Black grouse lek survey in Lothian and Borders, 2008
Black Grouse numbers in south-east Scotland fell by 69% between 1995/6 and 2005. In 2006-07, lek surveys were undertaken by the Southern Uplands Partnership, in an area occupying a rough triangle with Peebles, Selkirk and Moffat at its respective corners. This was considered to be the species local stronghold and the population here showed an apparent increase of 19% between the two years. In the spring of 2008, RSPB fieldworkers carried out a lek survey across 33 5km x 5km squares, chosen on the basis of historical records reported in The Breeding Birds of Southeast Scotland, 1988-94 (Murray <i>et al</i> 1998). These squares were outwith the core area surveyed by SUP in 2006/7, although one existing lek was checked here, and two new ones were discovered on its edge. In total, 18 leks were found comprising 1-7 Blackcock (mean = 2.7) and totalling 46 birds.
Throughout Lothian and Borders, places known historically for leking black grouse were surveyed. Black grouse sightings are reported at 100m resolution
These data have been gathered by trained field-workers and the data are of a high quality. These data have been mapped and checked for sensitivities and typographical/geographical errors
Lek surveys were undertaken in good visibility in dry and calm conditions following the methods of Hancock <I>et al</I> 1999. At least one visit was made to each lek site during March to May. The maximum number of males at the lek site during the period one hour before and one hour after dawn were recorded. Birds displaying within 200m of a known lek were recorded as one lek. Single birds displaying within 500m of a known lek were recorded as one lek. Two or more birds that displayed over 200m from a known lek were record as separate leks.
Data reproduced with the permission of RSPB
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