Bird Surveys

As birds are particularly susceptible to disturbance during their breeding season they are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (and as amended). Wintering birds are also vulnerable to disturbance and key feeding/resting areas should be identified during any survey. Any impact should be fully considered before and during any proposed development or management strategy.

I  have extensive knowledge of ornithological surveying techniques including:

  • Breeding bird survey
  • Common Bird Census including territory mapping
  • Flight line survey (vantage point) for wind farm appraisals
  • Coastal ornithological monitoring (both long and short term)
  • Woodland bird survey (Click here for more details)
  • Farmland bird surveys
  • Mapping and transect surveys

There are also occasions when it is necessary for single species surveys to be conducted and this can be provided following the latest techniques and guidelines.

Common Bird Census (CBC) survey 
In order to estimate the number and distribution of each species present during the breeding season a territory-mapping approach is employed. The survey method used is based upon The British Trust for Ornithology’s Common Bird Census (CBC) methodology (Marchant 1983). The site is visited at intervals of approximately ten days (in suitable conditions i.e. not in strong wind or heavy rain) between mid-March and mid-July. Visits are made in the early morning and timed to coincide with peak times of song / breeding activity. Evening visits may also be conducted to specifically target any species that are more active at this time (e.g. nightjar).

During each visit all bird registrations are marked on maps using BTO standard codes and activity symbols such as alarm calls, singing or carrying food.

The collected data from all the completed surveys is then transferred to species maps where they are analysed and likely territories identified. Actual determination of territories can be open to interpretation, but generally a cluster of registrations will centre on singing males and or nest activity.

Common Bird Census mapping remains the most accurate, practical way to determine the numbers and distribution of breeding birds within a study site. Our team of dedicated ornithologists regularly undertake CBC surveys in a variety of habitat types.

Farmland Bird Surveys 
There has been a dramatic decline in farmland bird populations since the 1970s, with nearly all species of farmland birds declining. A basic farmland bird survey can provide the factual evidence to give advice on required conservation methods and land management techniques needed to reverse this trend at a local level.

Basic Farmland Bird Surveys would involve;

  • Looking at the present distribution of avifauna across the farm landscape
  • Determining distribution patterns of bird populations and their relationship to habitat, particularly woodlands, field margins, set-a-side and hedgerows
  • Consider how future agricultural cropping and land management could affect bird populations

A mapping census would provide a detailed description of the species present on site, while territories plotted on a map would allow comparisons with a map of management history or habitat features.

I have worked closely with both the British Trust for Ornithology and the RSPB on numerous Farm Bird surveys and have extensive knowledge of the latest Farmland Bird Surveying techniques.

I can supply a number of different types of bird boxes, including barn owl nest boxes.

I regularly undertake bird surveys in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire in connection with planning applications and other developments.

I am a totally Independent Ecologist and Protected Species Consultant, for impartial advice on all aspects of ecology and for further details please email andrew@forktail.co.uk  or call my mobile 07880700313.