The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS)

Welcome to the WeBS homepage. The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution, and identify important sites for waterbirds. These pages contain information on how to get involved in the survey, the methodology, and how to access data and publications and results. If you have any problems, please contact us.

Cake and WeBS team and counters celebrating 70 years

WeBS goes platinum

National waterbird monitoring in the UK began 70 years ago with National Wildfowl Counts in 1947. In the 2017/18 recording year, WeBS is celebrating that long tradition of counting waterbirds which continues today with the thousands of WeBS counters who contribute waterbird counts to the scheme each month.

The WeBS team, partners and conference attendees at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017  celebrated WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. 

Ringed Plover photo by Liz Cutting

Next WeBS Core Count date: 20 May 2018

May sees the peak of passage of waders and terns when they can turn up on any wetland.  Flocks of Arctic or Black Tern would brighten up any WeBS Count given the right conditions.  On the coast, numbers of Ringed Plover, Whimbrel and Sanderling may peak and at these times, extra supplementary counts are encouraged as numbers can fluctuate massively day by day.  Rare overshooting migrants such as Whiskered or White-winged Black Terns or heron species such as Purple Heron or Little Bittern could grace a site, so keep your eyes peeled.  As the first duckling, cygnets and goslings will be out, please remember not to include these in your monthly counts.

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