Plummer, K.E.; Siriwardena, G.M.

Point count survey data for birds in the east of England, UK, in 2013

This dataset comprises bird abundance data collected using point count methods in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes in the summer of 2013. The purpose of the study was to characterise the variation in breeding bird fauna across a range of urban forms. As well as measuring the birds that were 'really' present, the survey aimed to investigate the birds detectable at times of day when people were more active and more likely to have casual encounters with them.

These data were collected as part of the Fragments, Functions and Flows in Urban Ecosystem Services (F3UES) project, as part of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) framework.

Publication date: 2018-02-08

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Plummer, K.E.; Siriwardena, G.M. (2018). Point count survey data for birds in the east of England, UK, in 2013. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2013-05-01    to    2013-08-31

Supplemental information

This dataset is referenced in:

Cox, D. T. C., Hudson, H. L., Plummer, K. E., Siriwardena, G. M., Anderson, K., Hancock, S., … Gaston, K. J. (2018). Covariation in urban birds providing cultural services or disservices and people. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(5), 2308–2319.

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

The F3UES project website

Provenance & quality

The data were collected between May and August 2013 in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes, UK. A subset of 500m x 500m survey tiles (n = 116) were selected from across the three towns using a stratified sampling design. Point count methods were then used to survey birds at up to four pre-defined survey points within each tile. All tiles were visited six or seven times; two visits were made between 06:00am and 10:00am in May and June and all other visits were made monthly between 10:00am and 18:00pm. During each visit, ten minute point counts were conducted at all survey points within the tile in a random order. Over two-minute intervals, observers recorded all birds seen or heard within five distance categories or in flight. Birds singing and not singing were recorded separately. The survey conditions and the numbers of people observed during each observation period were also recorded. (see Supporting documentation for details, available by 31 December 2018 at the latest)

Several data inputters were used to digitally input the field data sheets. Then the completed dataset was compiled, error checked and validated. These were converted to csv files for deposit to the data centre.

Correspondence/contact details

Kate Plummer
British Trust for Ornithology
The Nunnery
IP24 2PU


Plummer, K.E.
British Trust for Ornithology
Siriwardena, G.M.
British Trust for Ornithology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
Bedford BESS,  biodiversity,  birds,  ecosystem services,  F3UES,  Luton Milton Keynes people,  urban,  UrbanBESS
Habitats and Biotopes