Making your sightings count
By Earth Trust
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve shared lots of ideas for species to look out for this spring. From migrating birds to flowers coming into bloom and butterflies emerging, there’s plenty to look out for. As Earth Day approaches, this week we’re sharing some of the ways that you can use your sightings to contribute towards conservation efforts at a national level.
If you’re new to spotting and need some clues to guide you, Plantlife’s Great British Wildflower Hunt is a great way to start. Head to Plantlife’s website and sign up to download a spotter sheet – and away you go! At the end of your hunt you can submit your results and they’ll be displayed on an interactive UK map, so you can see what others have found, too.
Whether you’re looking out from a bedroom window, sitting in your garden or exploring a local walk, you can now log bird sightings using BirdTrack. If you can tell your chaffinch from your chiffchaff, then this might just be the thing for you. BirdTrack is an exciting collaborative project from some of Britain’s biggest bird conservation organisations that looks at migration movements and distributions of birds throughout Britain and Ireland. BirdTrack allows you to keep your own personal records of sightings, as well as contribute towards wider species conservation efforts, if you’d like to.
To participate in BirdTrack, just head to the BTO’s website and register an account, or use the free app. (If you’ve taken part in any other online survey organised by the BTO before then you can use your existing username and password.) Then simply enter the details of where you were birdwatching, the time and date, and record the species you saw or heard. Simple!
If you’ve enjoyed spotting butterflies as they’ve begun to emerge this spring, check out the free iRecord Butterflies app. It will guide you through identifying butterflies that you might see in the UK, and then allow you to add your sighting to their records. Millions of sightings are uploaded every year, making this a valuable data set that can then inform the work of conservationists across the nation.
What have you seen so far this year?
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