Guidance for submission of records

Records of sightings are welcomed from all observers who are encouraged to submit them using one of the following methods:

BirdTrack

BirdTrack is a web based system devised by the British Trust for Ornithology [BTO] and provides facilities for observers to store, manage, map and analyse their own sightings as well as functioning as a portal for submission of records for use to support species conservation at local, regional, national and international level. The Recorder and our clubs are able to download records submitted via BirdTrack. However they can only do this if users, when first registering, make sure the option to allow their local Recorder to have access to their records, is selected [indeed this may be the default].

The majority of records contributed to this Report are submitted by observers using BirdTrack, and its use is supported and recommended by the Recorder.

Excel

A specially formatted spreadsheet file which allows the Recorder to import records to the main recording database file is downloadable.

MapMate

A software package designed for observers to record, map, analyse and share their bird and other natural history sightings. Records input to MapMate are imported to the main Recording Database and are accessible by the Recorder.  The latest MapMate software package costs £32. More information is available online.

Standard record cards/slips

These can be either downloaded or obtained from the Recorder. If you use record cards or slips, it would greatly assist in the collation of records if they are sorted into systematic order before they are sent in (refer to the latest Bird Report for the order). Please also write clearly on your cards if handwritten.

Summary

Whichever method you use, please send in your records as soon as possible after the year-end – aim for the 31st January.The most valuable records are all breeding records, counts of wildfowl, waders, gulls and other species, first and last dates for migrants, and unusual migrants are all needed. Other examples of records required include large and unusual numbers of common species, such as roost or winter congregations. Details of ringed birds, including colour-ringed birds, escaped and released birds are also welcome. Look at any recent Bird Report to see the types of records used in the report (recent Eastern Glamorgan Reports can be downloaded). The gaps in coverage (especially for common species) will also be clear. The Recorder is happy to offer advice about the kind of record required.

Although the Recorder will make every effort to trace and import reliable reports from as many sources as possible, please note that sightings posted on social media, websites, blogs, etc., or submitted to bird information services will not necessarily reach the Bird Report unless supported by a record submitted via one of the methods above. In the case of unusual species (see below), records should be submitted to the Recorder with the required supporting details as soon as possible.

Copies of a standard rare bird report form are available from the County Recorder or are downloadable from Glamorgan Bird club website (see above). Use of the form is advised when submitting records of unusual species. Alternatively, the report can be submitted on a sheet of paper, provided all the necessary details are included. Either alternative can be submitted in an email (or posted) to the East or West Glamorgan Recorder.