The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) needs volunteer birdwatchers to monitor non-breeding waterbirds in the United Kingdom. The principal aims of the project are to measure population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution, and to identify important sites for waterbirds.
Counts are made at around 2,000 wetland sites, of all habitat types. Volunteers make monthly coordinated counts. The principal months of data collection are from September to March, though observations are increasingly submitting data throughout the year.
Volunteers use the so-called "look-see" methodology, whereby the observer, familiar with the species involved, surveys the whole of a predefined area. Data are widely used for a variety of purposes and are presented in the annual WeBS Report.
The Wetland Bird Survey is dependent upon the enthusiasm and dedication of the several thousand volunteer counters throughout the UK. New counters are always needed to cover new sites, particularly habitats such as rivers which are monitored less comprehensively, as well as to replace counters who retire.