All records should be sent to the County Recorder by 31st January of the following year at the latest, though observers are strongly urged to submit records in instalments throughout the current year, so that the huge bottleneck in transferring tens of thousands of records to a database may be avoided. The Annual Report can then be published within an acceptable time-frame. Descriptions of unusual species, vagrants and rare breeding birds should always be submitted as soon as possible after a sighting, rather than wait until year end.
All records relating to rare breeding birds in Gwent are submitted to the UK’s Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) for inclusion in their national report, published annually in British Birds magazine. All such records are treated in the strictest confidence and are always handled with great sensitivity – but they should always be submitted, since to effectively plan for the conservation of rare or uncommon breeding birds it is vital to collect sound data.
Each species in the County List is given a recording code letter. While observers are encouraged to submit any record they feel may be of interest, the following code letters are a useful guide to the rarity (or otherwise) of species occurring in the county.
Recording code Data required with a record submission
A All records
B Breeding, with as much detail as possible
C Counts of roosts, flocks and colonies
D Description and circumstances of sighting
E/L Early/Late dates of migrants
M Migration and weather movements
W Over-wintering records
Note that those species in the County List with the Recording code D against them require a full description to be submitted to the County Recorder as does any species not listed, i.e. one new to the county.
Descriptions should set out the full circumstances of the sighting and provide sufficient detail to justify the specific identification. Photos are helpful in this respect but not essential. A standardised form for this purpose can be downloaded from the ‘Submitting records’ page on this website while a hard copy is available from the County Recorder. An immediate telephone call to the Recorder, Tom Chinnick, on 07982 719881 may allow for an independent confirmation to be arranged. Some species listed with a D code need to be assessed by the Welsh Records Panel and/or the British Birds Rarities Committee – these are marked with a W or B in the County List. As these assessments may take a long time to complete, observers are asked to submit all such records immediately after a sighting, to allow time for verification and acceptance before the publication of the next Annual Report.
Records should be submitted only to the County Recorder, preferably as follows:
• In spreadsheet format using the official GOS Recording form, downloaded from the ‘Submitting records’ page.
However, records may also be submitted
• By e-mail in a spreadsheet format
• By e-mail in a word document
If you use a Word document, please make sure there is a new line for each record and that data is entered in the following order and separated by a tab:
Species name, location/site, date of sighting, number of birds, comments (such as age/sex of birds, breeding notes etc), your name and initials.
• On paper slips (14cms by 10cms) available on request from the County Recorder.
All records should be sent to the County Recorder, Tom Chinnick, at
or at School House, Llandenny, Usk NP15 1DL.
Please note that the GOS sightings web page is meant only for the communication of sightings of interest to other members – it is NOT designed or intended for the submission of formal records and should not be used for such.