• An Eider by Adriana Buskin
  • Cuckoo by Tim Dean
  • Puffins by Alan Tilmouth
  • Yellow Wagtail by Paul Buskin
  • Whitethroat by Alan Jack
  • Black Grouse by Chris Barlow


Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) – 2017

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey is the main scheme for monitoring the changing fortunes of the UK’s common breeding birds, generating population trends used to set conservation priorities.  In Northumberland and Tyneside, over 70 1km squares have been surveyed since the survey began in 1994, many for over 20 years. The squares are chosen randomly and cover all available habitats, reflecting the percentage of land use in the area.

After an initial reconnaissance visit in March to set up the transect route, two morning field recording visits are required:  Early – April/May: Late – late May/ June, at least four weeks apart. All birds seen and heard should be recorded, as well as habitat details.  There is also an optional mammal section to this.  The object is to visit the site at the same time each year, or as close as possible, to enable comparisons to be made.

Several extra squares have become available this year as observers have moved away or become infirm. The list of vacant 1km squares has approximate locations, with the grid reference of the bottom left-hand corner (SW).

BBS 2017 vacant squares

Grid ref:
SW corner of
1km square
Approximate Location
OS Landranger Map
NT7108 Deerlee Knowe 80
NT7400 Redesdale Forest 80
NT9040 Heaton Moor nr Crookham 75
NU0242 Haggerston 75
NU1108 Edlingham 81
NU2127 West of Long Nanny 75
NY7994 Kielder Forest, West of Blackburnhead 80
NY9294 Dunshield, North West of Elsdon 80
NZ0096 Harwood Forest 81
HZ0383 Old Deanham nr Wallington 81
NZ0790 Broomfield Fell, Netherwitton 81
NY6078 Tarn Beck 86
NY6086 Lewis Burn NY631887-NY623874 80
NY8692 River Rede  NY880933-NY864943 80
NY8890 River Rede  NY888927-NY900901 80

For further information please contact Muriel Cadwallender, BBS Regional Organiser, email – tomandmurielcadwallender@hotmail.com and visit www.bto.org/bbs

The Breeding Bird Survey – (BBS) 2016
Thanks go to everyone who helped. 

To find out more about both these surveys visit the British Trust for Ornithology’s BBS website at www.bto.org/bbs

Thanks also go to everyone who helped with the following surveys:

  • BTO House Martin Survey 2015
  • Whooper & Bewick’s Swan Census in Northumberland 2015
  • BTO Woodcock Survey 2013 & 2014
  • Pre-Season Survey of Red Kites 2013 & 2014

Breeding Waders of English Upland Farmland 2016

The upland breeding populations of waders and farmland species have shown considerable declines in recent decades. The upland farmland known as ‘In-bye’, which is the enclosed land below the moorland, is known to support substantial numbers of these important species.

Why survey upland farmland waders?
The purpose of this survey is to estimate the population size of waders and other important bird species supported by ‘In-bye’ farmland. More crucially this will provide as baseline against which to measure population changes and the effect of agri-environment scheme management.

What is required?
This survey involves volunteers visiting up to 1,000 selected 2-km squares (tetrads) throughout England, located in upland areas. Each tetrad contains at least 80 hectares of ‘In-bye’ land.  The survey involves two morning visits between 1st April and 15th July. During each visit all breeding waders and other upland farmland species will be recorded within each ‘In-bye’ field, as well as habitat information for each ‘In-bye’ field covered (map provided).

Further information
More detailed survey information, including instructions and recording forms are available on the BTO Website

WeBS Counts in Northumberland

Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) is the scheme which monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution and to identify important sites for waterbirds. Continuing a tradition begun in 1947, around 3,000 volunteer counters participate in synchronised monthly counts at wetlands of all habitat types, mainly during the winter period.

Monthly counts by volunteers are made on almost all the important wetlands in the UK, with most counts in the winter and the majority on specific dates. In Northumberland monthly counts are undertaken at the following ‘waterbodies’:

  1. up to 47 inland waters
  2. Lindisfarne NNR
  3. around 85km of open coastline, and
  4. at the county’s 5 major estuaries (Aln, Blyth, Coquet, Tweed and the Tyne)

The monthly counts in Northumberland involve up to 60 regular volunteer counters each month. At the moment all our sites have been ‘taken’ but if you would like to get involved at a future date please don’t hesitate to contact one of our two Local Organisers:

Inland Waters:  Steve Holliday   Email:  steveholliday (at) hotmail.co.uk
Coastal and estuarine:  Kathy Evans   Email:  kathyevans121 (at) gmail.com

WeBS is a partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (the latter on behalf of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage) in association with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.