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.


Latest 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


This month's WeBS Core Count date: 9 November 2014

Winter is now upon us and the UK's wetlands are host to a wealth of winter visitors. Major estuaries are supporting large numbers of waders, some of which may still be south bound and will move on to wintering areas such as west Africa. Wildfowl will be building at important inland wetlands such as Ouse Washes and the Somerset Levels. Arrivals of geese from the Arctic (such as Pink-footed Geese from Iceland and Dark-bellied Brent Geese from Siberia) have been taking place in recent weeks. Icelandic Greylag Geese and Whooper Swans will start to arrive in numbers soon too.

The odd rarity will inevitably feature as autumn passage continues. Unusual Nearctic ducks are perhaps the most likely, with a scattering of Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon expected. Rough weather may deliver a Grey Phalarope to coastal sites!


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.