Volunteer WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) counters needed
One or two WeBS Counters are needed to assist with counts on the river Dart.
The immediate need is for someone to cover Stoke Gabriel Millpond and the main estuary from Duncannon to Sandridge. These could be covered by one or two people.
You can find out more by downloading this document: Request for WeBS counters on the River Dart
If you want to get involved, please contact Peter Reay, (WeBS Local Organiser for Devon (except Taw and Torridge Tamar Estuaries).
Bird Citizen Science Project
Devon Birds has been notified about a Citizen Science Project that has been launched, where volunteers can submit observations of birds foraging in either human or natural resources.
The first aim of the project is to study how commonly different species in different areas of the UK eat human foods and litter instead of “natural” food like worms and insects. The second aim is to engage more people in birdwatching: a common barrier is that most citizen science projects require bird ID skills, so this study has been designed in a way that no previous knowledge on birds is required. The hope is that this will help to engage more people with nature and birds, especially young people.
The study will be open until 26th August and volunteers can participate as many times as they like.
Tawny Owl Surveys
The BTO is running another complementary pair of Tawny Owl surveys over 2018/2019 and would welcome the help of volunteers.
Firstly, from mid-August to mid-October they will be running a structured survey based on those carried out in 1989 and 2005 called the Tawny Owl Point Survey (TOPS). For this you choose a tetrad from those available and once signed up just listen two or three times for 20 minutes at or near the centre of the tetrad during the 2 hours after sunset. Full details at https://www.bto.org/volunteer-
Secondly, from 30 September 2018 to 31 March 2019 for the Tawny Owl Calling Survey (TOCS), they are asking you to listen for Tawny Owls for 20 minutes one evening a week from your own garden or other place that you choose. The more weeks the better but one is better than none! Full details at https://www.bto.org/volunteer-
And always remember a zero result is as valuable as a positive!
Our BTO rep – Stella Beavan – is happy to answer any queries and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seabirds Count is the 4th breeding seabird census to be conducted in Britain and Ireland. Although data has been collected since 2015, there are still many sites needing to be surveyed. In Devon there are 29 non-urban seabird breeding sites that will need to be surveyed either this season or the 2019 season as set out in the spreadsheet here.
The timing for this season is getting tight but if you think you could take on one or two, either this year or next, please get in touch via email: SeabirdsCountCoordinato
Summary of Membership Survey Responses
Below we have summarised the results of the survey sent out to all the members of Devon Birds on behalf of the Council at the beginning of this year. The results of this survey were presented to this year’s AGM, and it was thought that it might be useful to share a summary of the responses. Overall there was around a fourteen per cent response rate which we are informed is not untypical.
Figures shown below are percentages.
How satisfied are you with Devon Birds?
Extremely satisfied – 47%; Satisfied – 46%; Neutral – 3%; Dissatisfied – 1%; Extremely dissatisfied – 3%
Which events have you attended in the past 12 months?
AGM – 24%; Field meetings – 38%; Indoor meetings – 38%
Have you participated in bird surveys in the past 12 months?
Yes – 20%; No – 80%
Do you feel that surveys are important for DB?
Yes – 98.5%; No – 1.5%
Have you visited a DB reserve in the past 12 months?
Yes – 39%; No – 61%
Have you carried out any voluntary activities?
Yes – 12%; No – 88%
Are you willing to participate in voluntary activities?
Yes – 28%; No – 72%
Do you feel that DB should support conservation activities?
Are you satisfied with the information you receive?
Yes – 91%; No – 9%
Are you satisfied with the DBR?
Yes – 95%; No – 5%
Are you satisfied with The Harrier?
Yes – 90%; No – 10%
Are you aware that The Harrier is now a blog?
Yes – 52%; No – 48%
Have you subscribed to The Harrier blog?
Yes – 29%; No – 71%
Are you a member of one of the Branches?
Yes – 37%; No – 63%
How do you keep informed about DB activities? (Shown as percentage of overall responses)
Website – 74%; The Harrier – 81%; Other – 13%