Why submit records?

It is vital that every birdwatcher within the recording area submits their records to the county recorder at the end of each year. The most important reason for submitting records is that they allow a detailed picture of the distribution of bird populations within the area to be built up. Over time, any fluctuations in populations can be monitored and action can be taken if the population of a particular species starts to decline.

Records collected from the Glamorgan area form the basis of the two county bird reports that are produced in Glamorgan. Reports of rare scarce and unusual birds are dealt with by the Glamorgan Rarities Committee. There are still two bird reports however, so your records will therefore ultimately feed into one of them:

  • Eastern Glamorgan Bird Report (published by Glamorgan Bird Club), or
  • Gower Birds (published by the Gower Ornithological Society)

There is guidance about recording your observations and ensuring that they get to the appropriate person(s) on this page.

Obviously, there are vast numbers of birds within the area so the more bird watchers that submit records, the more detailed the data will be. From twitchers to regular patch watchers, to casual bird watchers, it doesn’t matter how insignificant you may think your sightings are, they all make a valuable contribution. For example, many common birds are under-recorded in the county, and it is not really known whether or not the population is stable. Swifts are particularly under scrutiny at the moment, as they are greatly reduced in numbers and projects are in progress to encourage them to expand their breeding sites. Records and counts of where they are seen are therefore valuable.

Finally, and most importantly, it should be borne in mind that the presence of a particular species of bird can help to stop industrial development at a site. Both Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society will always where possible and justified, lobby against the proposed development of sites important to birds using data provided by birdwatchers. The master database at SEWBReC (South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre), where all our records ultimately go, acts as a central repository of ornithological data which can be queried by potential developers wanting to carry impact assessments.

Hopefully, you are now convinced that submitting records to the county recorder is worth the not-so arduous task of keeping a record of them by one of the methods elucidated below. In that case, read on! This page will be of great use to those who have never submitted a record before, as well as reiterating a few points that every regular contributor should bear in mind.