I know that when I go out and visit somewhere its the unusual birds that stand out in my memory, but if I want to be even vaguely scientific about things I really should be recording everything that I see. Sometimes the absence of a species is as important as the presence of one.
I’m making some changes to how I enter a report from a visit, and now when you select which location the report is for, the first thing it does is presents you with a list of all the species you have previously recorded at the site, along with a figure for what percentage of visits that you’ve recorded that species at that site (assuming its a repeat visit and not an entirely new location). The list is sorted by this percentage present figure.
This way your attention is focussed on some of the species that you see so often that you forget about them, before you move on to the next step in the wizard where you can add any other species (you can skip this step if you just want to dive in to entering everything from a list you’ve already jotted down if thats easier).
I know just from looking at these percentages of sightings that I’ve been sloppy in recording common species – taking the above screenshot as an example, I don’t think its possible to visit Amble harbour and not see a cormorant so one of my two reports that I’ve entered is clearly incomplete.