Methods

Eight monitoring schemes have contributed data to this report. Six provide data on changes in abundance: these are the Breeding Bird Survey, Common Birds Census, Waterways Breeding Bird Survey, Waterways Bird Survey, Heronries Census and the Constant Effort Sites ringing scheme. Two schemes, the Nest Record Scheme and Constant Effort Sites, provide data on changes in breeding productivity. Data on survival rates come from detailed analyses of the retrappings and recoveries of ringed birds, from Retrapping Adults for Survival, Constant Effort Sites and the general Ringing Scheme. In addition, information on waterbirds, from the Wetland Bird Survey, is included where relevant.

The methodologies of the monitoring schemes are described below, including information on fieldwork, data preparation, sampling considerations and the statistical methods used in analysis. Most of the analyses and the preparation of tables and graphs were undertaken using SAS software (SAS 2009, 2010).

There are two additional sections to the methods - the alert system and statistical methods used for alerts. These deal, first in descriptive terms and second in statistical detail, with the system by which the results of monitoring surveys raise alerts and thereby are brought to the attention of conservation bodies.