a daily basis and animated mapping shows the waves of migrants moving into the country. You can also participate and send in records. This exciting project, now in its second year, is a great step forward in migration studies and enables anyone to take part. Like the Garden BirdWatch Project the involvement of many people is providing detailed information which could not be obtained in any other way.

BTO web site is www.bto.org. Information on all aspects of BTO work is available at the site.

This pilot survey is aimed at clarifying and standardising methods to be used for a fuller survey next year designed to gain a greater understanding of feeding behaviour of swallows. In Worcestershire we have 17 participants. Hopefully next year more people will be able to join in. Eventually a better understanding of swallow requirement will assist in conservation methods to help arrest the current decline.

This survey, run jointly by BTO and Game Conservancy Trust aims to provide a baseline estimate of breeding woodcock numbers. The methodology is based on randomly selected 1 km squares containing woodland. Observers visit the woodland site to select a view point and then watch on several summer evenings to record (if present) roding woodcock. We have 21 squares covered across the county and the results will be a considerable interest as we have very little idea of how many breeding woodcock are present. Winter records are not uncommon but, apart from in Wyre Forest we have very little summer information.

The BTO is involved in a great deal of research into house sparrows and is collecting much information through Garden BirdWatch. This is aiming to discover in detail where sparrows still occur and to collect information from such places and also from places no vacated. Details of gardens, feeding sites and availability of holes in buildings for nesting are being gathered. In addition surveys are in hand on a number of randomly selected areas .

Those who attended the Annual Meeting in April heard Mike Smart give an account of this survey which in our district has been extended to cover the whole of the river valleys of Severn, Avon and Teme, as well as other areas known to hold breeding waders in earlier surveys. Mike is preparing a full report and a full account will be published in the November edition of Worcestershire Record.

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