Worcestershire Record No. 3 November 1997 p. 4


Harry Green, BTO Regional Representative for Worcestershire

The long-standing Waterways Bird Survey has been without external funding for the last few years. BTO has attempted to secure funding from the Environment Agency and others to re-develop the survey in order to increase its coverage and better meet the needs of potential users. The good news is that this money has now been provided for a one-year pilot survey.

During the course of the new pilot survey the existing WBS will continue as normal, although WBS observers may wish to participate in the new scheme as well.

The pilot survey is called the 'Waterways Breeding Bird Survey' (WBBS) and will be based on around 100 randomly selected stretches of rivers and canals. Each site will be surveyed using line transects and needs to be visited just three times. One visit is needed to set up the transect and record habitat data and two visits to collect bird data; this matches the methods used successfully for BBS.

This means that we shall need two or three volunteers to take part in the pilot survey. The pilot aims to test new methods for waterways bird monitoring in the UK and the response of participants and organisers will form an important part of the trial. The Environment Agency are keen for the pilot to go ahead in 1998 and this obviously gives little time for organisation by BTO HQ and RRs.

The survey represents a unique opportunity to enhance the BTO's bird monitoring work both locally and nationally. It anyone would like to help please get in touch with me as soon as possible. Obviously, you should be able to identify the birds you are likely to encounter along a river or canal!

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