BTO: National Garden Bird Survey Reaches 25 Years

Song Thrush by Edmund Fellowes

In 1995 the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) launched a weekly garden bird survey: Garden BirdWatch (GBW). Today the project is still going strong, having received over eight million lists of birds and other wildlife from a total of more than 50,000 British gardens, and giving us a unique insight into the changes at our bird feeders over that time.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes March 2020

Common Seal, Alt Estuary (Photo: Dr Phil Smith)

The first half of the month continued the trend set earlier in the winter of repeated low-pressure systems driven on a particularly vigorous North Atlantic Jet Stream. Measurable rain fell in Formby on 13 days but the last 12 days of March were completely dry as the strongest high-pressure system ever recorded dominated the Atlantic and the usual spring drought set in. The month was also windy, with particularly fierce blasts on four days. One of these on the 12th coincided with 10.2 m tides, amongst the highest we get, adding to the damage caused to coastal dunes during a similar coincidence of storms and spring tides in February. I managed to get a photographic record of the losses to the dune frontage, this being not quite as bad as the massive storm surges of the 2013/14 winter.

Talking all things 'City Nature Challenge' with Anthony Beyga

A local naturalist and once a self-employed gardener, Anthony Beyga, is a wonderful advocate for the iNaturalist app, and will be helping Liverpool out during the City Nature Challenge 2020. He does most of his wildlife recording in Croxteth Park, Mab Lane Community Woodland and the surrounding Knowsley area. Take a look at a recent conversation we had with Anthony...

Building for bats in an urban world

Whiskered Bat by Jan Svetlik

A new study by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the University of Turin shows how to minimise impacts of urban growth on bats at a time when the need for new housing often hits the headlines.

This study highlights how the contribution of citizen scientists can really make a difference in research projects. The volunteer-based data collection approach allowed us to get a clear view of urban habitat exploitation by bats in Norfolk, and provides practical suggestions for urban development and woodland management.”

The 2019 breeding season; a year to remember for Blackcaps and Blue Tits

Blue Tit (Liz Cutting/BTO)

Information collected by British Trust for Ornithology volunteer bird ringers and nest recorders provides an insight into how some of our resident and migratory birds fared during the 2019 breeding season.

“Our volunteer ringers and nest recorders contribute thousands of hours each year to collecting these invaluable data.

BTO: It’s official – the Wren is our commonest bird.

Wren by Alan Drewitt

In the latest report looking at the size of our bird populations the Wren tops the list with 11 million pairs across the UK. 

Knowing how many of which species we have is important for many reasons, not least of which is the ability to make better informed decisions when it comes to conservation policy and site management. - Ian Woodward.

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