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.

Cake and WeBS team and counters celebrating 70 years

WeBS goes platinum

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.

The WeBS team, partners and conference attendees at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017  celebrated WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. 

Garganey by Graham Catley

Next WeBS Core Count date: 18 March 2018

As winter comes to an end and spring begins, many waterbirds will be leaving our shores to head back to their northern breeding grounds so numbers of many species will be much reduced on recent months. Some species like Black-tailed Godwits that winter on the continent and use the UK as a fuelling station may build in numbers, while the first Garganey, Little Ringed Plovers and Common Sandpipers may appear. Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

Mallard by Jill Pakenham

Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16

The 35th BTO/JNCC/RSPB WeBS annual report Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16 shows that Mallard reaches a record low, Herring Gull is the most numerous gull on the open coast and the Velvet Scoter index reaches its highest for ten years.

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