the Non-estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS) help required – just one visit during Dec/Jan

“NEWS”, the Non-estuarine Waterbird Survey, is an occasional survey  organised by the BTO to determine waterbird numbers on coastal sites, as opposed to the estuaries and freshwater sites covered by the monthly Wetland Bird Survey. The last NEWS took place in 2006/7, and the latest will take place this coming winter. Further details can be found on, where you can also request a sector. Devon is divided into seven regions in total, split between north and south.

North (local organiser – Brian O’Leary)

  • Lundy
  • Cornwall county border to Bideford Bar, Appledore
  • Bideford Bar, Appledore to Somerset county border

South (local organiser – Peter Reay):

  • Cornwall county border to Salcombe
  • Salcombe to Budleigh Salterton
  • Budleigh Salterton to Seaton
  • Seaton to Lyme Regis

Maps on the website show the location of sectors, both priority and non-priority, and those already allocated. The survey starts on 1 December. but only requires a minimum of one visit to each sector between then and 31 January 2016.

Requests are already underway, with several priority sectors already allocated (these have to be allocated first). So please consider adding this new and potentially exciting dimension to your winter birding by requesting sectors now – while there are still some left!!  

To give some idea of what is involved, the previous NEWS survey (2006/7) results for Devon are summarised in the 2006 Devon Bird Report pp 173-176. 

Thanks in anticipation for supporting NEWS – and the BTO.

Pete Reay