Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) End of Season Reports

The Warley Woods Breeding Bird Survey was established in 2020, with an aim to monitor the bird numbers we have on-site.

  • 2020 - BBS Report - Despite the setbacks caused by the onset of Covid19 we still managed to collect data for this year. During the 2020 season, 1058 birds were recorded during the surveys making up 35 distinct species.
  • 2021 - BBS Report - This year we ramped up surveying effort from 3 surveys conducted in April, May and June of 2020 to four surveys a month giving us 12 data sets (which will be the new standard). During the 2021 season, 3407 birds were recorded these were from 39 distinct species. 

As we build up a larger data set we will be able to monitor bird populations found on-site, it is helped this data can help inform future management practices. It could also highlight bird species missing from our site that perhaps we may expect to see. 

If this is something that interests you Wild Warley is offering Breeding Bird Survey Training as part of our programme of events - could you help collect 2022's data? 

Not for you? There are a range of other events and volunteering opportunities for you to get involved in, these can be found here. 

Here's a short piece written by Elizabeth Coleman who has been birdwatching in Warley Woods for over 20 years and leads on the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch:

"I'd never carried out breeding bird surveys before but was delighted to be able to do this during lockdown with my daughter Emma. Having an extra pair of eyes and ears was invaluable, she made sure we stuck to route and informed me of changing transect sections. It was fascinating observing the woodland as the springtime unfurled. 

The surveys are conducted in the early in the morning when the birds are in full song, Robins, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were the star vocalists - joined later in May by the Blackcap a summer migrant. My favourite part of the whole experience was observing a nestful of Wrens fledge from a bramble patch during the June survey, that or the flyby of five Jays over the wilderness. 

It was a pleasure to talk to people we met about the birdlife of Warley Woods and pointing out some of the special species we have here such as the Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ring-necked Parakeets or the ever-elusive Treecreeper. We really enjoyed carrying out the Breeding Bird Surveys and it feels great to be able to contribute to the Trust's understanding of Warley Woods as a valuable wildlife habitat."

-Liz and Emma Coleman