GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTING RECORDS
WHY SUBMIT RECORDS?
Bird recording in Dorset is one of the core objectives of the Dorset Bird Club and we encourage everyone (not just Club members) to submit records of their observations. The annual Dorset Bird Report is compiled from the many records submitted and is the only regularly updated account of the county’s avifauna, with data on occurrence, distribution, populations, breeding success and unusual records.
How records are used:
Each year we receive over 200,000 records and all are entered into our database to be used for:
WHAT RECORDS DO WE WANT…
Please refer to the Dorset List which indicates the type of records requested for each species. All records are valuable, from breeding reports and counts of flocks or roosts, to migration or weather related movements and rarities. The Bird Report is an edited summary highlighting the occurrence and status of each species for that year. Due to the volume of records it is not possible to list them all in the report, but all records received will be entered into the DBC database and will be accessible for future reference. Species requiring a full written description are marked with either (*) for national rarities, or (D) for birds which are rare or scarce in the county. Descriptions of national rarities will be forwarded to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC), whilst records of locally rare or scarce birds will be assessed by the Dorset Records Panel (DRP).
...AND WHERE FROM?
Records are welcomed from all parts of the county. There is a natural bias towards coastal sites and nature reserves as they are excellent places to see birds. Many of these sites produce their own reports, which are incorporated into the Bird Report, but please don’t assume that your records will be forwarded to us automatically by other organisations. Records away from these sites are often thin on the ground, so “local patch” records and casual recording from less well-watched areas are very important – this includes sites such as your own garden! These records enable us to gain as full a picture as possible of what is happening to Dorset’s birds. Many national surveys are carried out annually in the county as part of the wider picture of the UK’s bird life. A copy of any Dorset results would be greatly appreciated so the information can be added to our database.
HOW AND WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT MY RECORDS?
Dorset Bird Club encourages everyone to use the BTO’s BirdTrack as the recording system of choice. The system allows individuals to input records directly online which the County Recorders can then access. It is also a free and convenient way of storing your bird records online, as well as a method to contribute data to conservation science and to have access to the latest trends across the UK for migration movements and distribution.
More details about BirdTrack can be found at: www.bto.org/our-science/projects/birdtrack [Note: When registering please ensure you have checked the box which allows the forwarding of your records to the County Recorders.]
Alternatives to BirdTrack
In all cases, at the latest, please enter/send records in by the end of January of the following year. Late records will be accepted, but it may not be possible to include them in the report for that year.