The House Martin Survey 2015-2017
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Information for volunteers in Surrey                                               Photo courtesy of John Walton

h martin for website 300The summer 2015 part of the survey involved checking 1 KM squares, randomly selected by the BTO, for House Martin nests.  The summer of 2016 was very different with anyone, who knew of any nests, recording the data and passing the data on to the BTO. .

As the spring of 2016 was so cold the BTO have decided to run the survey again in 2017. In 2016 only 5 sites were covered in Surrey so I am really keen for more people to become involved.  If you of any site where House Martins nest please do contact me so that I can give you more information.

If you have not got involved in doing a survey in the past, then this is an ideal survey with which to start.  There is only one species which you have to identify (and if you need any help you can go to the BTO’s ID video recording which explains how you differentiate between House Martins and Swallows here.  This recording not only helps with what they look like but also what they sound like too).

The primary aim of the project will be to produce an estimate of the current UK population, using a method that is repeatable to enable the BTO to measure changes in population size in the future. A secondary aim will be to undertake focused research to address gaps in the current knowledge about House Martin breeding ecology and how this may vary geographically.  The 2016-17 part of the survey involves the collection of detailed information of nest activity and site and nest characteristics.

This is what the survey in 2015 involved: Recce Visit: mid to late May: Visit 1: 1-24 June: Visit 2: 25 June – 19 July. The aim being to leave a minimum of two weeks  between Visit 1 and Visit 2.  T

The list of random squares selected by the BTO for Surrey for 2015 is here.

Here is a map from the Surrey 2007-2012 Atlas (hopefully being published next year by the Surrey Bird Club) which shows the distribution of House Martins during that period. 

house martin atlas



© Penny Williams 2016