Helford Wetland Bird Survey…come and join in

Since late 2010, HMCG members have taken part in a monthly survey of all the waterbirds present on the Helford. This is part of the British Trust for Ornithology’s national ‘Wetland Birds Survey’ or WeBS, that aims to record ducks, geese, waders, herons, gulls and other waterbirds on the UK’s larger wetlands. These include reservoirs, lakes, estuaries and other wetland sites. The UK is internationally important for many wetland birds, especially in winter months when many birds head south to our ice-free coasts and waterbodies.

The Helford has been omitted from counting for many years due to its complexity – it’s impossible for one recorder to visit the whole area within a short time to carry out a count. As part of the Your Shore Volunteer programme, enthusiasm led to a number of people volunteering to count specific sections of the Helford – and Gillan – at the same time. This prevents double-counting.

As time goes on, the data becomes increasingly valuable, as population trends over time can be ascertained. It’s a pleasant way of spending an hour or so, knowing that you are contributing real data to a robust, nationwide survey set.

If anyone would like to get involved, they should contact Martin Rule on 07854 123 877. We do currently have several un-watched sectors, and back-up counters are always welcome.

Reports from the monthly counts han be found on our publications page.

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