Mapping the distribution of bird species is a valuable conservation tool and, if such atlases are repeated, they provide quantitative information on range expansions and contractions. National mapping can only be achieved on a 10x10-km grid basis, but local data can be collected on a 2x2-km grid (tetrad) providing much detailed information.
In south-east Scotland (Lothian and Borders combined), breeding atlases were produced in 1968-72 (10-km grid) and 1988-94 (2-km grid); with a winter atlas in 1981/82-83/84 (10-km grid). During 2007-13, in conjunction with the national 10-km atlas (now published), local birdwatchers collected data for a local tetrad atlas in both winter and the breeding season. To complete coverage, the fieldwork for this local atlas was extended to the end of July 2013 - a couple of years beyond the national atlas.
The fieldwork for the South-east Scotland Bird Atlas is now complete and the writing-up phase is progressing well. The team of enthusiasts involved in this major project aim to produce a book, with potential for additional digital data, as quickly as possible after the fieldwork ended.
The database of records contains over 187,000 entries and with a wide range of mapping options available - including comparisons with the previous tetrad atlas and also altitudinal analysis - the number of final maps is potentially huge.
An example of the basic maps which can be produced for one species (Blackbird) is illustrated below:
Further updates will be posted here closer to the time of publication, including details of any pre-publication offer.