Exciting new bird surveying opportunities on the River Thame

Exciting new bird surveying opportunities on the River Thame and its wider catchment ……

The River Thame Conservation Trust is working locally to better understand the freshwater habitats and species of the River Thame catchment and to monitor changes in them. 
The Trust is excited to launch a major new bird surveying project to find out what birds use the river to over winter and/or breed and is asking for the support of keen local birdwatchers to get involved.
The River Thame runs for approx. 40 miles from its source north-east of Aylesbury to Dorchester where is joins the River Thames. The broader catchment covers 682kmsq with 340 km of waterway (river/tributary) including large areas of flood plain.
The catchment stretches north to Stewkely, west to Oxford, south to Princes Risborough and east to Tring. It includes birding sites such as Otmoor and Tring Reservoirs. It also plays host to a number of BBOWT reserves (College Lake, Bernwood Meadows, Wells Farm and Weston Turville Reservoir.)
More importantly it holds opportunities to go birding in new and under watched areas of countryside many that act as vital floodplain for the River Thame. To date 40 wetland bird species have been recorded and 112 species in total in under a year of WeBS surveying.
The River Thame Conservation Trust has joined forces with BTO and other local birding/wildlife organisations and is looking to recruit experienced birdwatchers to get involved in :

River Thame Conservation Trust Bird Atlas :

•    The catchment has been divided into over 200 2km ‘Tetrads’. It is hoped each Tetrad will be surveyed once in a 5-year period with 2 visits in winter and 2 in spring recording and counting all birds that are present and evidence of breeding.

BTO Wetland Bird Survey :

•    The River Thame has been divided into 16 WeBS sites along its main river channel. The Survey involves a monthly visit to count all wetland birds (Ducks, Waders, Gulls and Terns)

Both surveys are simple to carry out and offer a wide range of options for time commitments. They both will be run via BTO online data entry which is quick and easy to use and requires only the minimum amount of time whilst offer back the opportunity for easy to access listing, reporting and analysis. 
All data will be used to help inform local work in the catchment. In addition, data sets will be shared freely to local conservation organisations and to the BTO. Every bird recorded will therefore will informing local and national conservation work.

If you want to find out more details and/or want to sign up to get involved, then please contact Nick Marriner :

07785 527108

Two information/briefing meetings to explain both surveys in more detail are being held. Please contact Nick Marriner for details :

Wednesday 9th November - Aylesbury area
Wednesday 16th November - Oxford area

The River Thame Conservation Trust is grateful, for the support of  :

•    British Trust for Ornithology
•    Buckinghamshire Bird Club
•    Oxfordshire Ornithological Society
•    Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
•    Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre
•    Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Environment Records Centre
•    Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
•    Freshwater Habitats Trust
•    Chilterns Conservation Board
•    Aylesbury Vale District Council
BirdTrack is run by BTO, on behalf of BTO, RSPB, BirdWatch Ireland, SOC and WOS


Posted: October 17, 2016