Volunteering Opportunity

  • Do you know your coastal birds?
  • Do you have a good pair of binoculars?
  • Can you drive and map read (not at the same time!)?
  • If the answer to these questions is yes, then read on!

RSPB is looking for birders to help carry out movement surveys of birds on the Solent. It is working in partnership to better understand how the SPA birds use non-designated, supporting habitat – such as arable fields, grazing marsh in the Solent. We need to know which terrestrial sites are preferred to identify which sites we must protect and encourage positive conservation management, and which sites are less important. So RSPB is teaming up with the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Hampshire County Council and others to find out.

The partnership is looking for birders to join a wider survey team to carry out vantage point surveys – some survey points will be fixed, and others will be roaming. All the surveyors will be working together, spread out over a survey area with walkie-talkies, so together they can track where the birds have come from, their direction of travel and where they land.

There will be two surveys per month (6 hours each) for 6 months (October to March) starting this October.

Surveyors would need very good familiarity with all species likely to be encountered on the British south coast. Need to be able to ID all species in flight and on ground and be familiar with differences in plumage (to determine age, sex etc.). You would also need good quality optical equipment, be able to drive and map read.

If you are interested please contact Trevor Codlin and Debbie Whitfield ideally by 16 September, stating how many days you can commit (minimum 1 day).

Also if you know of anyone else with good birding skills outside of the RSPB who may be interested in helping out, please pass on the information.

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