Breeding Waders of Wet Meadows

(although it might be repeated in 2022 – watch this space)

A survey in 2021 (BWWM)

The purpose of this survey was 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 re-visited 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.

No one needed 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 involved

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

A map was provided showing the boundary of the site. The surveyor covered all of the area indicated on the map. The site was surveyed systematically, field by field, walking 100m of each part of the site recording all the waders seen, on the map provided, using standard BTO species codes.

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

When carried out?

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

More information on why this survey was 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 were required?

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

Also access to the internet as the results are entered online.

Where were the survey sites in Surrey?

23 sites in the BTO Surrey region were chosen for this survey. See this list of Breeding Waders sites in Surrey, which shows those that were still vacant. 

More information needed?

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