Recording your Sightings

Discussion forum for sightings.
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Pete Eeles
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Recording your Sightings

Postby Pete Eeles » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:00 pm

While records of butterfly and moth sightings are welcomed and encouraged on the UK Butterflies website, it is essential that records are sent to the County Recorders by observers each year, (preferably in tabular form) to ensure that your sighting can be validated and entered on the county records as indicator of bio-diversity and habitat health.

There is a fear at present that a considerable quantity of valuable records are merely being dispursed across a plethora of websites and not actually making it to the county records, giving the county recorders the unenviable task of trawling through countless conversational threads on various websites in order to collate sightings. Even then, many records, by nature of the postings, can not be validated.

(And thanks to Felix for suggesting the above!)

Cheers,

- Pete

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Matsukaze
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Matsukaze » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:36 am

Hi Pete,

I enter my records on an Excel template which was sent through to me by the people who collate the records for my local BC branch; it then gets loaded into MapMate. Is the format of data collection consistent across all branches, and if so, would a standard electronic recording form be something that could be downloaded from the website?

Chris.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Neil Hulme » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:46 am

I totally agree with both statements. It has long been a concern that many of the sightings posted on the BC Sussex website are not being 'harvested'. Here is a link to freely downloadable Excel-based software, recently developed by Charles Roper of the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, specifically for butterflies and moths (modified from a broader wildlife recording system). You will need to enable macros when prompted. As it was developed for use in Sussex, the system starts to predict (pre-programmed) locations and Grid Refs in the county, but these can be simply 'over-typed'. Go to http://sxbrc.org.uk/file download/21/Leps Recorder.xls . Give Leps Recorder a whirl and see what you think.
Neil

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NickB
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby NickB » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:47 am

Trawling the various BC Branch websites does highlight the differences in collection and reporting/recording of sightings. (When I stray out of Cambs & Essex I generally look for places to report what I have seen).
Some will only accept sightings through filling-in the rather daunting form that asks for vegetation types, grid-refs to 100m, etc! Similarly, some Branches do not publicise, for whatever reason, the locations of sightings (to avoid damage?).

Cambs & Essex BC works very hard to collate any record that anyone send to them, regardless of if it has been logged on the correct form or has no Grid Ref, etc. It also has a Gazeteer and gives Grid Refs to all sightings. This seems a good model to follow - encouraging people to participate, without putting them off by being secretive or asking for sightings to be accompanied by a ream of form-filling. Guess we're lucky that we have such dedicated volunteers.
NickB
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

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Gruditch
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Gruditch » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Does any one know if we are supposed to report sightings of Hummingbird Hawkmoths. I saw my first of the year today, and seem to remember a request to report them, somewhere. :? I've looked though the BC and Hampshire BC sites, can't find it there. :!:

Gruditch

IAC
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby IAC » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:10 pm

Hi Gruditch,
Try here, http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/s ... watch.html
you are right its not too well signposted.
Cheers IAC.

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Gruditch
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Gruditch » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:05 pm

Cheers IAC, if they hide it like that, they ain't going to get to many recordings :!:

Gruditch

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Grid References

Postby bugmadmark » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 am

Just wondered if anyone knew of any online maps that you could simply click on the point where you saw the butterfly and it returns the correct Grid reference number for this location - as opposed to having to use an OS map and calcualte the position using skills I should have learnt in boy scouts (I never went).
Thanks
Mark

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Tony Moore
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Tony Moore » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:09 pm

Go to 'Get a map', which is free from online OS services. Click on the 'I want get-a-map now' button. Place the cursor on the UK map in approximately the right place and keep centering and clicking as the scale of the map decreases. Eventually you will have a map of about half/sq km and you can centre your cursor on the exact location. The GR of the centre of the map is given below.
Hope this helps

A.M.

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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby bugmadmark » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:52 pm

Thanks for advice - I gave it a go - couldnt get down close enough to get reference for my own garden in trial. I ended up estimating from grid on streetmap.co.uk. Thanks! Mark.

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NickB
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Re: Grid References

Postby NickB » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:56 pm

[quote="bugmadmark"....to use an OS map and calcualte the position using skills I should have learnt in boy scouts (I never went).
Thanks
Mark[/quote]
I was always taught...
Along the hall and up the stairs...
For a six-fgure reference of 456789
along the bottom of the map...take the 2 grid numbers plus your estimate to the 1/10th of the Km square you are looking at to get first 3 figures of the reference
(45.6) then
repeat the process along the side of the map to get the last 3 figures of the reference (78.9)
456 789
N.
I never got to scouts either!
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

bugmadmark
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby bugmadmark » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:49 pm

Thanks Nick! I guess thats the difference between those living in Cambridge and those in near fenland villages out St Ives way ;-)

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Rogerdodge
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Rogerdodge » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:42 am

