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News Items
Cetti's warbler records requested
Saturday, 06 May 2017

There is a Sussex-only breeding Cetti's warbler survey running this year, aiming to update our understanding of the distribution of breeding Cetti's warblers in Sussex, to enable the calculation of a county population estimate, and to provide information on the habitat preferences of breeding Cetti's warblers in Sussex. The survey mainly involves visits by volunteers to tetrads where birds have been recorded previously or where they are known to occur or where there is potentially suitable habitat.

Casual records of singing males anywhere in Sussex are also being collected to supplement the tetrad surveys. These records should include dates and precise grid references, and ideally should include information about habitat using the categories listed below and also listed on the casual record form available here.

Reed-bed (Phragmites-dominated) (1)
Other reed-swamp (>0.6m tall with Typha) (2)
Fen/marsh (<0.6m tall with rushes/sedges) (3)
Dense/continuous scrub (4)
Scattered scrub in reed-bed (5)
Scattered scrub in reed-swamp (6)
Scattered scrub in fen/marsh (7)
Scattered scrub by open water (8)
Carr/wet woodland (9)
Wet ditch with reed margin (10)
Scrub/hedge beside wet ditch (11)
Scrub/hedge beside river (12)
Hedgerow (not beside wet ditch) (13)
Other (please specify) (14)

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 to provide records, or if you would like to volunteer to take part by surveying a tetrad, or if you have questions or comments or would like further information.

 
Woodcock annual monitoring
Saturday, 22 April 2017

New volunteers in Sussex are being sought to help to monitor national breeding woodcock numbers. Annual monitoring of roding woodcocks has taken place at a number of sites across the UK each year since 2003; a summary of the results can be found at http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/woodcock-survey/results.

Three visits to a site are required between 1st May and 30th June, commencing 15 minutes before sunset and lasting a total of 75 minutes. For each visit a volunteer remains at a designated point and counts the number of times that roding birds are seen or heard. Full details, including survey methods, can be found at http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/woodcock-survey.

Listed below (updated 1/5/17) are sites that have been surveyed previously and where roding woodcocks are likely to be encountered; if you are interested in conducting surveys at one of these sites please contact Helen Crabtree at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Also listed are sites that are already being monitored by existing volunteers. Sites not listed below can also be monitored if they are thought to hold breeding woodcocks; please contact Helen Crabtree with a grid reference and a site name if you are interested in conducting surveys at another site. Although the surveys are conducted at designated points, the sites are 1-km squares, and counting points should be separated by at least 1 km to avoid double-counting of roding birds.

SU8128 Chapel Common
SU8516 Westdean Woods
SU8529 Stanley Common ALLOCATED
SU8626 Woolbeding Common
SU9119 Ambersham Common
SU9129 Blackdown
SU9418 Lavington Common ALLOCATED
SU9518 Duncton Common
SU9807 Rewell Wood
TQ2130 St Leonard's Forest ALLOCATED
TQ3034 Worthlodge Forest ALLOCATED
TQ3327 River's Wood (Balcombe)
TQ4230 Chelwood ALLOCATED
TQ4233 Broadstone Warren ALLOCATED
TQ4332 Ashdown Park ALLOCATED
TQ4432 Asdown Ridge ALLOCATED
TQ4528 Marlpits
TQ4530 Pippingford Park ALLOCATED
TQ4627 Duddleswell ALLOCATED
TQ4630 Old Lodge
TQ4828 Poundgate
TQ5223 Waste Wood (Hadlow Down)
TQ5431 Hornshurst Wood (Rotherfield)
TQ5536 Broadwater Warren ALLOCATED
TQ5736 Hargate Forest ALLOCATED

Please contact Helen Crabtree at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have questions about this survey or would like more information.

 

 

 
RSPB Brighton Urban Swift Survey
Friday, 17 March 2017

We need volunteers to help us survey swifts in Brighton during May-July to help identify a significant decrease in populations.

If you live in the Brighton & Hove area and would like to help protect these fantastic birds please check out our volunteer swift surveyor role here or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for details.

 
Woodlark records requested
Thursday, 09 March 2017

There is a Sussex-only breeding woodlark and Dartford warbler survey running this year, aiming to update our understanding of the distributions of breeding Dartford warblers and woodlarks in Sussex, to enable the calculation of population densities and county population estimates, and to provide information on the habitat preferences of breeding Dartford warblers and woodlarks in Sussex. The survey mainly involves visits by volunteers to tetrads where birds have been recorded previously or where they are known to occur or where there is potentially suitable habitat.

Casual records of singing males of either species anywhere in Sussex are also being collected, and in particular at the moment records of singing woodlarks are requested. These records should include dates and precise grid references, and ideally should include information about habitat using the categories listed below and also listed on the casual record form available here.

Heather (1)
Bracken (2)
Gorse (3)
Uneven tussocky grassland (4)
Short/grazed grassland (5)
Other plants/shrubs/scattered trees (6)
Recently cleared ground/felled trees (7)
Spring/winter cereal crops (8)
Beans/peas (9)
Vineyard (10)
Other arable farmland (11)
Bare earth (12)
Set-aside/fallow farmland (13)
Other (please specify) (14)

Woodlarks are being recorded increasingly in farmland in Sussex as well as in the more traditional heathland habitats. Birdwatchers are encouraged to listen for singing woodlarks in farmland areas and to record the habitat being used, or to visit one or more of the tetrads listed at http://www.sos.org.uk/surveys/woodlark-and-dartford-warbler-survey-2017.html to check for the presence of woodlarks.

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.

 
More books for sale (including "The Birds of Sussex")
Thursday, 09 March 2017

We have been informed that various birding/ornithological books are for sale.  They were owned by a Brighton RSPB Group member who has passed away.

Amongst the books is a copy of The Birds of Sussex, Helm Guides to various countries, and one book which is a collectors item - No.104 of the New Naturalist Series - A History of Ornithology. Please contact Heather Booth ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ; to view the whole list of books complete with prices

 

Money raised will go towards Brighton RSPB Group funds.

 
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