top of page
Nature Scotland Wildlife Surveys


The Nature Scotland team undertake data collection for birds, mammals, reptiles, dragonflies and butterflies

Some data collection can take place during the tours but we also have committed 'survey days'


Professional Ecology

We have specialist knowledge of many bird species, and especially those of upland habitats.


Ewan has been contracted to do bird/wildlife surveys for Highland Forestry and Tree Story in recent years on Mull.

  • Vantage Point Watches

  • Breeding Bird Surveys

  • Wintering Bird Surveys

  • Goose and Swan Counts

  • Breeding Seabird Surveys

  • Wetland Birds (WeBS) Surveys

We conduct a variety of ornithological surveys using recognised and appropriate techniques tailored to your project. We currently undertake voluntary scientific bird censuses for the British Trust for Ornithology and other organisations so are aware of best practice protocols.


WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey)

We have a number of WeBS sites assigned to us on the Isle of Mull and we conduct monthly counts at these locations.

The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK.

WeBS surveyors monitor the UK's internationally important non-breeding waterbirds. Following a tradition begun in 1947, wetland sites are counted once per month, providing data for population and trends in abundance and distribution. The network of sites legally protected for their importance to wintering waterbirds depends fundamentally on the WeBS counts.   "Waterbirds" includes wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans), waders, rails, divers, grebes, cormorants and herons. Gulls and terns are optionally included.


Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) & Waterways Breeding Bird Survey (WBBS)

Ewan co-ordinates and conducts bird survey efforts for North Argyll which includes BBS (breeding bird surveys) and WBBS (waterways breeding bird survey).

The Nature Scotland team will survey our designated squares on our committed 'survey days'

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common breeding birds. It is a national volunteer project aimed at keeping track of changes in the breeding populations of widespread bird species in the UK. Wild bird populations are an important indicator of the health of the countryside, and knowing to what extent bird populations are increasing or decreasing is fundamental to bird conservation.

BTO BirdTrack

During our Mull experiences our guide (and sometimes the guests) will record any bird sightings of increased significance or an unusual geographical range. All data will be logged on 'Birdtrack', contributing to a greater understanding of bird populations and trends nationwide.


BirdTrack is an exciting project, through a partnership between the BTO, the RSPB, Birdwatch Ireland, the Scottish Ornithologists' Club and the Welsh Ornithological Society, that looks at migration movements and distributions of birds throughout Britain and Ireland. BirdTrack provides facilities for observers to store and manage their own personal records as well as using these to support species conservation at local, regional, national and international scales.

Reptile Plots

Nature Scotland monitor 1km survey squares during Mull and Ardnamurchan excursions. Any reptile/amphibian sightings will be submitted to RecordPool.

The Record Pool collects data on herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in the UK and to makes it available, locally and nationally, for conservation purposes.

Golden Eagle & Hen Harrier Fieldwork

Ewan monitors a number of Golden Eagle territories on Mull to assist with island-wide coverage and data collection. Mull is an internationally important location for Golden Eagles, supporting a healthy percentage of the Scottish population.

2023 is the national Hen Harrier census and we have committed to monitoring a few 10km census squares on the Isle of Mull to assist with the nationwide coverage.

This UK-wide survey is funded by RSPB, NatureScot, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales
and Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and is being organised by RSPB staff.


Dragonfly & Butterfly Data Collection

Nature Scotland records all dragonfly and butterfly records encountered on excursions.

Biological recording is an important scientific activity - but everyone can join in! There has never been an easier time to identify what you see and make your record available to the world community. The BDS already has over a million verified records, some going back into the 19th century, and we want to keep our position in the 21st century as one of the most respected insect recording schemes in the world.

bottom of page