Once you have registered in the Buckinghamshire Goingbirding database and this has been confirmed, you can start to post your sightings. From the Latest Sightings screen just click on Submit for the form below to be displayed.
The interface uses filters on several of the fields in order to make data entry easier, especially when entering data from a mobile device. The following explains how these features function.
Note 1: Date/Time – The current date is selected by default. Change if posting sightings for a prior date. Add the time of the observation if this may be useful to others.
Note 2: Sites – A large number of sites are already in the database. To use this field Click in the field and start typing the site name. A filter immediately offers you the valid choices that start with those characters. Click on the relevant site name. If you wish to add more detail about exactly where the bird was seen, then please use the Notes field.
While it is possible to add your own “Observer Site” (by typing a name not in the database) please try and use the existing sites if possible. If you do create an Observer Site you will be asked for a grid reference.
Note 3: Species – The species available for selection are those on the official Bucks List. Start typing the species name in the Species field. Again a filter will show the allowable selections. If a species is not shown it could be that the characters you have entered do not match the entry in the database for that species. See following below.
Note that in the example below neither Redshank or Redstart are prefixed with “Common” as shown in some databases. A list of the Bucks species with valid spellings is available on the “Species” tab of the Goingbirding web page.
If you are lucky enough to find a new species for the county then select “MEGA” and place the species name in the notes field. In this case the species name will be added to the database as soon as is possible.
If you find a feral or an escaped cage/falconers bird that is not on the list then select “OTHER SPECIES” and put the species name in the Notes field if you know it.
Note 4: Count – Enter an accurate count if possible. If the number is difficult to count then clarify with words such as “At Least”, “Approximate”, “Minimum”, etc. This field may be left empty if the sighting is primarily about behaviour.
Note 5: Age/sex – If known you may enter details here.
Note 6: Notes – Add as much detail here as you wish. This field may be used to describe the precise location (but do not provide precise location details of breeding birds, sensitive species or sensitive locations), the ID features, the birds behavior, if it was seen to depart, etc.
Note 7 Check Boxes
- Identification – Check the appropriate box if there is any doubt of the correct identification of the bird.
- Escape – Check this box if the bird is considered likely to be an escaped bird.
- Confidential – Check this box if you wish the sighting to remain confidential. For example for a rare breeding species or a scarce/rare bird in a sensitive area. In this case the record will not be visible on the website (except to administrators) and no email/Tweet will be posted.
- Negative – Sometime sit is helpful to others to check this box if you have visited a site and a scarce bird that had previously been seen there, could not be found. It may saves other from wasting time.
- Post to Bucksbirders Yahoo Group – If you wish to post an email to “Bucksbirders” for a species that is categorised as more common than “Scarce” (Abundant, Very Common, Common or Fairly Common) then check this box. You may wish to do this if you want to inform/ask others, about interesting behavior in a more common species or advise others of a particularly large flock.
Note 8 Add Sighting – When the details of your first species is complete click on “Add Sighting“. Your data will be stored and other species can be entered. By default it will assume that the same date and site is to be repeated. You may change these fields as necessary. When all species have been added click on “Finish” and the “Review Sightings” box will appear.
Check over your sighting details (see example below). Delete and re-add any that require alteration. If you wish to add more species then click on “Close“, add more species and click on “Finish” again when ready.
Finally click on “Save” to add your sightings to the database. The task is complete.