The Stone Curlew Recovery Project – Keith Betton

Keith Betton devotes much of his summer to studying and helping to protect the small population of Stone Curlews that breeds in remote locations on the Downs in Hampshire.  He has been the County Bird Recorder in Hampshire for ten years and is currently Chairman of the Hampshire Ornithological Society.

A past trustee of both the RSPB and BTO, he is Vice President of the latter.  Having retired early from a career in the media he is now an advisor to BirdLife International, providing free media training to their worldwide staff.  He has co-authored two books profiling prominent birdwatchers and has just revised the popular guidebook 'Where to Watch Birds in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight'

Keith was aware of stone-curlews in his local “patch” for many years.  His involvement with the stone-curlew recovery project grew over time, first passing records on to the RSPB, then taking on fieldwork responsibilities, liaising with landowners, and eventually coordinating a team of volunteers.  Since 2014, Keith and his team have been leading all stone-curlew monitoring and protection in their area of Hampshire. They check on about 15 fallow plots on 10 farms with 8–10 breeding pairs of stone-curlews, finding birds and nests, and carrying out nest protection where needed to enable farmers to carry out management safely.


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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 ...

A survey where observers are each given a randomly selected 1km square and record all the species encountered and numbers of each for a minimum period of 2 hours between 9am and noon. Read more ...

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