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Woodlark records requested

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 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.

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