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BTO Winter Thrushes Survey - Benbecula and the Uists

News about wildlife-related events in the Outer Hebrides.
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BTO Winter Thrushes Survey - Benbecula and the Uists

Post by UistBTO » 15 Nov 2013, 13:00

The BTO's Winter Thrush Survey has recently restarted for the 2013/14 winter season. The aim of the survey is to clarify which are the key habitats and food sources used by passage and wintering thrush species in the UK.

The BTO have added a summary of the visits to squares in Benbecula and the Uists (including Barra): ... =BENB&r=10

Once again there will be two parts to the survey in 2013/14:-

1. Starts mid-September 2013, self-selected winter walks whereby any interested person can register their chosen site (defined by the 1-km square in which it starts), draw in their route, and start collecting information on thrushes each time they walk their route. Self-selected sites can be visited as many times as you like throughout the season but ideally about once a month from September to mid-April. You can sign up for a self-selected site on the BTO website.

2. Each BTO region has been allocated 20 randomly chosen core count 1km squares to be surveyed during a specific midwinter period, to take place during the period 27th December 2013 to 10th January 2014. Details of random squares for Benbecula and the Uists are listed below. Contact me (email address below) to be allocated one of these random squares. Note that you can, if you wish, choose a core square and carry out visits in it from mid-September to mid-April. (Note: More squares added 19/11/2013)

The field methodology for the two elements is identical, except in the timing and in that the routes in the randomly allocated sites would generally fall within and cover a 1-km square, whereas there is no such restriction on the routes for the self-selected sites. Surveyors will be asked to walk along their chosen route, recording all thrushes seen, collect information on the location of each sighting, key habitat features and food resources associated with each thrush or flock of thrushes detected. There will be no general habitat recording and no habitat recording where no thrushes are detected.

Starlings and Waxwings can also be reported.

For further information and to sign up for a self-selected square please visit the BTO website: Please contact me directly to be allocated a core square.

For Benbecula and the Uists the randomly chosen 1km squares (with their rough location) are:-


NF9088 (any takers for this one?!)

North Uist

NF7858 (Baleshare) - allocated
NF7375 (Scolpaig) - allocated
NF8771 (Moorland south of the A865)
NF8470 (Moorland south of the A865)
NF8670 (Moorland south of the A865)

NF7775 (sand/flats between Vallay and N. Uist)
NF7976 (mostly sea, at the tip of Vallay)

NF7972 (junction of A865 and the Committee road) - allocated
NF7476 (north of the A865)
NF8360 (Cairinis)
NF7667 (Between Gladach a Chaolais & Cladach Chnoc a Lin)


NF8357 (mostly shore/flats)


NF8346 (on the road to Peter's Port) - allocated
NF8447 (Between Carnan and Uisgeabhagh) - allocated

South Uist

NF8232 (near summit of Ben Corrodale!) - allocated
NF7542 (West Geirinish, on the range) - allocated
NF7642 (West Geirinish) - allocated
NF7846 (Iochdar) - allocated
NF8143 (Carnan) - allocated
NF7929 (NE of North Locheynort) - allocated


NF7907 (Mostly sea)


NL6699 (North of Castlebay) - allocated
NF6803 (square includes A888) - allocated

Squares that i would consider to be uncoverable i have marked in green.
I have assumed that participants from last year will want to keep their allocated square.
If you would be interested in taking part this winter or for any further information, please contact me on

I hope you will be able to participate in this local survey, if you've never taken part in a BTO survey before this would be an ideal one to start with.

Last edited by UistBTO on 19 Nov 2013, 11:34, edited 8 times in total.

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Help with the online system

Post by UistBTO » 15 Nov 2013, 13:01

Need help with the online data system for the Winter Thrushes Survey?

The BTO have published video tutorials on uTube.

Number 1 and 2 in the series:-

Logging in and choosing a site

Mapping and editing a route

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Help with the online system, part 2

Post by UistBTO » 15 Nov 2013, 13:02

Video tutorials number 3 and 4 in the series

Mapping and editing a survey area

Entering and editing your data

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