I think Get-a-Map is an extraordinary service.
Using the “find” box at top right, and then using the zoom in or out, and re-centre, radio buttons on the lower right you can select a 2km square, 1:25000 scale, map of any location.
Now, here is the clever bit-
Up at top right is a Print/Save/Copy line.
Click on this and another window appears showing the page that will print if you print now. Don't print this!
Do a right mouse click on the map, and select “Save Picture As….”
You can then save that image as a JPEG onto your computer.
After selecting and saving surrounding maps (use the re-centre button) you can stitch them together and crop them in any graphics/photo package to create a custom map for your days ramble.
This is really good if the area is on a join/fold in a "real" map, or the reverse side of a double sided map.
I use this with a program called Gartrip.
You calibrate th map by telling Gartrip the map ref for three points on the map.
Then you can click on points on the map and save as waypoints on your GPS to make a route for a days walk, or to take you to a particuar geographical feature.
On returning from a day out, you can download a trail overlay from the GPS onto the map of that day's walk.
It also places a clickable icon on the trail for each photograph taken on the walk (as long as the GPS and camera clocks are synchronised.).
It also gives the map ref/GPS co-ordinates for the photo.
HTH
Roger
Cheers

Roger

bugmadmark
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby bugmadmark » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:21 pm

My problem is that the maps just arent big enough - at their lowest, 1Km squares - i can still hardly work out specific areas in fields etc - so if i want to recall precise location where i found specific insects, its still quite rough? With streetmap i found , with your guidance on across landing up stairs approach, that i could zoom much further in and use the square to estimate own reference, using the 2 letter/ 6 number approach. mark. Perhaps i need a portable GPS - but expensive. i wonder when canon will add Geotagging to EOS cameras?!

Mark

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Rogerdodge
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Rogerdodge » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:45 pm

Perhaps i need a portable GPS - but expensive

It ain't necessarily so....
Have a look on E-Bay for 2nd hand Garmin 12 or 12XL.
Less than £100 for 3m repeatability. Lovely bit of kit.
I found two - Item Nos. 160269020406, 170248208483

i wonder when canon will add Geotagging to EOS cameras?!

This one of the many features that I have seen rumoured to be in the new 5D (7D, 5D MkII or whatever it will be called). But it is strictly that - rumour!!!
Roger
Cheers

Roger

Annie
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Annie » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:18 pm

If you have a phone with internal GPS, like the Nokia N95 (which I own and am enjoying greatly) then you can purchase this bit of kit http://www.viewranger.com/vrproductinfo.php which will give you your OS grid ref positions as you move around.

Not cheap (about £150 for the full shebang, less if you just want the National Parks version), available either as a DVD for sideloading or as a micro SD card for the slot on the N95 etc but there is a free trial download available just to get a taster. Incredibly handy to carry with you, especially on a phone with a screen the size of an N95

There's a list of hardware with internal GPS on the website so you can see whether your current phone is suitable

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James M
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby James M » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:00 pm

Regarding recording Butterflies and Moths, I am unsure which branch to send Saddleworth sightings into, Yorkshire or Lancashire?

jscacarr
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby jscacarr » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:23 pm

Hi,

In need of help. I am a gardener and while doing one of my gardens we were visited by a Monach butterfly. Unfortunately there was no camera available to record it. I have checked on my somewhat brief book and also the internet I am as certain as an amateur can be that was a monach. I am very familiar with local butterflies so I know for certain it was not one of those. It stayed on the flower of a daisey for ages and I was amazed how close we could get to it.

The location was in Westbrook in Margate, Kent.

The upper wings were a bright orange and wingspan about 3" though I onls saw this in flight. The undersides were pale orange and like stain glass window. The body was black with white spots.

John Carr

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NickB
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby NickB » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:46 pm

Just to remind members that Butterfly Conservation is mapping the progress of the Painted Lady in the UK at:
http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/s ... erfly.html

Any sighting this year (not just current) can be entered. It shows (from the limited data) what a poor year we are having ...
"Conservation starts in small places, close to home..."

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Recording your Sightings

Postby Jack Harrison » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:36 pm

I remember well meeting some recorders in Wicken Wood on the borders of Bucks/Norhants who were logging Wood White distribution using GPS.

During the conversation, I queried whether they were aware of some trick (which I had learnt about the hard way when I got it wrong) to ensure that the right database was used to enable the GPS to read OS grid references. I cannot remember the exact details of the problem, but if the wrong database is use, the grid ref is about 300 metres in error. So, having agreed from a printed OS map, exactly where we were in the car park, they cross-checked their GPS. Lo and behold, there was an error of some 300 metres. So that raised the question: which county had their sighting been in? It all seemed a bit academic as Wood whites clearly occur both side of the county boundary, but an interesting GPS problem nonetheless.

I much prefer Street Map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/ (enables arrow to be positioned precisely) to Get a Map, but that is a personal preference.

Jack


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