The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS)

Welcome to the WeBS homepage. The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution, and identify important sites for waterbirds. These pages contain information on how to get involved in the survey, the methodology, and how to access data and publications and results. If you have any problems, please contact us.

Wigeon - image by John Harding

Next WeBS Core Count date: 9 September 2018

Although wader passage on many inland sites will have dropped off, September sees the start of the arrival of wildfowl, with the first Pink-footed Geese in northern parts and Brent Geese moving along the coast.  Duck numbers will begin to build up as will other immigrants such as Wigeon, Pintail, Teal and Gadwall arriving in large numbers.  American waders like White-rumped, Buff-breasted and Pectoral Sandpipers are annual at this time of year, but with the winds as likely to blow from the east as from the west, vagrant waterbirds can turn up from any direction and at any site.   Stay safe and enjoy your WeBS Count!

Cover of WeBS report

Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17

The latest WeBS report, Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17 has been published. Read the report at and explore all the data and trends - including brand new facilities to explore waterbird totals for all WeBS sites and display up to four low tide maps at once - at

Cake and WeBS team and counters celebrating 70 years

WeBS goes platinum

National waterbird monitoring in the UK began 70 years ago with National Wildfowl Counts in 1947. In the 2017/18 recording year, WeBS is celebrating that long tradition of counting waterbirds which continues today with the thousands of WeBS counters who contribute waterbird counts to the scheme each month.

The WeBS team, partners and conference attendees at Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire on 30th September 2017  celebrated WeBS and what we have learned from it and predecessor schemes about our waterbirds over the decades. 

Subscribe to News Feed