Autumn Appeal 2012

Thanks to all those who supported this appeal. With your help we managed to fund the work needed to complete the Nightingale and Chats surveys, support Nightingale and Cuckoo tracking, develop BirdTrack to increase the number of people using it and begin a project looking at timing of moult using ringing data.

Rainy days and hard times in 2012

The terrible rains of 2012 really hampered our planned survey work. BTO volunteers battled with the elements to try and get some of the work done, but despite their valiant efforts some work needed to be repeated in 2013 to get the coverage required. Meanwhile, the econmoic climate was also threatening our core work.

Thanks to funding from the Autumn Appeal, however, we were able to continue with our survey and research work. Read on to find out how your contribution helped.

Nightingales - completed

Bad weather affected birds and birdwatchers, while a delayed spring and the late arrival of birds meant that a proportion of sites were likely surveyed too early in 2012. The additional coverage needed was completed in 2013 and we are now embarking on the analysis of the data gathered. As a result of the survey we now have good information on overall population size to compare with numbers and distribution from the 1999 survey. In addition  we have also have data on the distribution across different habitats and can assess the pairing status of individual Nightingales.  View the distribution of territories and read more.

Chats - completed

With Whinchats and Wheatears disappearing, we carried out a pilot of the chat survey in Wales in summer 2012. Volunteer engagement was good and this produced some promising results, in spite of the poor weather. Results so far have revealed significant associations between chats and some key habitats, and a basis for estimating populations. Read the latest news.

Ghana - completed

We urgently needed to return Africa in winter 2012 to retrap the Nightingales tagged with geolocators in 2011. Thanks to the appeal we were able to send a BTO scientist there who, assisted by volunteers and staff from Ghana Wildlife Society, was able to retrieve the stored data to complete this BTO project. 

BirdTrack - Phase 1 completed 

Development of new features has transformed this free tool, bringing it to new audiences and creating a community of BirdTrackers, and it's now available on the iPhone too.  There are still many more features we are working to develop though. For the latest developments, take a look at the BirdTrack pages here.

Utilising ringing data to look at moult - completed

Data collected by ringers and nest recorders has been used to understand why the timing and speed of moult appear to be changing in a range of species. You can read the paper here.