The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS)


Welcome to the WeBS homepage. The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution, and identify important sites for waterbirds.  If you have any problems, please contact us.


This month's WeBS Core Count date: 8 March 2015

The UK's wetlands are still busy with a wealth of winter visitors. Major estuaries support large flocks of waders, while wildfowl numbers will still be high at important inland wetlands such as Ouse Washes, the Somerset Levels and the major reservoirs. March represents the last month of how WeBS defines the 'winter' period. Winter 2014/15 has been generally rather mild, and at this stage we are unlikely to see a prolonged period of frozen conditions on the continent to force waterbirds westwards. Indeed, the first signs of Spring are more likely, particularly across southern Britain - perhaps an early Garganey or Black-necked Grebe will turn up on a gravel-pit near you, or if winds are favourable the first wave of Dark-bellied Brent Geese is likely to be observed passing east along the English Channel to staging areas in the Dutch Wadden Sea.

Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!


WeBS report: Waterbirds in the UK 2012/13

Search the interactive online interface to find latest information on status of the UK’s waterbirds and the wetlands used by them.  [If you experience any difficulties loading the page, please press "F5" or "Refresh" your page on screen using the relevant button in the browser bar. Recommended browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer v.9 onwards].  With a new colour report providing a summary of the results and other waterbird related stories, the new style ‘WeBS annual report’ provides an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in waterbirds in the UK and beyond.

Browse Waterbirds in the UK 2012/13 online




WeBS helps in Sierra Leone

January 2014 saw a coordinated effort as part of the International Waterbird Census to count waterbirds at major wetlands along the length of the East Atlantic flyway that usually receive no coverage. This included expeditions to west Africa where waterbirds tend to be particularly poorly monitored. Important sites on the coast of Sierra Leone were counted by a small team of volunteers from the UK and colleagues at the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL). Support for this expedition was provided by the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative and WeBS. As well as collecting important information on numbers of birds at sites in Sierra Leone, the two-week trip included training of CSSL staff in waterbird monitoring methods and engagement with local communities. A full report will be published in due course.