Survey – Sussex Winter Bird Survey

Sussex Winter Bird Survey


Results from the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) in Sussex have been shown to be extremely valuable, providing much information about population trends of breeding birds. In order to obtain similar information about winter bird populations in Sussex, the Sussex Winter Bird Survey (SWBS) was started in November 2011 and will be repeated annually. The SWBS is an entirely local initiative, and summary results will be provided to all participants and published in the Sussex Bird Report. It is hoped that the SWBS will after a period of several years provide information about annual fluctuations of common wintering birds. For example, the survey might be particularly useful for monitoring wintering numbers of fieldfares and redwings in Sussex.

The basic design of the survey is that current BBS volunteers survey their normal BBS squares twice during the winter. However, the survey can very easily be extended by selecting extra random 1-km squares so that other volunteers can take part. These winter surveys use fixed transect routes, with all birds seen and heard being recorded, and the results are ideally submitted through BirdTrack. If you can identify common wintering species by sight and sound, and would like to take part in the SWBS, please contact Christine George for the full instructions and to be allocated a random square near to where you live (

For those interested in a summary of the results of the Sussex Winter Bird Survey (SWBS) over the 12 winters Nov. 2011 – Feb. 2023 a table containing results for all species encountered is available as an excel spreadsheet. Please email the SWBS organiser at