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Sussex breeding Firecrest survey 2018: update

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:

SU7901 West Itchenor
SU7911 Stoughton
SU8103 Bosham
SU8113 Wildham Wood
SU9113 East Dean
SU9123 Cowdray Park
SZ8997 Pagham
TQ0103 Littlehampton
TQ0113 Bury
TQ0123 The Mens
TQ1103 Durrington
TQ1113 Washington
TQ2005 Shoreham Airport
TQ2133 Holmbush Forest
TQ3005 Brighton
TQ3113 Clayton
TQ3133 Worth Abbey
TQ4103 Peacehaven
TQ4123 Sheffield Park
TQ4133 Kidbrooke
TQ5103 Alfriston
TQ5113 Lower Vert Wood
TQ5123 Buxted
TQ6103 Langney
TQ6123 near Broad Oak
TQ7113 near Ninfield
TQ8113 Baldslow
TQ8123 Mill Corner
TQ9123 Iden

TV5997 Eastbourne Holywell

Please contact Helen Crabtree at hcrabtree@gmail.com 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.