Take part in BTO, RSPB & Affiliate club Surveys

Welsh Ornithological Society

WOS encourages birders in Wales to participate in BTO, RSPB and WOS Affiliate Club surveys, which increase our knowledge of birds in Wales and help towards their conservation.

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common and widespread breeding birds, producing population trends for 117 bird and nine mammal species. The survey involves a recce visit and two early-morning spring visits to an allocated 1-km square, to count all the birds you see or hear while walking two 1-km lines across the square and record any nest counts for colonial nesting birds in the square. You can optionally record mammals and visit your square later in the season to survey for butterflies. There is also the option to return data on paper, via field recording forms or to submit your data on BBS-Online. By increasing the number of Welsh participants, the BTO can develop more extensive Wales-specific reports and trends. Ask your BTO regional representative (details on the Counties & Map page) and go to the BTO website for more information.

Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS)

The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. WeBS surveyors monitor the UK’s internationally important non-breeding waterbirds. Following a tradition begun in 1947, wetland sites are counted once per month, providing data for population and trends in abundance and distribution. The network of sites legally protected for their importance to wintering waterbirds depends fundamentally on the WeBS counts.   “Waterbirds” includes wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans), waders, rails, divers, grebes, cormorants and herons. Gulls and terns are optionally included. In a typical year over 220 waterbird species, races or populations are counted in WeBS, including non-native, feral and vagrant species. National trends are produced for the most numerous 110 of these. Get involved through your BTO Regional Representative and find out more from the BTO website

Garden Bird Watch (GBW)

Garden Bird Watch (GBW), run by the BTO since 1995, has thousands of people across the UK contributing their sightings each week. You can help by keeping a simple list and telling us which species visit each week, helping us learn about how wildlife uses the food, shelter and other resources in our gardens. Join up on the BTO website.

In addition to GBW, the RSPB organises the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January / start of February each year. Get involved with this here

Useful Links