About me

I’ve always had an interest in birds, especially wildfowl and from an early age I always knew the line of career that I wanted to take. With an interest in wildfowl, where better to pursue a career in conservation than at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, so at the earliest possible opportunity, as a 13 year old school boy, I signed up as a volunteer in 2003. Initially I helped on the long-term Whooper Swan study at WWT Martin Mere, before moving to WWT Caerlaverock were I helped with the long-term Svalbard Barnacle Goose study. I also carried out a short stint in working in aviculture at WWT Slimbridge. I joined WWT’s Conservation Science Department, in the Monitoring team in 2011 at Slimbridge where I am currently based.

I have worked on a range of waterbird conservation projects, with a focus on bird ringing and monitoring. I have been part of international expeditions to Bulgaria to capture and mark Red-breasted Geese and have led expeditions to Arctic Russia to monitor Bewick’s Swans and other waterbirds around the Perchora Sea. Most recently I have been involved in projects working on the decline of Common Pochard and continue to work on goose and swan monitoring in the UK.

work

My work in the Monitoring Unit comprises of assisting with overseeing WWT’s waterbird capture and marking work, assisting with fieldwork (particularly waterbird ringing and counts), processing and analysing data, and providing support to WWT’s Reserve Management team on monitoring protocols. As part of my work on the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP) I lead on the coordination of the Icelandic-breeding Goose Census (IGC) along with helping to assess the breeding productivity of the UK’s native migratory goose species.

My fascination with Whooper Swans started whilst volunteering at Martin Mere and it was this species that introduced me to the wonderful country that is Iceland. I enjoy working on Icelandic breeding species (through GSMP) and continue to work in Iceland through my own personal studies on breeding seabirds.

I have contributed to a number of capacity building training courses in monitoring techniques, primarily in the Middle East. This involved training local birders to undertake waterbird counts in Kuwait as part of the International Waterbird Census and also assisting with the running of a waterbird capture and ringing training course in Dubai.

I currently coordinate the colour-marking of duck species worldwide via the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Duck Specialist Group (DSG) which is chaired by WWT. I also sit on the Swan Specialist Group (SSG) Secretariat.

Skills

I have over 15 years’ experience in ringing birds, particularly waterbirds, and have travelled extensively to build up on this. My work both within and outside of WWT has provided me with knowledge of how to run successful colour-marking programmes of bird species. I have experience in implementing and coordinating large volunteer-based surveys and I am currently training to become a licensed cannon-net holder.

Publications

Brides, K, C. Mitchell, A. Sigfússon & S. N.V. Auhage. 2018. Status and distribution of Icelandic-breeding geese: results of the 2017 international census. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Report, Slimbridge.

Brides, K, J. Middleton, K. Leighton & A. Grogan. 2018. The use of camera traps to identify individual colour-marked geese at a moulting site. Ringing & Migration

Frew, T.R, K. Brides, T. Clare, L. Maclean, D. Rigby, C.G. Tomlinson and K.A. Wood. 2018. Temporal changes in the sex ratio of the Common Pochard Aythya ferina compared to four other duck species at Martin Mere, Lancashire, UK. Wildfowl.

Wood, K.A., J.L. Newth, K. Brides, M. Burdekin, A.L. Harrison, S. Heaven, C. Kitchin, L. Marshall, C. Mitchell, J. Ponting, D.K.Scott, J. Smith, W. Tijsen, G.M. Hilton & E.C.Rees. 2018. Are long-term trends in Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii numbers driven by changes in winter food resources. Bird Conservation International

Brides, K., K.A. Wood, R.D. Hearn & T.P.M. Fijen. 2017. Changes in the sex ratio of the Common Pochard Aythya ferina in Europe and North Africa. Wildfowl 67: 100-112.

Mitchell, C. & K. Brides. 2017. Status and distribution of Icelandic-breeding geese: results of the 2016 international census. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Report, Slimbridge.

Brides, K., A.J. Leitch & E. Meek. 2013. The abundance and distribution of British Greylag Geese on Orkney, August 2013. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Report, Slimbridge.

Brides, K., Mitchell, C. & Hearn R.D. 2013. Mapping the distribution of feeding Pink-footed Geese in England. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust / Natural England Report, Slimbridge. 43pp.

Mitchell, C, A. Leitch, K. Brides & E. Meek. 2012. The abundance and distribution of British Greylag Geese on Orkney, August 2012. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust report, Slimbridge.

Christmas, E. S., W.J. Halton, K. Brides & S.P. Sharp. 2011. Predominantly northward dispersal of Grey Herons Ardea cinerea from a heronry in Greater Manchester, UK, Ringing & Migration, 25:1, 52-55