Instructions on the use of the Surbiton & District Birdwatching Society Online Recording System.

Contributions from non-society members are welcome. Please refer to the map of the Society’s recording area to be sure that your records are of interest to the Society. The system is very user friendly, and you may only need to refer to the below under certain circumstances but please refer to item 6 below if your record relates to a street and to item 9, Count. The Submit button may not work with Google Chrome but will work with Microsoft Edge or Firefox. Please download one of these.

  1. From the drop-down menu under ‘Recording’ choose ‘Submit Records’.
  2. Fill in your name in the first box. Surname first followed by an initial or your Christian name. If you wish these to remain private tick the box to the right.
  3. If you have one, fill in your e-mail address. This will not be displayed in the archive and so cannot be seen by other than the society recorder and a few other administrators.
  4. If you regard your record as sensitive in any way, such as a rare breeding species and you wish the site to remain secret, tick the appropriate box to the right.
  5. Enter the date of your sighting in the appropriate box.
  6. ‘Street’ and ‘Site’. If your record involves a street, please insert the street name before the site name. Important: ‘Site’ name should match that after the comma in ‘Street’. See sample box below. When entering a street name the site must also be entered. If left blank, the record will fail.

Important: The street name will unfortunately be retained in this box if you enter a different site, which results in strange records such as ‘Epsom Common, Kingston Road’. To avoid this there is blank box at the top of the ‘Street’ list and this should be chosen first when entering a different site.

‘Site’. PLEASE AVOID USING JUST THE TOWN e.g. Surbiton, as far as possible but this is acceptable for fly-overs. If your record is on, or close to, a section of one of our rivers these are listed (a, b, c, d, etc) in the direction of flow and the word River is just represented by the letter R. e.g. R Thames. If you cannot find the exact site on the list, please submit under the nearest road and describe the exact position in the ‘Comments’ box.

The object of ‘Street’ is to ascertain accurately the location of the record within a town or district such as Kingston or Berrylands. If the ‘Site’ does not relate to a town or district e.g. Hogsmill SW, Kempton NR, or riverine sections, where the location is already sufficiently precise, please leave ‘Street’ blank as this can generate unnecessary work when preparing the Annual Bird Report. If you still think a street is important it can be added under ‘Comments’.

  1. It is not necessary to fill in the ‘Square’ box, but 1 Km squares are listed if you are confident (e.g. TQ1237). 2Km square tetrads ( TQ16Y) were mainly used during to BTO Atlas project and should not be used.
  2. Select the species from the dropdown list. Options for Hybrid, Escapee and Unidentified are provided. Details in the ‘Comments’ box please. Only species that have been recorded in the Society’s area are listed. If you have seen a species not on the list, please e-mail the recorder. Also e-mail if you see a rare species that others may wish to see so that details can be circulated.
  3. Important: Please provide a count. Any count, however rough adds considerable meaning to your record. Please do not leave blank to mean ‘Present’ or provide comments such as several in the comments box. A zero (not blank) has the following legitimate meanings: for surveys it can mean that the species was seen but was thought not to have bred; it can mean either (helpful in some circumstances) that none were present unusually. Better to omit entering unless you provide a count. If ‘Count’ is left blank your record cannot be analysed by Microsoft Excel.
  4. Please fill in the breeding status if appropriate. These relate to the BTO system.
  5. Click the blue ‘Submit’ button and a red notice comes up that the record has been uploaded. You can check on the ‘Archive’, accessed from the drop-down menu, that all is OK.
  6. If you notice that you have made a mistake it is not possible for you to correct this at present. Send an e-mail to the recorder and request him/her to correct or add another record and ask for the incorrect record to be deleted.
  7. If you prefer records can be sent in bulk to the recorder on an excel spreadsheet. Preferably to arrive in time for the Bulletin.
  8. All the species that have been recorded in the Society’s area are on the dropdown list and within the ‘Archive’ section it is possible to search and find out where species have occurred in the past.

Thank you for your continued support

Map of our recording area

Our recording area is TQ16, the Ordnance Survey National Grid Reference for the ten kilometre grid square, but extended by 2km to the north and east. You can see these grid references on the OS Landranger maps.


Map data: Google Earth


Data Protection Statement

By supplying sightings, unless the person reporting the sighting has advised to the contrary, the person is agreeing that the Society may use his or her personal information supplied with that sighting for the following purposes:

1. To distribute or lend the personal information to organisations with which the Club shares survey information
2. To publish on the Society ‘s website, in the Society ‘s Bird Reports, Newsletters and other publications (name of the person only)
3. When the person concerned agrees to other personal details being published
4. For online back-up of bird records by the organization which is providing this service.

The Society will only supply the personal information to any other third party (unless the Society has permission from the person) if required to do by law.


Records Sub-Committee – A Plea To All Members

A recent study of SDBWS records has shown that several sites in the Society’s recording area, which over the years have produced worthwhile sightings, no longer appear to be visited regularly by Society members. Below is a list of species you might expect to see during a birding year at three adjoining sites close to Epsom.

Site + Grid Ref Target Birds
Epsom Common
TQ 190 650
Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Woodcock, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, Tawny Ow1, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, FieIdfare, Redwing, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer
Rushett Farm
TQ 173 608
Kestrel, Hobby, Pheasant, Lapwing, Stock Dove, Skylark, Swallow, Fieldfare, Redwing Chaffinch, Brambling, Linnet, Redpoll, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
Stew Ponds
TQ 183 609
Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting

As the above table shows, you don’t have to travel far to see good birds! Other worthwhile sites not covered on a regular basis are:

  • Richmond Park (southern section) TO 198 717
  • Barwell Court and Winey Hill TQ 169 630
  • Fieldcommon (TQ 127 665) and its associated sites
  • Hampton Filter Beds TO 130 693
  • Prince’s Coverts TQ 160 610

If you live close to any of these ‘forgotten’ sites, please think about visiting them, the more frequent the better, and send in your records to the SDBWS Recorder, Tony Quinn.

Email addresses

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ to want to enjoy unusual birds locally. If you missed out on the waxwings, at Horton Country Park or the egrets on the Hogsmill, why not let us have your email address and you can be added to the Hot News circulation list. But please remember to let us know when it changes. Email addresses and comments to Tony Quinn for the Hot News service.