Neil Calbrade

Waterbird Surveys Officer

Neil is primarily responsible for organising the BTO/JNCC/NS Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP), co-ordinating GSMP volunteers and professional surveyors and working alongside partners, co-operating organisations, collaborating organisations and the GSMP Project Management and Steering Groups. He also organises the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) Low Tide Counts and Roosts surveys, and also contribute to the operations of the WeBS Core Count scheme, particularly with regard to data integrity, outputs and annual reporting and communications.

Interests & Responsibilities

Neil’s responsibilities include maintaining the WeBS and GSMP databases, editing the annual newsletter, producing the annual report with the WeBS Manager, promoting the schemes, and liaising with WeBS and GSMP volunteer surveyors and the networks of volunteer Local Organisers. He is responsible for organising annual surveys (e.g. Icelandic Goose Census, age assessments), periodic surveys (e.g. International Swan Census) and collating information from contributing organisations (e.g. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study Group) for GSMP and organising WeBS Low Tide Counts and Roosts surveys on around 20 estuaries per annum. Neil also oversees the WeBS/GSMP data request service.

Other Information

Neil has worked at BTO for over 20 years, starting out as a fieldworker on farmland bird surveys and then moving into wetland bird monitoring. Prior to this Neil worked contracts for the RSPB watching Bitterns and Stone Curlews before moving to the Nunnery. Neil is a keen birder and wildlife photographer, enthusiastic patch birder on the Nunnery Lakes and spends summer weekends ringing Breckland Stone Curlew and Curlew.


BSc Hons Countryside Management, Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire 2000

‘C’ ringing permit

Recent BTO Publications

Austin, G.E., Calbrade, N.A., Birtles, G.A., Peck, K., Wotton, S.R., Shaw, J.M., Balmer, D.E. & Frost, T.M. 2023. Waterbirds in the UK 2021/22: The Wetland Bird Survey and Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme. 44pp
Booth Jones, K., Calbrade, N. & Austin, G. 2022. Analysis of waterbird population trends for Northern Ireland’s sea loughs: assessing the potential impacts of aquaculture and disturbance: Part 2 – Belfast Lough and Lough Foyle. Research Report no. 746. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-41-0
Booth Jones, K., Thaxter, C., Clewley, G., Wolsey, S., Calbrade, N., Atkinson, P., Calladine, J. & Burton, N. 2022. Belfast’s urban gulls: an assessment of breeding populations, breeding season movements and winter population. Research Report no. 734. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-26-7 52pp
Clewley, G.D., Calbrade, N.A., Austin, G.E., Frost, T.M. & Burton, N.H.K. 2022. A review of the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) Low Tide Counts scheme with recommendations for its future operation.. Research Report no. 744. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-35-9 52pp
Bowgen, K.M., Wright, L.J., Calbrade, N.A., Coker, D., Dodd, S.G., Hainsworth, I., Howells, R.J., Hughes, D.S., Jenks, P., Murphy, M.D., Sanderson, W.G., Taylor, R.C. & Burton, N.H.K 2022. Resilient protected area network enables species adaptation that mitigates the impact of a crash in food supply. Marine Ecology Progress Series 681 : 211-225 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps13922) 15pp
Brides, K., Wood, K.A., Hall, C., Burke, B., McElwaine, E., Einarsson, Ó., Calbrade, N., Hill, O. & Rees, E.C. 2021. The Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus population: current status and long-term (1986–2020) trends in its numbers and distribution. Wildfowl Journal 71 : 29-57 Link to publication 29pp

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