Cornwall Bird Atlas. Access it by clicking on one of the maps below, but please take time to read the rest of the article first.
The site shows tetrad maps for relative abundance for all species recorded in the summer and winter periods. It also shows breeding maps with the familiar confirmed/probable/possible symbols. An additional present category has been added to include species recorded on the abundance maps but not on the breeding maps. We also have frequency maps showing the county ‘hotspots’ – tetrads where most species were found. The grid squares are linked to the OS map so it is easy to locate the area. However, rare species are protected by only mapping at the 10km level. Another useful addition are hover-over keys to highlight areas of woodland, rivers and urbanisation. This enables habitat associations to be identified for certain species like Dipper and Tawny Owl. It is also possible to look at all the species found in any particular tetrad and their relative abundance.
What are still missing are the species accounts that will interpret the maps and put the species in context. This is a much longer process and will be on going for some time depending on the number of writers willing to assist. However we think it better to get the site up and running. As it stands the maps will be a valuable insight into the distribution and abundance of the county’s bird populations and a useful tool for conservationists and planners alike although without interpretation should be used with caution. It is also a fitting acknowledgement to the many hours of voluntary fieldwork, data inputting, checking and analysis that goes into a project of this nature.
Please give us feedback on the Atlas. Whilst the basic design phase is now complete we do have the ability to upload additional data to make the maps more complete and modify text. So if you recorded a species breeding or wintering during the survey period in a tetrad where it is not shown please let us know. It is important that additional records are supported by data and not just casual observations. Therefore for each additional record, we will need a grid reference, site name, date, count and any proof of breeding (using BTO Atlas coding), preferably submitted in the following format.
|Species||Grid||Site Name||Date||Count||Breeding Status||Observer|
|Grey Wagtail||SX4151||Millbrook||15/06/08||2||Confirmed breeding (FY)||B Taggart|
|Kestrel||SX4148||Rame Head||10/07/08||2||Confirmed breeding (FY)||B Taggart|
There are also opportunities to write species accounts. This is not as difficult as you may think and anyone interested should contact Bruce Taggart for guidance.
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