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 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.

Cake and WeBS team and counters celebrating 70 years

The WeBS team, partners and conference attendees at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017  celebrated WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. 

70 years of UK waterbird monitoring conference programme (PDF, 549.86 KB)

Next WeBS Core Count date: 8 October 2017

The first build-up of wildfowl numbers begins this month as more birds arrive from their breeding grounds, some remaining in the UK all winter, while others may just stop to refuel before heading to southern Europe or North Africa to spend the winter. As with rare passerines where October is traditionally the peak month, it is also a key time for rare waterbirds, especially waders to turn up with American vagrants such as Pectoral, White-rumped and Baird's Sandpipers all annual visitors or maybe an even rarer visitor such as a Western or Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher or even Britain's first Willet could make an appearance. Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

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.