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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

New N.E.W.S. news

From Helen Boland, BirdWatch Ireland

Hello Kerry Folks,
As you may know, the coastal Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey ‘NEWS’ is being carried out this winter and the survey period runs from 1st December through to 31st January. It involves walking a section of coast (usually between 2 and 4km) just once during the survey period within three hours either side of low-tide and recording all waterbird species along it on the sea, the intertidal and the land. We need some help in Kerry and I’m wondering if any of you like to take on a sector of coast to survey?

For your interest I’ve attached a screen grab of the current Kerry coverage situation to date to give you a sense of where current gaps are in Kerry. The blue dots are the sections of coast that have been assigned to a counter (thanks to Kilian and Richard), the red dots are the priority sectors of coast that we need to find coverage for e.g. the same sectors that were covered 9 years ago during the last NEWS. The yellow dots are lower priority so we’re trying to allocate the priority red dots first.

You’ll see the main areas where we need help are at Caherciveen/Valencia; Dingle Peninsula; and the north Kerry coast south of Ballybunion.

The last ‘NEWS’ took place 9 years ago. This time we have teamed up with the BTO and observers can select their sections of coast through an online system. It means you need to register for a username and password but it is very straightforward, but if you have ever used BirdTrack or Atlas before you can use the same log-in details.

We’re trying to get an idea of where the real gaps are (rather than ones that people will probably cover but just haven’t gotten around yet to officially signing up to) so we can target our own fieldwork. If you would like to take on a sector it would be great if you could log on through the BTO online system (details below) and request your sector/s that way. Much more detail of the sectors is available there. Or else drop me a line if you have any queries at all.

Thanks, and I hope all is well!