Blog Post: A Call for Survey Volunteers

Volunteer Bird Surveyors Needed Keeping track of the fortunes of birds on the Ribble is no easy task, its an enormous area to cover, and to make things harder its not always accessible. We run various programs, from specific species success, to full breeding species lists. This breeding season brings challenges of new areas (Crossens inner marsh) and an increased effort on target species. There is no way we can cover all we want to without help from our team of monitoring volunteers. We are currently seeking new volunteers to join the team, with various levels of commitment needed. What you need: Basic bird identification skills are needed for most studies, however, some can be made relatively simple - its more important that you are keen. You will need to be relatively fit to visit some areas, we do however have some very accessible sites. Why help monitor Monitoring species success and abundance helps us understand on a local and national level what management and external factors are effecting our wildlife. Locally the results can change management such as cattle numbers, planned works and habitat restoration. The data feeds into national data sets, allowing for the 'big picture' to be developed and answer questions on climate change, farming practises and more. What you get As well as the warm 'doing your bit' feeling, you will get to know an area or family of birds very well. The attention needed to monitor leads to experiencing many magical wildlife moments, not normally found while birdwatching. We will also provide all the training and equipment you need. Example Roles (1 or more) -Redshank Plots Help us understand the decline in redshank population on the Ribble and nationally. We will be increasing our redshank monitoring from 2020, with new plots across the inner and outer marshes. We will be recording how many birds have how many nests and fledge how many chicks. Could you take on a redshank plot or two? Once a week: March to July -Lapwing Plots Our lapwing monitoring will be expanded to include Crossens inner marsh. Knowing how well this target species does is fundamental to wetland management. We will be recording how many birds have how many nests and fledge how many chicks . Could you keep an eye on a nesting lapwing plot? Once a Week: March to July -Avocet Plots The avocet was the first bird to return to breed in the UK following the RSPB's conservation work. The species has now returned to Hesketh Out Marsh, an area that was arable fields a few years ago. We will be recording how many birds have how many nests and fledge how many chicks . Could you keep an eye on avocet families? Once a Week: March to July If you are interested in taking part in taking part in any of these studies, please get in touch : Wes.davies@rspb.org.uk Redshank, lapwing, avocet and Arctic tern chick images: WesDavies