Bird Food


Rocky shores aren't just about the small animals. Many species of wading bird are in decline, and understanding which habitats they are using is really important in order to conserve them. We are interested if wading birds use rocky and sandy shores as important feeding areas, particularly wrack (washed-up seaweed).


On a local shore


As frequently as you like, year-round


Conducting surveys for wading birds on both a beach and adjacent habitats.


Involves little equipment, and can be done whilst taking a coastal walk. Birds are great fun to watch, and will give you or improve ID skills. The data are important, and feed into British Trust for Ornithology Surveys.


Many species of coastal wading bird have suffered recent population declines. Lots of research has been done to look into how waders use estuarine environments but we still know very little about how they use rocky shores, sandy beaches, harbours and the terrestrial habitats that neighbour coastal areas. We are interested in finding out which species of wading birds use these habitats at different times throughout the year. We hope that this information will help to conserve these birds more effectively.

Additional Activities

As part of Capturing Our Coast, our regional hubs run additional activities throughout the year to help us further understand the UK coast. These additional citizen science activities are experimental investigations that allow us to research things like breeding cycles of key species and wader bird use of coastal and intertidal environments. These activities are open to trained and non-trained volunteers of all ages.


Beach Babies

 Would you like to look for “beach babies” on your local rocky shore? Some species start to...


Bird Food

Rocky shores aren't just about the small animals. Many species of wading bird are in decline,...



Lugworms bury deep in the sand, and are responsible for the swirled casts so often seen on sandy...


Seaweed vs Limpets

Limpets are grazers that live on algae, and an important part of the rocky shore ecosystem. The...


Further Activities

These experimental investigations are open to our Capturing Our Coast trained volunteers only. To find out more about the options available, follow the links below.


Invasive Seaweeds

We are interested in a species of seaweed called Japanese wireweed (Sargassum muticum). It is an...

Topshell Turvy

Topshells are a group of colourful seashells that graze on algae along the shore. Different...

Race to Recovery

Storms and rough seas can clear huge areas of rocky shores by churning stones and large waves...

Barnacle Photographs

Barnacles are common on many shores, but we know very little about individuals among the masses...

Barnacle Babies

Barnacles produce eggs and release larvae into the water that spend time swimming freely and...

Man-Made Habitats

We want to compare differences in the communities of animals and seaweeds that occur on natural...