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Tayside wading birds need YOU!

Last modified: 03 August 2012

Redshank calling from fencepost

Redshank calling from fencepost

RSPB Scotland seeks sightings of charismatic wading birds

RSPB Scotland is asking for help to find the best places for lapwings and other wading birds across Perthshire and Angus.   Information on where our some of our most familiar and well-loved farmland birds; lapwing, oystercatcher, snipe, redshank and curlew, are breeding is vital to build up a picture of how these birds are faring in Tayside. 

Thanks to the co-operation of farmers and landowners across Tayside, over 70 breeding areas, which were last surveyed twenty years ago, were visited by RSPB staff this spring and summer in order to count the number of these birds.  Results of the survey will be published in the winter but, in the meantime, RSPB Scotland is searching for further ‘hotspots’ being used by breeding wading birds in order to survey them next spring. 

Karen Cunningham, Conservation Officer for Tayside and Fife said: “Traditionally, Perthshire and Angus have held large numbers of wading birds. A survey of breeding waders carried out by the RSPB in 1992 across the lowlands of Scotland found the highest densities of lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank in Tayside compared to other regions on the Scottish mainland. Twenty years later, RSPB Scotland wants to find out if this is still the case and have launched the Tayside Wader Survey to help discover whether they are still breeding in the same places and in the same numbers.” 

Figures released last week by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) show that nationally lapwing, snipe, oystercatcher and curlew numbers have fallen sharply between 2010 and 2011 and RSPB Scotland want to find out if local wader populations have followed this national trend.

Karen continued: “We hope that gathering this information will assist with conservation work on the ground, including providing advice to farmers and land managers on habitat management in important areas and to help target agri-environment applications.”

If land managers have lapwings, oystercatchers, snipe, redshank or curlew breeding on their land, or birdwatchers and members of the public have seen any of these birds during the spring and summer months, please email details of the date, location, numbers, species and any other useful information to taysidewaders@rspb.org.uk or call the RSPB Perth Office on 01738 630783.