Saturday, 3 October 2015

One small step for science, one giant leap for the Cross and Stratford Welsh Chough Project...!


By  A. V. Cross & A. Stratford

Wahoooo..... we've written a paper!! It might not be in the most lofty of Journals and it might be more Jimmy Carr than Rachel Riley in its statistical handling but its in print, its out there and it is already being used to further the conservation of its subject species which is why all of us "Citizen Scientists" (God, I hate that tag!) should ultimately strive to publish our results where possible. I've always held the view, and felt perfectly comfortable with the fact that, as trained and  licenced bird-ringers every single bird we ring is contributing in a small way to a pooled national database that is there for more learned, and able, scientists to mine, to transform, to regress, to interrogate, extrapolate and bootstrap but ultimately to produce meaningful and useful science. It matters little what our individual motivations are, collectively we are providing data, and these more learned folk can do nothing without data. I do have a slightly different view now however! Everything I previously thought still holds true but it is too good a feeling to give to someone else! It feels great to have produced something ourselves so maybe this is just the start!!

In the same way that every bird ringed adds to the national database, so every helper that provided re-sightings, carried a ladder, sat on a pin, slimed into a sea-cave or simply sat there and scribed has helped us collect the data we needed for this paper - your contributions may have seemed insignificant but collectively they were vital, thank you one and all!!

N. B. Birds in Wales is the twice-yearly Journal of the Welsh Ornithological Society, if you have the slightest interest in birds in the principality and are not already a member you are missing out. Please go to and join now.

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