Why have there been no reports of sightings since 9th December? 

 
Rob Grimmond
 
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Rob Grimmond
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19 December 2020 15:47
 

I asked Brian about this. He was happy with the idea of a daily listing. One problem Brian has with Birdtrack is that quite often he gets records without a numbers count.

I’m going to move this thread over to General Matters now.

 
Martin Sage
 
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Martin Sage
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19 December 2020 15:21
 

And then there is Birdtrack, WeBS and other BTO recording systems which many use, although I must admit that I seldom look at anyone else’s records on there.  We should really ask Brian Gibbs which he prefers as he has to sift through all of them to get the county records.

 
Rob Grimmond
 
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Rob Grimmond
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17 December 2020 16:13
 

Thanks to everyone who has commented on this subject, even interlopers!

Stephen, I don’t think anyone is making excuses about Twitter. It’s a simple fact that some people post here, yet others use Twitter (or other media), and some a mixture. I think Mike made a good point about fewer postings generally.

I’ve looked again at latest sightings on a lot of websites and there is no uniformity of approach.  One of the most popular methods is to list by site name then species. In some cases, observers submit their record and an administrator puts them all together. In my time running the website, I’ve seen so many different ideas about how it should operate that it’s impossible to please everyone.

There’s no reason why we can’t show daily summaries in this Forum, either under the “Latest Sightings” heading or under a new one, such as “Daily Sightings Summary”. All it needs is for a few Members to volunteer to run the listings by going through daily sightings in the Forum and on Twitter (or other media) and post a listing each day. The listing could be by site or by species.  I don’t have the time to do it myself but can easily set up a Forum account for multiple access by administrators.  However we operate, we need people to submit sightings - without them we are wasting our time.

If any Member is interested in running a daily list, then please email me at rob.grimmond@somersetbirding.org.uk.

 
Dave Cleal
 
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Dave Cleal
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16 December 2020 22:50
 

Hi all, I’m an interloper from Bucks who will be overnighting in Somerset on Saturday. So I thought I’d check out the birding scene in Somerset in case there was an opportunity to do a little birding. However instead of an easy to see list of recent sightings, I came across this thread. In Bucks and several other counties we use the excellent http://www.goingbirding.co.uk website. This allows each observer to load up their own daily sightings and builds into a easily searchable database of county records with links to maps for each site. The site owner (Marek)s details are on the home page, each county in the country is already listed, just needs firing up for you to start listing. Bucks Bird club have incorporated it into their website or it can be used outside the club site. Can’t recommend it highly enough. But I’m just an interloper.

 
Stephen Curtis
 
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Stephen Curtis
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16 December 2020 22:07
 

I agree with Mike , not only do Avon Birds update regularly but also many other counties also update regularly it is a poor excuse to say most people use Twitter , in fact putting records in for South Somerset used to be easy a few years ago then the system was changed and this is no longer the case.

 
Mike Moxon
 
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Mike Moxon
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16 December 2020 00:26
 

If someone is prepared to put together sightings on a blog every evening (also how Avonbirding works - they have different people doing each evening), then that is much easier for everyone else. I’m finding all the forums I’m a member of are getting far fewer postings than they did a few years ago, no matter what the subject.

 
Richard Martin
 
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Richard Martin
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15 December 2020 21:34
 

Like Alison I don’t use twitter and I also don’t post on this forum very often but I do look at it daily. I have been a Somerset birder for fifty odd years not really a twitcher but regularly checking out my local patch. I agree with Rob that there is too much attention paid to rare birds when we are losing so many of our ‘common’  birds. When I came to this village 30 years ago we had breeding Corn buntings just up the road, Lapwing flocks in the winter, Skylarks in their dozens. Sadly I can’t remember the last time I saw a Yellowhammer on my patch.

But I did come across 6 Tundra Bean Geese last week which was fantastic.

 
Alison Morgan
 
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Alison Morgan
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15 December 2020 20:48
 

I don’t use Twitter, and so I rely on this forum, which is very helpful. Having said that I’ve just spent a week in Suffolk,  and their site is perhaps easier to use, because it gives an at-a-glance view of each day’s sightings, rather than using separate threads. I suppose the snag is that they need someone to receive the sightings and post them each evening. The site is here https://suffolkbirding.webs.com/december-2020. The highlight this week was in fact Tundra bean geese…

 
Rob Grimmond
 
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Rob Grimmond
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15 December 2020 16:44
 

The site is surprisingly well-used for bird sightings, Dan. I did a little investigation some months ago and was surprised to see how many there were. I’m not sure how changing the format would help.

At the end of the day, a site is only as good as the information put into it. As has been pointed out, a lot of people report sightings just to Twitter. Unfortunately there’s also a few people who perhaps think it below them to report birds here.

It’s too easy to get distracted by rare birds, which tend to be the staple fare on Twitter. Non-rarities are bread and butter for a County Recorder and there seems to be plenty of information on these on this site. I know that our Recorder scans the site regularly.

 
Dan Lupton
 
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Dan Lupton
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15 December 2020 12:12
 

Would it be worth considering changing the format of this forum.  It has become little used since a log-in change a few years ago.  And other county sightings websites seem much more widely used: Dorset; Devon; Hampshire; Wiltshire, all definitely good places for a visitor to find what is about.

 
TerriBorash
 
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TerriBorash
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15 December 2020 06:06
 

Thank you, Mike.

 
Mike Moxon
 
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Mike Moxon
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14 December 2020 09:27
 

Because most people use Twitter, rather than this forum. Those who do post here obviously haven’t found anything they feel worthwhile (it is that time of year). Lots of good stuff still at Steart & the geese presumably at Apex Lakes.

 
TerriBorash
 
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TerriBorash
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14 December 2020 05:41
 

There haven’t been any new sightings since 9th December. Is that because no one has reported or is there a problem?