The KOS has already undertaken two breeding season tetrad atlases covering the periods 1967-1973 and 1988-1994. The 1967-73 breeding maps were published in the Birds of Kent (1981), whilst the maps for the 1988-94 breeding survey were published in the 1996 Kent Bird Report. These atlases were carried out in conjunction with the BTO National Atlases of 1968-72 and 1988-91, although extended over a slightly longer period to allow for the additional work required in carrying out surveys at a tetrad level. Continuing this approximate twenty year cycle, fieldwork for the third breeding season Kent tetrad atlas started in April 2008. The primary aim of this project is to document the distribution of breeding bird species in the county and to highlight changes that have occurred since the previous two atlases. This information is vital to identify declining species, as well as those that are doing well, to assist in formulating plans to ensure the continued health of our natural environment.
Between 1977/78 and 1979/80 a tetrad winter bird survey was carried out to map the winter distribution of birds in Kent at a fine scale. This was published as a stand-alone KOS report in 1984. To date this is the only survey that has mapped the distribution of wintering birds in the county at a tetrad level. The current winter tetrad survey, coinciding with the BTO National Atlas, will therefore be only the second comprehensive survey of wintering birds in Kent.
The results of this combined winter and breeding season atlas project will be presented on this website and further analysis will be provided as soon as possible after completion of the fieldwork. The exact format for publishing any analysis and results other than on this website has yet to be agreed.
This local fieldwork is being run in parallel with the four year winter and breeding season atlas project across the whole of the UK and Ireland being organised by the British Trust for Ornithology in partnership with the Scottish Ornithologists' Club and Birdwatch Ireland. This will revise the distribution maps and population estimates from the 1981-84 Winter Atlas and the 1988-91 Breeding Atlas.