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.

WeBS goes platinum! Conference on 30th September

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.

Our conference at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017  will celebrate WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. Booking is now open - be quick, as places are strictly limited.

70 years of UK waterbird monitoring conference programme (PDF, 529.60 KB)

More information and how to book your place at the WeBS 70 conference.

Next WeBS Core Count date: 13 August 2017

August is often peak month for wader passage and any WeBS site with a muddy edge may see passage birds such as Ruff, Greenshank, or Common, Green or even Wood Sandpipers dropping in. Many duck species will now be in eclipse plumage and so will be a bit more of a test for WeBS Counters to identify though the majority of young birds will now be of an age and size when they can be counted in your counts.  With so much wader passage occurring in August, it is also a key time for rare birds to turn up with American vagrants such as Pectoral, White-rumped and Baird's Sandpipers all annual visitors or maybe an even rarer visitor such as a Western or Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher or even Britain's first Willet could make an appearance.  Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

WeBS report: Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16

The 35th BTO/JNCC/RSPB WeBS annual report Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16 provides an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in waterbirds in the UK and beyond. The latest report features the results of the 2015/16 Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS III) as well as the latest trends and data from WeBS. Search the WeBS Report Online interface to find the latest information on status of the UK’s waterbirds and the wetlands and coastal areas used by them. View the latest report providing a summary of the results and other waterbird related stories below or as a PDF with previous reports here.