Thomas Bewick 1753–1828


My interest in Rookeries

I began surveying rookeries on a whole-county search, along with a team of volunteers in 2008. The results suggested a slight increase in numbers, I think because of a more intensive search.

My interest partly derives from the colony visible from our kitchen window in Aston on Clun. However, my real interest in birds has always been in change, though time and counting nests in rookeries offers a chance to get quite accurate numbers on the population of a common bird. Are they changing?

But I do need help – Shropshire is the largest landlocked county in England. Based on the 2020 study there are currently close to 383 colonies around the county – and they are fond of nesting close to humans so easy to count.

I organised a repeat survey in 2020, and based on that discovered a reliable estimate of a 21% decline in nest numbers in the 45 years since the 1975 study. How about now?

Modern technology (thanks to the work of my brother Peter and his friend Ashley) makes finding and reporting old sites and identifying new ones previously overlooked, much easier.

So another study for 2024, though delayed by development of the technology – Rookeries24 for Shropshire, is perhaps a warm-up for a complete county coverage next year.

Field reporting Shropshire's rookeries 2024

You can download a PDF copy of these instructions here.


Thank you for your interest and hopefully help in field reporting Shropshire Rookeries 2024.

All Shropshire’s known rookery sites in 2020 are mapped on the next page, where you can zoom in, each one has a coloured “Pin” which may be Green or Black.

A Green Pin indicates the position of a site known to be occupied in 2020.

A Black Pin indicates the position of a site recorded but not occupied in 2020 – a dead site – though you may have found it reoccupied.

Please read the text (below) before you start entering your information.

How to submit a Rookery Report

If you are using a Smart Phone it can locate your current position.

• What are the Pin positions:

It is likely that the location of the Pins are not in exactly in the right place – rookery records have never been this accurate.

When filling in the Rookery Report you will be offered the chance to correct the mapped location by “checking the box” and repositioning the location. The coordinates will be transferred to the form a Purple Balloon will mark its new position.


• Reporting an existing site [Green Pin]

1 Zoom into the map, dragging around and using “+” and “-“ at the bottom right corner or use the mouse scroll-wheel or equivalent on your setup.

Next: Please select the site status in the dropdown.

2 You will find a Green Pin, or a Black Pin, [if a Black Pin go to 4].

3 Click on the Green Pin to reveal the site details.

[If you close the site details label you will need to select a 
different site Pin, close it, then reselect the original Pin.]

Next: Please select the site status in the dropdown.

Enter Rookery Report details – where you will be offered the chance to relocate the Pin position. A Purple Balloon will appear at its new position.

If you think it helpful, please include further details in Comments box it might helpful and include your phone number too.

You will receive a copy of your submission, unless you uncheck the box.

Then click Send Shropshire Rookeries Report.


• Reporting a dead site [Black Pin]

4 You might discover an active site at a Black Pin, previously thought to be dead,

For the Black Pin site proceed as for 3 above.


• Reporting a new site [no Pin]

5 Click on the exact position of your new site - it will be given a purple balloon. You will be invited to correct the location if necessary.

Next: Please select the site status in the dropdown.

Complete the Rookery Report details onto the form below the map and click Send Shropshire Rookeries Report.

Take me to: Shropshire Rookeries Report Map & Form