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Cetti's warbler survey 2017

There will be a Sussex-only breeding Cetti's warbler survey this year. This survey aims to update our understanding of the distribution of breeding Cetti's warblers in Sussex, to enable the calculation of population densities and a county population estimate, and to provide information on the habitat preferences of breeding Cetti's warblers in Sussex. The survey will use mapping of singing males in tetrads where birds have been recorded previously or where they are known to occur or where there is potentially suitable habitat.

Results from the Bird Atlas 2007-2011 project show that Cetti’s warblers in Sussex are mainly found in the river valleys but also in coastal and levels areas such as around Chichester and Pagham Harbours and the Pevensey Levels. These results also show a significant increase in distribution since the previous atlas project in 1988-1992, and records suggest that the distribution has increased still further since 2011 with breeding birds now being found further up the river valleys and increasingly at small inland waterbodies.

The full survey instructions will be made available but basically volunteers will be allocated tetrads and be asked to make two or three visits between late March and the end of June to search all suitable habitat and plot the locations of all singing male Cetti's warblers on maps as well as record some simple information about activity and habitat. Casual records of singing males anywhere in Sussex will also be collected. It is likely that most survey registrations and other records will relate to birds heard singing and there will be no requirement for the birds to be observed.

Those tetrads for which volunteers are being sought are listed at To check the location of any tetrad use and type the tetrad grid reference into the darker blue panel; the tetrad will appear outlined in pink.

Please contact Helen Crabtree at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 01444 441687 if you would like to volunteer to take part in this survey, or if you have questions or comments or would like further information.

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