Seabirds Count Updates

Keep up to date with the latest census news and progress


Census Spotlight


The North East of Scotland was one of the first regions in the UK to have a volunteer regional coordinator recruited for the census. The area covers both coastal and inland colonies found between Cullen and the River North Esk. And the coastline plays host to 20 out of the 25 breeding seabird species that are included in the census. In just one breeding season (2017), Andy Webb (regional coordinator) and approximately 20 surveyors managed to census the majority of the Aberdeenshire coastline (excluding large urban gull colonies). Complete coverage of known black guillemotAdult european shag with chicks breeding sites in the region was also achieved. From the initial numbers, it looks like this species’ breeding population is increasing in the area, in comparison to the last census’ figures. Along the stretch of coast between Aberdeen and Stonehaven, increases in population were also observed in great cormorants, razorbills and common guillemots. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said fulmars and cliff nesting herring gulls, which have declined in numbers. The raw counts for this area are available.


Although impressive progress has been made in this region, the work is not over. The next steps are: to identify and survey inland gull colonies, census the large urban gull colonies (found in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Stonehaven) and count any sites that could not be managed this season. These tasks will take a significant amount of effort, and the support of volunteer surveyors will be essential in their completion. If you think you can help please email your details to:


News & Progress


During the next couple of months, the JNCC will be attending public events to promote the importance of Seabirds Count. These events will give people the opportunity to: sign up as a volunteer, get more information on how and why the census is taking place, as well as meet the team behind the coordination. The events we have secured so far are:


So, if you are attending any of these events please don’t hesitate to come over and talk to us.


Regional coordinators are currently being recruited who will help work with local volunteers to survey non-specialist sites. To date nearly half of the regions in Scotland and just over a quarter of English regions have regional coordinators in place. You can keep up to date with regional coordinator coverage by clicking on the map below. Want to volunteer?

Seabird census admin areas