Watching the swifts swooping around in this week’s blue skies reminded me of the BirdTrack (originally Migration Watch) online recording scheme. BirdTrack, run in conjunction by the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB and BirdWatch Ireland, tracks migration patterns and distribution of species in Britain and Ireland.
The scheme depends on contributions from the general public – it only takes a few minutes to register and then you can store and manage your recordings. You don’t have to commit yourself to anything too onerous, occasional recordings are fine. Animated maps show arrivals and departures, and seasonal movements at both a local and national level.
This information is also fed into the annual Bird Atlas and, of particular interest to wood owners, the Bird Conservation Targeting Project. This project, operating in England only at the moment, collates information and identifies farmland and woodland birds in need of support so that conservation resources can be targeted appropriately. The Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside website usefully summarises the findings of various surveys including BirdTrack.
For anyone who is interested in pursuing Bird Watching as a Hobby - we received a link from an enthusiast (Jonny Anderson) who has written an interesting article on his hobby. Though his article is largely based on experiences in the United States, it may offer some interest and hints. https://hobbyhelp.com/bird-watching/