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.

Cake and WeBS team and counters celebrating 70 years

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.

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. 

Dunlin by Christine Cassidy

Next WeBS Core Count date: 15 April 2018

With the wintering ducks, geese and swans having now left for their breeding grounds, barring a few stragglers, April sees the start of the breeding season and spring wader passage when Redshank, Common Sandpipers and even more coastal species like Dunlin and godwits may turn up on inland lakes and pools. As the first duckling, cygnets and goslings will be out, please remember not to include these in your monthly counts. Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

Mallard by Jill Pakenham

Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16

The 35th BTO/JNCC/RSPB WeBS annual report Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16 shows that Mallard reaches a record low, Herring Gull is the most numerous gull on the open coast and the Velvet Scoter index reaches its highest for ten years.

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