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 and Report editor.

Excel

A formatted spreadsheet file which which allows easy import of the records to the main recording database. A copy is downloadable from this website. Once downloaded, users can populate a copy of the spreadsheet with their records and at the end of the year, email it to the Recorder or Report Editor.

SEWBReCORD and LERC Wales app

These are online wildlife recording facilities provided by the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC). They are similar to BirdTrack though have the advantage of allowing users to record their observations of all wildlife, as well as birds. Records of birds inputted to these projects are imported to the main Recording Database file and are accessible to the Recorder and Report Editor. For more information about SEWBReCORD and the LERC Wales app and how to register and participate go to www.sewbrec.org.uk .

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

The Recorder will endeavour to trace and import authentic reports from as many other sources as possible, including records inputted to other on-line recording projects, such as eBird, and sightings either posted on social media, websites, blogs etc. or submitted to bird information services. However, the only reliable way of ensuring sightings reach the Recorder for inclusion in the data-base and the Bird Report is to submit records via one of the methods recommended above. Whatever method you use, please submit (or input) your records as soon as possible after the year end – aim for the 31st January. Observers are encouraged to submit any records they consider to be of interest.

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 Reports can be downloaded from the web site at https://www.glamorganbirds.org.uk/annual-report/ (scroll down). 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.

Many species, including a significant number of common species, are under-recorded with respect to breeding information. There is a dedicated page regarding these species here.

In the case of unusual species requiring descriptions, click here for a dedicated page.