Recording: How?

How to Record Your Sightings

If you use the Internet, that is probably the easiest and most enjoyable way to record your sightings. BirdTrack and eBird are free sites, provided by ornithological research organisations, where you can enter and explore your own records and compare them with others’. Both have mobile apps so you can record as you see or hear the birds. On both sites you can set your records to be visible to the relevant county recorder. Please do, as we can then use them for our annual county report and immediately check details of unusual sightings.

Less flexible for exploring your own records (of all species, not just birds) is our local records centre, SEWBReC, which also has historic records and maps for all species (not just birds) in Wales. Records from BirdTrack or eBird can also be transfered to SEWBREC.

If you prefer to keep your own records, then please do report them to us. It would be helpful if you can use our official form, which provides guidance on what to enter. These should be emailed to the County Recorder; paper records are also useful, and may be given to committee members at indoor meetings. We aim to start analysing data for the Annual Report in February, so records that arrive after January of the following year may not be included. Sending records in installments through the year, rather than all at the last minute, avoids creating a bottleneck transferring tens of thousands of records to a database.

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. Our online rarity form guides you through the required information and lets you upload any photographs or recordings.

What to include when reporting

Species name, location/site (using an OS grid reference or well-known site name), date of sighting, number of birds, comments (such as age/sex of birds, breeding notes etc), the observer’s name and initials. If you use a word processor document, please make sure there is a new line for each record and that data is entered in the order given above and separated by a tab. Include your name and the recording year in the filename.

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