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.

European White-fronted Goose - image by Chris Knights

Next WeBS Core Count date: 9 December 2018

By December, the vast majority of wintering wildfowl will have arrived from their breeding grounds and numbers of many wildfowl and wader species will begin to peak.  Depending if we get a particularly cold spell of weather will influence the number of White-fronted Geese and Smew which would otherwise 'short-stop' on the continent to continue west to the UK.  Cold weather may force normally secretive birds like Water Rails to be more conspicuous. Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

Cover of WeBS report

Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17

The latest WeBS report, Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17 has been published. Read the report at and explore all the data and trends - including brand new facilities to explore waterbird totals for all WeBS sites and display up to four low tide maps at once - at

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. 

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