As we are now in the fourth and final breeding season of the BTO Atlas for Britain and Ireland it is imperative that we collect breeding evidence for as many species as possible for each tetrad (2km square) in Kent.
The survey period runs from April the 1st to July the 31st and if you still have any Timed Tetrad Visits (TTVs) to carry out then your first visit should take place sometime during April or May and the second visit sometime during June or July. If you have volunteered to undertake a TTV and are now no longer in a position to complete it then please let either Sally Hunter or myself know as soon as possible so that it can be reallocated. PLEASE do not leave it until the end of May to inform us!
More details on how to take part can be found here:
Categories of Breeding Evidence:
Select a code that best describes what you have seen, categories further down the list infer a higher level of evidence of breeding. All codes for Possible, Probable and Confirmed Breeding must relate to individuals in potentially suitable nesting habitat.
Code F (Flying over) should only be used on Roving Records forms and not on Timed Tetrad Visits.
F Flying over
M Species observed but suspected to be still on Migration
U Species observed but suspected to be sUmmering non-breeder
H Species observed in breeding season in suitable nesting Habitat
S Singing male present (or breeding calls heard) in breeding season in suitable breeding habitat
P Pair observed in suitable nesting habitat in breeding season
T Permanent Territory presumed through registration of territorial behaviour (song etc) on at least two different days a week or more apart at the same place or many individuals on one day
D Courtship and Display (judged to be in or near potential breeding habitat; be cautious with wildfowl)
N Visiting probable Nest site
A Agitated behaviour or anxiety calls from adults, suggesting probable presence of nest or young nearby
I Brood patch on adult examined in the hand, suggesting Incubation
B Nest Building or excavating nest-hole
DD Distraction-Display or injury feigning
UN Used Nest or eggshells found (occupied or laid within period of survey)
FL Recently FLedged young (nidicolous species) or downy young (nidifugous species). Careful consideration should be given to the likely provenance of any fledged juvenile capable of significant geographical movement. Evidence of dependency on adults (e.g. feeding) is helpful. Be cautious, even if the record comes from suitable habitat.
ON Adults entering or leaving nest-site in circumstances indicating Occupied Nest (including high nests or nest holes, the contents of which can not be seen) or adults seen incubating
FF Adult carrying Faecal sac or Food for young
NE Nest containing Eggs
NY Nest with Young seen or heard
As well as carrying out field work this coming season, please check your records for the period 1st April to 31st July for each of the three previous breeding seasons, 2008, 2009 and 2010, to see if you have any additional sightings for any tetrads and to see if you have evidence to show Present, Possible, Probable or Confirmed Breeding. Additional species and breeding evidence should be submitted to the Atlas website, either as ‘Roving Records’ or via the link to BirdTrack. If you are not on line, please submit as Roving Records using the paper form (additional copies available from Sally Hunter and myself).
Don’t worry about possible duplicate entries; the system is designed to cope with this. Better that species are entered twice and evidence duplicated than not entered at all. Please note that records entered onto the KOS database will not automatically filter through to the Atlas and if entering records via Birdtrack then the site must be specified to tetrad level.
To determine a tetrad go to http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/birdatlas/taking-part/atlas-tools and enter your six-digit grid reference into the “tetrad calculator” box, this will then generate the code for that tetrad, i.e. TQ670450 (Paddock Wood) becomes TQ64S.
Next, visit the Breeding Richness Map on the KOS website here http://www.kentos.org.uk/atlas/2008/RichnessMap.shtml to see which species have already been recorded in each tetrad and the level of breeding evidence. In the bottom left hand corner of the map you will see “10km square IDs”, if you hover your mouse over this then all the 10km squares will be labelled, then move your cursor up towards the square and by hovering your mouse over each of the tetrads you will be able to find the one you want. If you then click on that tetrad a list of species for that square will appear along with current breeding status being described as; Present, Possible, Probable or Confirmed for each species. Note that there are three tabs towards the top of this page; “Core breeding species”, “Rarer breeding species” and “Migrants and non-breeding species”.
It is highly unlikely that you will record all the species present in a tetrad during the course of two 2-hour TTVs, and if you limit your visits to just two per tetrad there will be several species for which you are unlikely to collect breeding evidence. The more Roving Records that can be gathered for each tetrad the more complete each tetrad’s species list will be, and the more visits you make to a tetrad the more species you will obtain evidence of confirmed breeding for. The task therefore this breeding season is not only to complete the programme of TTVs, but also to upgrade the evidence of breeding species for as many species as possible in each tetrad. It’s not unreasonable to expect every tetrad to have confirmed breeding evidence of at least 20 species.
So even if you are unable to carry out any TTVs you can still contribute greatly by adding Roving Records and upgrading the breeding evidence for as many species as possible, this could be achieved by visits to your local patch, birds in your garden, a trip to the shops, walking the dogs etc etc. Please do not assume that a species has already been confirmed as breeding, for example House Sparrow is currently confirmed as breeding in 44% of tetrads with Blackbird in 56% and Collared Dove in only 17%. If any of these nest in your garden please be sure to check that they have been included accordingly.
For more details visit the KOS website http://www.kentos.org.uk/ and click on the KOS Atlas button down the left hand side.
These are the tetrads which are currently unallocated, please contact Sally if you are able to take any of them on;
10K SQ tetrad
TQ45 K Crockham Hill/Chartwell
TQ45 V Ide Hill
TQ54 P Hildenborough Station
TQ54 W nr Southborough
TQ54 X south Tonbridge
TQ56 W London Golf Club (West Kingsdown)
TQ63 Y Lamberhurst
TQ92 E nr Wittersham
TQ92 R Walland Marsh
TQ92 U Appledore Station
TQ92 V nr Little Cheyne Court
TQ93 L nr Shirley Moor
TQ93 S nr Woodchurch
TQ93 X Orlestone CP (Hamstreet)
TR02 C Coldharbour Farm, Brookland
TR15 H Larkey Valley Wood
TR15 M Nackington (south of Canterbury)
Sally Hunter (BTO rep for Kent) email: firstname.lastname@example.orgMarcus Lawson email: email@example.com