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Suffolk Bird Group Rookery Survey

Recording for the first year has been completed with recorded data and map supplied by Martin Sanford of Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service, who have hosted the online recording system. We hope everyone has been able to use this system - please get in contact if you require any help or are unable to get online. The survey page is still available - - so that records can still be input as I have been told that some recorded rookeries from earlier in the year are still to be added.

Many thanks to all those that have participated so far; in total 42 people have added rookeries for the survey. SBG Project Officer, Chris Keeling, wrote an article for the last Harrier on a rookery surveying road trip and this was great fun exploring parts of Suffolk rarely ventured into or where we'd never been before. As can be seen from the map below there has been a spread of records across Suffolk although there are less records from the 10Km tetrads along the western and northern edges of the county with hardly any records from the north-west.

The total number of rookery records for 2019 is 245 which are split between the two vice-counties in Suffolk, with 88 records in VC26 and 157 records in VC25. From the 245 rookeries there has been a total of 5,062 nests counted and as per the division in rookery records, the total is much higher in VC25 which has a total of 3,289 nests, whereas VC26 has a total of 1,773 nests.

The distribution of rookeries by size is shown in Table 1 and shows that the smaller rookeries are most numerous with the smallest category of 1 to 25 nests making up over three-quarters of the records.

Table 1. Distribution of rookeries by size

The distribution of quantity of rook nests by size of rookery is shown in Table 2 and shows that the range of 1 to 25 of rook nests per rookery had the highest group size with almost 50% of the nests recorded in 2019.

Table 2. Distribution of quantity of rook nests by size of rookery

Once the survey is complete, analysing the data will allow us to see if there have been any changes in numbers and pattern in rookeries from previous surveys undertaken.

We aim to have a planning meeting in early 2020 to assess how to proceed for the coming season. With the list of tetrads we can compare where rookeries have been recorded in previous surveys and where needs to be targeted along with any gaps to see if any new colonies have appeared. A full assessment will then be done at the end of next season to ascertain if a final year of surveying is required to ensure as much of the county is covered as possible. We will have this report on the Suffolk Bird Group web site as well as tetrads/sites that need to be surveyed. Please continue to record rookeries in 2020.

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