This is by far the most popular area for naturalists in the County (currently over 1,053,000 records on the SBIS database). Most recording is carried out by members of the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group (SOG). The SOG website includes a useful Guide to recording Birds in Suffolk. Records of rarities and applications for access to such confidential data is dealt with by the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee (SORC). Suffolk Birds, giving a review of the previous year's records, is published annually by Suffolk Naturalists' Society.
Latest pictures of Birds from the SBIS Flickr Group - click on an image to enlarge
All correspondence used for compiling the annual Bird Report since 1973 is housed at SBIS - it is roughly sorted (and coded) into date order. There is a species-based card index for all 1973 records. For the years 1979-1990 an effective species index has been created by Bob Warren which cross-references species with letter codes. From 1991 to 1995, SBIS took over this role and records were collated using the RECORDER program. Data was first edited by the County Bird Recorders and over this period some 89,000 records were added. From 1996 the three recorders used Jack Levene's 'Club Recorder', more recently data has been stored and processed using the Mapmate software. At the end of each year records are collated for production of the annual Bird Report and a copy stored at SBIS.
A tetrad level survey of the county's breeding birds was run from 1988 to 1992. The first three years were organised in conjunction with a national survey organised by the BTO. All records were computerised at SBIS using the RECORDER database. There are over 53,000 records from the years 1988-1994. A provisional atlas was produced in 1993; an Avifauna incorporating all this survey data, as well as maps collated from tetrad survey and other records held at SBIS was published in 2003.
Another county tetrad level survey, again run in parallel with the BTO National Survey was undertaken 2007-2011. The results of this survey have been compiled by Margaret Regnault to produce a new Online Suffolk Bird Atlas
Basic Suffolk Checklist on Recorder
Babington, C. C. 1884-1886. Catalogue of the Birds of Suffolk with an introduction and remarks on their distribution. London
A History of the Birds of Suffolk. 1932 Ticehurst.
The Birds of Suffolk. 1962 Payn.
Provisional Atlas of Breeding Birds in Suffolk. 1993 Sanford.
Suffolk Bird Report (in TSNS 1952-1978, separate publication 1979 to present).
The Birds of Estuaries Enquiry have published a Suffolk Estuaries Report since 1986-7.
Easy Birdwatching Again. 2002, SOG
Landguard, Minsmere and the Redgrave Ringing Group also produce annual reports.
The Birds of Suffolk 2003 Piotrowski
Online Suffolk Bird Atlas
Monitor the progress of computer systems used by the three recorders
Hold complete back-up set of data collected (paper and computer form) as far as possible maintain retrieval systems to enable tracking to original paper source
improve the quality of incoming data by:-
encouraging more 'scientific' and repeatable bird monitoring methods
encouraging (and perhaps grant-aiding) more recorders and particularly major reserves to use Mapmate to input records
Increase number of BBS sites in the County to 50 so that production of Suffolk population indices is possible
For images of Suffolk Priority species see our Pinterest board
Follow SBIS Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service's board Suffolk Priority Birds on Pinterest.