The Summer Random Square Survey (SRSS) was established in 1991 to provide details on the birds that breed within the BOS survey area. Like the WRSS, this survey was established because this information was not beeing captured by our monthly recording system.

Each year 1km squares are chosen at random from each for the 12 10km squares of the BOS survey area, skipping squares that have already been surveyed, though some squares have been repeat surveyed for specific reasons. Observers are asked to make at least 3 site visits, 1 month apart, starting from late April. Participants record the activity of each bird seen, with the focus on evidence of potential breeding, along with the number of pairs observed. At the end of the survey observers are asked to estimate the total number of breeding pairs for each species. The estimate is reviewed and adjusted by the bird recorder to take account of the type of breeding evidence recorded, with emphasis given to direct breeding evidence.

The analysis method follows that of the WRSS. The first 3 years of results were averaged to produce a normalised index with a value of 100. For each subsequent year, a 3-year index value relative to this base figure is calculated. This provides a long term trend which shows the breeding trend status of common species across the BOS.

390 squares have been surveyed in the period 1991-2018, over 30% of the BOS.

The results of the survey for the first 30 years (1991-2011) can be read in our book Birds of the Heart of England.

The charts below show a summary of the surveys that have been conducted to date. Hover the mouse over the chart to see the specific annual values. Note that no survey was conducted in 2001 due to Foot & Mouth. The dashed lines show the linear trend.

The charts show that the society has managed to maintain the number of surveys performed per year. There has been a slight decline in the total number of breeding species recorded each year, though the number of species recorded per survey square has remained relatively constant.

Two maps are also provided, the 1st showing the squares surveyed to date along with the number of breeding species detected per 1km square as a tooltip (hover over a square to see) - the larger the square, the greater the number of species recorded. The 2nd map shows the number of squares surveyed per 10km square. We try and ensure an even coverage across the 10km squares, but this is subject to observer availability so some parts of our area have not been surveyed to the same extent.

In March 2020 the BTO launched their Chaffinch Appeal to raise funds to help them research why the UK population of Chaffinch is undergoing a significant decline. Read more ...

My Birding Patch - Alnmouth - the Northumberland coast in microcosm with Tom Cadwallender 

Having moved to the Alnmouth area in 1989 Tom has walked his patch for over 30 years.  During this talk we will look at the familiar, the scarce and sometimes the rare species of birds through the lens of diverse habitats and the seasons. Then a brief excursion to Coquet Island where we will look at some of the breeding seabirds including the Roseate Tern, a species which Tom has been studying and helping to conserve since 1991.  One thing is for sure the wonderful landscape and seascape of the Alnmouth area will feature quite heavily in this presentation. Read more ...

Depending upon Covid-19 restrictions nearer the time this year's count may have to be posponed until restrictions have been lifted.  Please note further guidance will appear here and in the Newsletters nearer the time.

The Long Day Count is carried out by teams of observers in each of the twelve 10km squares recording the number of bird species seen during a maximum of 12 daylight hours on the second Sunday in May each year. Read more ...

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