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Post Info TOPIC: The Final Countdown.....well almost!


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RE: The Final Countdown.....well almost!


Well done Bill and all others involved.

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Keep calm and carry on birding....


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As we approach the last throes of recording for our local breeding birds' atlas project, it was thought that all those who have been involved to date and also in this our fourth and final year, might be interested to read of what outstanding progress has been made so far in 2011.

The only yardstick we had before we entered out on our current attempt to record the breeding birds in Greater Manchester was that of our old atlas - Breeding Birds in Greater Manchester - which was from around 30 years ago now (1979 - 1983). With this in mind, a review of the data at the end of the 2010 breeding season revealed that depressingly we were some considerable way short of having a database of records to equal that of our old atlas. The worry was that not enough records were available to be able to start to produce a modern day breeding birds' atlas for GM, which would begin to reflect the numbers and distribution of our local breeding birds.

The strategy to try and rectify this situation was to ask many local birders, either directly or via this forum, if they could concentrate less on the more structured surveys, known as Timed Tetrad Visits or TTVs and to try and put all of their efforts into obtaining roving records, with a special emphasis on trying to confirm breeding for as many species as possible, in as many tetrads (2 km by 2 km squares) as possible. Additional emphasis was placed on targeting 122 "priority" tetrads, across all boroughs, where we had scant records at the end of the 2010 breeding season.

So how have we got on? Brilliantly! Please note that these are only early provisional results and indeed will already have been surpassed, as birders have continued to add their records to our breeding birds' database, since these figures were compiled. The figures below show, for those priority tetrads, what really excellent advances have been made to date in the 2011 breeding season.

Bolton - 27 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 116 to 528 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.3 to 19.6.

Bury - 7 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 38 to 187 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 5.4 to 26.7.

Manchester - 9 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 50 to 198 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 5.6 to 22.0.

Oldham - 18 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 82 to 236 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.6 to 13.1.

Rochdale - 9 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 41 to 109 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.6 to 12.1.

Salford - 10 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 49 to 201 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.9 to 20.1.

Stockport - 11 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 44 to 275 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.0 to 25.0.

Tameside - 5 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 21 to 60 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.2 to 12.0.

Trafford - 8 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 37 to 233 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.6 to 29.1.

Wigan - 18 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 104 to 331 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 5.8 to 18.4.


All - 122 tetrads - the number of unique confirmed breeding records rose from 582 to 2358 and the average number of confirmed breeding species per tetrad increased from 4.8 to 19.3.

The figures for the boroughs of Oldham, Rochdale and to a lesser extent Tameside are lowered somewhat by the inclusion of a number of largely moorland tetrads, where the opportunity to confirm breeding for a good number of species is limited.

A look at a further batch of 110 or so other tetrads shows a healthy average increase of just under 6 new confirmed breeding species per tetrad during the 2011 breeding season.

If you have been recording our local breeding birds this year and still have yet to add your records, please don't think from the above that we already have all that we need! It would be great and really appreciated if these could still be added to our database and additionally as both Steve A and Steve S have suggested in earlier posts, please keep adding to the database your records for our later breeding species.

All of the results to date are a real credit to all who have put their bird watching activities to good use in this final spring and summer recording period. A very big thank you to all involved for your exceptional efforts.


-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Sunday 14th of August 2011 01:17:06 PM

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