Chairman’s blog – July: The NCOS Redstart survey

Well, the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to surveying a small passerine – especially if you only have a few fixed windows in which to do the survey! I was reasonably lucky early in the season, and have managed to get round most of the areas in SP03 where I have seen them over the past 10-15 years. Some places appeared to be ‘blank’, and I have not had much chance to try these places again. However, as the point of the survey was to ‘nail down’ the main concentrations, missing the occasional territory is not going to affect the results too much.

To recap on what we are trying to do: the aim is to get a reasonable idea of how many redstart territories we have in the region, and their approximate distribution (i.e. where the strongholds are). Some of this is already known, and we are going to be combining the findings from this year with the expertise of members who have been compiling information for some time. As expected, SP02, SP12 and SP13 appear to have the highest concentrations. It will be interesting to plot the exact locations.

On a personal note, I have come across 13 territories in the areas I have been able to access in SP03. This is a ‘good minimum’ (and more than I expected) – there could be a few more in less accessible areas.

What happens next? Once all the records have been collated, we will organise a meeting of all those involved to try and extrapolate and come up with as accurate a total figure as we can. Anyone interested in joining in, you are very welcome.