• Puffins by Alan Tilmouth
  • Whitethroat by Alan Jack
  • Black Grouse by Chris Barlow


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.

English Winter Bird Survey 2018/19

In Partnership with Natural England and Defra, the BTO are organising a winter bird survey on the the existing Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) squares, prioritising farmland habitat. Of the 100 BBS squares in the Northumberland BTO region, around half are priority squares. A maximum of four visits is required, but if time and weather doesn’t facilitate this, two visits in January through to March will suffice.
If you are able to help or would like to know more please visit the BTO website, under volunteer surveys, or email me, Muriel Cadwallender, at tomandmurielcadwallender@hotmail.com and I’ll send you a list of available squares.

Willow Tit Survey 2019/20

The RSPB and Rare Breeding Birds Panel are running a UK Willow Tit survey in 2019 and 2020, working with bird clubs across England, Scotland and Wales in order to estimate the population of this rapidly-declining species. We are looking for volunteers to help Northumberland & Tyneside Bird Club survey Willow Tits in Northumberland by visiting pre-selected tetrads ( 2-km squares) throughout the species’ range in the county. Surveys will require two visits to search suitable habitat between mid-February and mid-April. For more information please contact Mark Eaton at mark.eaton@rspb.org.uk