The Breeding Birds of North Wales

Edited by Ian M. Spence, Anne Brenchley, Rhion Pritchard, and Geoff Gibbs

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ISBN: 9781846318580

Publication: October 1, 2013

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Framed by the magnificent and internationally important coastline from the Dyfi round Anglesey to the Dee, North Wales, which includes the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park, is a very special place for birds. In excess of 700 contributors submitted more than 200,000 records over five summers to produce this fascinating atlas of the area’s breeding birds. Lavishly illustrated with stunning photographs this beautiful full colour book includes fully bilingual introductory chapters, a Welsh language précis alongside each English language species account and a wealth of recording data, maps and tables.

Anne Brenchley is the BTO’s Regional Representative for Clwyd East.

Geoff Gibbs is the BTO's Regional Representative for Caernarfon.

Ian M. Spence is Secretary of the Welsh Ornithological Society.

Rhion Pritchard is editor of the Welsh Bird Report and author of 'Birds of Meirionnydd' (2012).

Foreword by Iolo Williams
Abbreviations and acronyms

Why produce this Atlas?
The project area
Background to the project
Project management
Our approach to an Atlas
Volunteers - training and motivation
Fieldwork methods
Other sources of data
Monitoring progress
Funding the project
Publication costs
Publication process

Habitats, landscape and land use
North Wales - a portrait
Physical geography and geology
Weather patterns during the Atlas period
Human geography
Principal land cover types and their associated bird species
Estuaries (including floodplain grazing marsh), sand dunes and saltmarsh
Coast cliffs including offshore islands
Rocky shores and coastal shingle
Farmland and boundary features - hedges, walls, ditches and tracks
Lowland neutral and calcareous semi-natural grasslands and heathland (including maritime heath)
Lowland wetlands (raised bog, fens and reedbeds)
Lakes, reservoirs and ponds
Rivers and streams
Broadleaved woodland
Wet and riparian woodlands
Coniferous plantations
Ffridd including scrub and Bracken
Montane, moorland, blanket bog and upland dry acid grassland
Residential areas including gardens
Industrial and postindustrial habitats including quarries
Major changes in bird habitats from the time of Forrest to the present day
1800 to 1900
1900 to the 1940s
1940s to 1970s
1970s to 1980s
1990s to the present day
Future predictions

Our results
Distribution patterns and species richness - implications for conservation
Overall species richness - bird biodiversity hotspots
Biodiversity planning and its relevance for birds
Biodiversity planning in Wales
The population status of birds in Wales
Which were the most widespread breeding species?
Distribution patterns of specific groups of species
Raptors and owls
Wading birds
Upland birds
Woodland birds
Farmland birds
Comparison with the 1968-72 and 1988-91 national Atlases
Declining species
Species no longer breeding in North Wales (since 1968-72 and 1988-91)
Increasing species
Recent colonists in North Wales
Species that may return to North Wales and potential colonists
Birds seen in the breeding season that did not breed
How we achieved our results
Observer effort
Fieldworker skills
Final coverage
Population estimates
Future conservation measures
Lessons learned from this project that should be considered for any future, similar survey
Planning before fieldwork begins
During the fieldwork period

Species accounts
Introduction to the species accounts
Breeding status and Welsh conservation status
Historical information about species
Vice-county names within the text
The main map
The small maps at 10km level
Data table
Population trend graphs
The individual species accounts
Species classified as Category E by the BOU

Technical information
Sources of data
Preparation of data
Numbers of records
Contributors of records
Monitoring progress
Organising the text
Arranging publication
Unitary authorities

Scientific names of non-bird species


Index of bird species
English names
Welsh names
Scientific names

[An] exemplary work of citizen science.
Mark Cocker   The New Statesman

The atlas is richly illustrated with beautiful photos and summaries written in Welsh. The introductory chapters are also in 2 languages. This shows the linguistic pride of the Welsh. The Breeding Birds of North Wales meets even the highest expectations.

A landmark publication.
  Welsh Daily Post

It’s quite a big book and quite a thick book. … The contents look good – clear maps, some beautiful photographs, understandable tables and a few graphs. ...This is a book to take with you to a Desert Island because it is fascinating, and because part of its size is dictated by having some dual-language parts, so as well as learning the birds of North Wales you could try and learn Welsh through bird distributions.
Mary Avery   Sunday Book Review

Format: Hardback

Size: 290 x 210 mm

384 Pages

ISBN: 9781846318580

Publication: October 1, 2013

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