In 2018 there will be a Sussex-only breeding Firecrest survey. The aims of this survey will be to estimate breeding densities of Firecrests in Sussex, to obtain a better undertstanding of their distribution in the county, and to find out in detail what kinds of habitats these birds are using. The survey will run in April, May and June 2018 and the survey sites will be 1-km squares largely self-selected by volunteers but distributed as widely as possible across the county and also randomly-selected 1-km squares confirmed to include at least some suitable breeding habitat.
To assist with the selection of suitable survey sites in good time before the 2018 breeding season commences, volunteers are being sought NOW who are willing DURING THIS WINTER to search 10-km squares or smaller areas for sites with habitats that are potentially suitable for breeding Firecrests. Detailed advice about suitable habitats is available here but essentially mixed coniferous/deciduous woodland is thought to be preferred, especially if there is douglas fir, western hemlock, norway spruce or holly. In addition, volunteers are being sought who can visit one or more of the following 1-km squares during January or February to check for the presence of suitable breeding habitat:
TV5997 Eastbourne Holywell
Please contact Helen Crabtree at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of sites near you that hold breeding Firecrests, or if you would be willing to search an area or one of the squares listed above over the winter for suitable habitat, or if you woud like to undertake surveys in the breeding season. The breeding season surveys themselves will involve three visits to each 1-km square to search all suitable habitat and to record numbers of singing Firecrests and Goldcrests.