BTO Breeding Bird Survey: new volunteers needed

Now is a good time of the year to consider taking part in the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), because if you take on a BBS square you will also have the option to take part in the Sussex Winter Bird Survey (SWBS) by surveying the same square over the coming winter.

The BBS is a national monitoring scheme administered by the BTO and jointly funded by the BTO, JNCC and RSPB. It has been running since 1994 and its primary aim is to provide population trends for common and widespread bird species in the UK. Population trends for Sussex are also produced annually. Survey plots are randomly-selected 1-km squares of the National Grid, and the same squares are surveyed each year. Volunteers visit their squares three times each year during the breeding season, once to record simple habitat data, and twice to walk a fixed route, recording birds seen and heard. There are more than 150 BBS squares across Sussex, covering every type of habitat, and new volunteers are always needed. Volunteers must be able to recognise common and widespread birds, but previous experience of survey work is not necessary. Help and support from experienced volunteers can be arranged if required, and some informal group practice sessions will be planned for March 2020 to which new volunteers will be invited.

The BBS squares (asterisks indicate priority squares that have been surveyed before) in Sussex which currently need volunteers for the 2020 breeding season (updated 17/12/19) are:

SU7802 Cobnor Point
SU8624 Tote Hill near Midhurst
SU9017 Heyshott*
SU9113 near East Dean*
SU9127 near Fernhurst*
SU9216 Graffham Down*
SU9228 near Blackdown*
SU9618 Coultershaw Bridge* (Waterways BBS: River Rother)
SU9705 Walberton*
SZ7996 East Wittering*
SZ8696 Pagham Harbour*
SZ8698 near Sidlesham*
TQ0124 near Kirdford*
TQ0819 near West Chiltington*
TQ1904 Lancing*
TQ2122 Cowfold*
TQ2631 Tilgate Forest*
TQ2721 near Goddard’s Green*
TQ2828 Staplefield*
TQ3304 Brighton Whitehawk
TQ4002 Telscombe*
TQ4136 Ashurst Wood*
TQ4313 Upper Wellingham*
TQ4738 near Blackham*
TQ4800 Seaford*
TQ4806 Firle Beacon*
TQ4900 Seaford*
TQ5226 near Crowborough*
TQ5228 near Crowborough*
TQ5435 near Eridge Station*
TQ5514 near Chiddingly
TQ5738 Tunbridge Wells*
TQ5901 Willingdon
TQ6419 Earl’s Down*
TQ6727 near Stonegate*
TQ7028 near Hurst Green
TQ7311 near Bexhill*
TQ8013 Baldslow*
TQ8413 near Three Oaks
TQ8518 Udimore*
TQ8613 Guestling Green
TQ8722 Peasmarsh*

For further information about the BBS, please contact:
Helen Crabtree
BTO Representative for Sussex
Phone: 01444 441687

For further information about the Sussex Winter Bird Survey, please contact:
Christine George