Core Count Dates
for the Icelandic-breeding Goose Census:
22nd - 23rd October
19th - 20th November
Taking part in GSMP
Monitoring population size and distribution
There are a variety of GSMP surveys that are designed to monitor the size and distribution of the UK’s swan and goose populations; some are undertaken annually, whilst others are carried out periodically.
These surveys require varying levels of expertise, but for the most part, you will need to be confident in your identification of the relevant goose or swan species for the census that you are carrying out. You will also need to have some experience in counting birds, and be confident in your ability to estimate potentially large numbers of birds accurately.
Monitoring breeding success
The annual reproductive success of each of the UK’s migratory swan and native goose populations is assessed through the GSMP, and involves observers recording the number of young birds present amongst flocks. In addition to experience in counting and recording large numbers of birds, you also need to be confident identifying first-winter birds to take part in surveys involving age assessments.
How to get involved
If you are interested in becoming a GSMP volunteer, please contact the GSMP office at gsmp [at] bto.org. You can also contact the GSMP Organiser for more information about taking part in the GSMP.
Health and Safety
BTO provides Health and Safety information for volunteers, which we recommend you read before starting your surveys.
Guide to the surveys
A comprehensive overview of each GSMP survey, including methodology and how to get involved.
Recording forms are available to download for the following surveys:
Icelandic-breeding Goose Census Core Count Dates
Upcoming IGC Core Counts will take place on:
- 22nd - 23rd October
- 19th - 20th November
- Icelandic-breeding Goose Census (IGC)
Two coordinated IGC counts are made in autumn: sites supporting Pink-footed Geese are surveyed during October and November, whilst those supporting Greylag Geese are counted in November. At sites where both species occur, counts take place in both months.
- National goose and swan age assessments
These assessments aim to record the age and brood size of all wintering swan and goose species, where age can be determined in the field.
Avoiding tunnel vision during a PhD
Sophie Bennett reflects on her recent three month placement at the BTO and the value of taking a step back from a PhD.