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. These pages contain information on how to get involved in the survey, the methodology, and how to access data and publications and results. If you have any problems, please contact us.

WeBS report: Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16

The 35th BTO/JNCC/RSPB WeBS annual report Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16 provides an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in waterbirds in the UK and beyond. The latest report features the results of the 2015/16 Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS III) as well as the latest trends and data from WeBS. Search the WeBS Report Online interface to find the latest information on status of the UK’s waterbirds and the wetlands and coastal areas used by them. View the latest report providing a summary of the results and other waterbird related stories below or as a PDF with previous reports here.

WeBS goes platinum!

National waterbird monitoring in the UK began 70 years ago with National Wildfowl Counts in 1947. In the 2017/18 recording year, WeBS is celebrating that long tradition of counting waterbirds which continues today with the thousands of WeBS counters who contribute waterbird counts to the scheme each month.

One of our main events this year is a conference at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017 which will celebrate WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. A programme and booking details will appear here soon.

Next WeBS Core Count date: 23 July 2017

July is a quiet month on most inland waterbodies, with many birds on nests or with fledged young, but please remember not to count these young birds on your monthly counts until they are 2/3 grown. Wetland sites will begin to see the start of the return wader passage depending on water levels with Green Sandpipers being one of the first species to appear. Although generally a quiet month for rarities around waterbodies, occasional vagrants such as Lesser Scaup, Collared Pratincole or Marsh Sandpiper or maybe even a real rarity such as a Red-necked Stint may turn up. Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!