Reg Charity No: 1147022

Cooling Reserve - Breeding Bird Survey

From mid-April for 6-8 weeks, Friends of the Wild Spaces Fund conduct a series of bird counts to establish the breeding bird population of the reserve. Morning surveys are chosen to observe the birds when they are most vocal, allowing for optimal observation of species present, so it's an early rise for our keen observer, starting before sunrise and usually completing the count by mid-morning.

Using the many natural boundaries, we conveniently divide up the 179-acre site into 13 manageable plots of about 6 hectares, allowing our observer to note species present in particular areas.

Without causing undue disturbance, finding nests amongst the thickly reeded dykes is virtually impossible, so we have to rely on other evidence. Birds carrying nesting material, food or faecal sacks, adults feigning injury, finding eggshells or recently fledged young are very clear signs to confirm breeding

We also include probable and possible pairs in our counts, where we observe courtship behaviour, males on territory, pairs seen or breeding calls heard in suitable habitat for the duration of the survey.

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Sunrise over the reserveNesting AvocetBlack-headed gullTufted ducks Follow us on Facebook