Get involved with birdwatching and recording!
The most important way you can get involved is by submitting records of the birds which you see in North-East Wales. All data are important whether they relate to common birds or rare and unusual species; whether seen while walking in the countryside or in your back garden, and whether you are an experienced birder or an enthusiastic volunteer. You can submit your sightings in a number of ways: see Submit Records?
If you wish you can assist with one of the BTO surveys that depends on volunteers like you. The BTO representatives in North Wales are:
Anglesey: Ian Hawkins, 01248-430590
Caernarfon: Geoff Gibbs, 01248-681936
Clwyd East: Anne Brenchley, 01352-750118
Clwyd West: Mel ab Owain, 01745-826528
Meirionnydd: Rob Morton, 01341-422426
The easiest is probably Garden BirdWatch during which you record, say in a diary, the numbers of each species that you see in your garden each day you are at home. The data gathered are the maximum counts of each species during that week and may be submitted to the BTO on a special card that can be read by a computer or by entering the data using the internet. To engage with this survey contact the GBW Organiser at the BTO Headquarters or the regional GBW Ambassador.
A very important survey is the Breeding Bird Survey which provides information to the Government on the health of the countryside by monitoring breeding bird populations. It is mainly concerned with common species. To do this survey you need to be able to identify the common species that breed in an area and preferably get to know their songs and calls. To engage with this survey you need to contact your local Regional Representative. Data are gathered on special recording forms and the BTO now prefers people to enter their data online. Another similar survey, but along watercourses (canals or rivers) is the Waterways Breeding Birds Survey. Again, contact your local Regional Representative.
The BTO has regular surveys of wetland birds and the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) aims to cover all important stretches of coastline and inland waters (lakes, reservoirs and ponds). Further information about this survey can be obtained from the local organiser.
You could start doing some nest recording. Nest recording is about checking the productivity of nests of any British breeding birds (but a Schedule 1 licence is needed for the rarer species). It is important to know how well, or badly, species fare during their breeding attempts. It is possible to monitor nests without adversely affecting the breeding process. To find out more check the BTO’s Nest Record Scheme and click here to find out more about taking part.
Every 20 years or so there is a national Atlas project too. See the Atlas page.