Guidelines for submitting records

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


 All records


 Breeding, with as much detail as possible


 Counts of roosts, flocks and colonies


 Description and circumstances of sighting


 Early/Late dates of migrants


 Migration and weather movements


 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. If you think you have found a rare species but require confirmation, either email the County Recorder or post your sighting here; this may allow for 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 to the County Recorder, preferably in spreadsheet format USING THE OFFICIAL GOS RECORDING FORMS provided on the Submitting records page

Records may also be submitted

  • by email in a spreadsheet format
  • by email in a word document
  • on paper slips available on request from the County Recorder

What should be included

Species name, location/site, date of sighting, number of birds, comments (such as age/sex of birds, breeding notes etc), your name and initials.

If you use a Word 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.

All records should be sent to the County RecorderPaper records may be given to any committee member at indoor meetings.

Next event

9:00 am Outdoor meeting Collister Pill @ Collister Pill
Outdoor meeting Collister Pill @ Collister Pill
May 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
An easy 3 hour walk. Meet at 09:00 at Undy Church.Share this:TwitterFacebook