Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows

Cancelled due to COVID-19 – May be run in 2021

A one off survey in 2020 (BWWM)

The purpose of this survey is to assess the importance of both existing and new wet grassland and also other breeding wader habitats in England (as provided by agri-environment schemes) for declining breeding birds such as Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe. The survey will re-visit sites from the 1982 and 2002 surveys, plus sites from the 2009-10 RSPB targeted areas, plus some of the other sites located since 2002.

You do not need to belong to the BTO in order to participate in this survey.

The Time of Year for the survey

Mid-April to 30th June

Lapwing, by Philip Croft / BTO

What the survey involves

The survey involves three daytime visits, with at least one week separating each visit, plus a single dusk visit for Snipe during May but only if Snipe are present at the site. Depending on the size of the site, the time involved will be between 20 minutes and a few hours per visit

A map is provided showing the boundary of the site. You need to cover all of the area indicated on the map. The site needs to be surveyed systematically, field by field, walking 100m of each part of the site. You record all the waders seen, on the map provided, using standard BTO species codes.

Although only wader species are mapped, ducks are also be recorded plus Yellow Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.

When do you do it?

From mid-April to the end of June.  The day time visits are preferably between dawn and midday. 

It is important to make the first visit in April if possible, as this is an optimal time to survey Lapwing. You should (as with most surveys ) avoid cold, wet or windy weather.  The dusk visit is in May.

More information on why this survey is being run

Breeding waders are declining everywhere in the UK.  In Surrey very few waders breed and the 2007-2012 Surrey Atlas showed a reduction in breeding for Lapwing.  Here is a map of the Surrey results.

What skills are required?

You need to be able to identify common wader species (Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Snipe and Redshank) by sight and sound and recognise display and territorial behaviour. You need to be able to identify simple habitat management features and record basic ground conditions within the site.

You need access to the internet as the results are entered online.

Where are the survey sites in Surrey?

There are 23 sites in the BTO Surrey region chosen for this survey. Here is a list of all the sites in Surrey (whether covered or not) and here is a list of the sites in Surrey that need covering.  Can you help with one of these sites?

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in helping with the survey or would like more information please contact the Regional Organiser (RO) for this survey.  The RO is Allan Goddard email