LBC Info

Why record birds?

Keeping a record of the birds we see is one of the most useful aspects of our birdwatching. Although you may not think your own personal records are very significant, when you combine them with records from other birdwatchers in the county they provide a valuable historical record. Over time, records can be compared and will give between year changes in the patterns of occurrence of common species as well as details of breeding, distribution and movements.

Recording birds regularly from the same site can contribute to a greater understanding of the ornithological value of the site and may provide important information for site safeguarding and to evaluate the effects of site management. This gives real conservation value to your records.

To report news of a recent bird sighting or records of all your sightings, there are a number of ways you can do this.

Twitter:

For short messages to get the news out to other club members, it's best to use the Lincs Bird Club Twitter Feed. Anyone who follows Lincs Birding on Twitter will get the news and those who are not Twitter members can view our Twitter feed on the home page of this website.
Its important that when you do your tweet you Include the text @Lincsbirding to ensure the message is retweeted increasing the chances of the news spreading more quickly.

The LBC Forum:

Only Members have access to our forum and its here they post what they have seen around the county. Simply post what you have seen, where and when you saw them, and post an image if you have one (however poor, often still of value!). These records are picked up every month and added to the county records database.

Use the LBC Records Template:

Both Twitter and the Forum records have to be sorted and transfered to the county records database by volunteers and this can take a lot of time.
The best way to send in records is to download our microsoft Excel Spreadsheet template and fill it in. We will check the data format and make any necessary changes and then import the records into the LBC records database. This is the easiest and most productive way of submitting your records. Most recording software packages can export to a .csv or .xls format and these exports take very little time to sort out. Once you have your template filled in, simply email it to the Database controllers.

Download the LBC Template HERE

Rare birds to the County

Those species that are scarce or rare in Lincolnshire, and that are rare nationally, have to be recorded in a different way.  In these cases, please send a description to the area county recorder along with any images taken. The simplest way to do this is by using our online form by clicking on the green "Submit a record click here" button below, and entering all the details requested.

These are then checked and adjudicated on by the Lincolnshire Rare Birds Committee (LBRC) and those accepted are entered in the Lincolnshire Bird Report for that year. The LBRC  review each record and make the final decision. If a record is not accepted, the verdict will always be "Not proven" rather then "Rejected" and this usually means the details of the description on paper were inadequate to prove the identity beyong doubt. A list of the birds reviewed by the LBRC can be found on this site by viewing the "Lincs List" when "LBRC" appears after the species name. 

lbrc logo button

National Rare Birds

Nationally Rare Bird records have to be sent to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) following their procedure which can be found on their website.

bbrc logo submit

The Lincolnshire Bird Club wishes to protect rare birds breeding in our county and its sad we have to repeat this on our website Some breeding species are still targeted by egg collectors, poisoners and shooters who may check sites such as this for information. Sadly some breeding birds are also plagued by birders playing taped calls to them and over intrusive photographers, who don't always put the interests of the bird first. Therefore there may be occasions when we have to act to protect a vulnerable species/site if we have experience or intelligence to suggest that a post could put successful breeding at risk.

We therefore urge caution whenever you post information about rare breeding species in the county and ask that you follow the guidelines below.

If we remove a post in relation to breeding bird information we will contact the person responsible for the post to explain the reasoning behind our actions. We sincerely hope you understand and approve of this policy.

We have particular concerns about the reporting of Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Bittern, Little Egret, Montagu's Harrier, Black necked Grebe, Mediterannean Gull, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Barn Owl records on any Lincolnshire Bird Club platform. All advice is subject to change. If you have any doubts about posting, questions or suggestions please contact me direct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If in doubt about posting please contact me first. We do not want to lose your valuable records so if you don't post, please send them direct to the County Recorders whose contact details are below.

Red Kite

Please do not post any Red Kite sightings between March to July from anywhere south and west of Sleaford (or anywhere else if suspected to be breeding), ALL records should be submitted direct to the relevant County Recorder Phil Hyde in South Lincs and John Clarkson in North Lincs. Records of passage birds on the coast, at sites such as at Frampton Marsh, Gibraltar Point or along the Humber Estuary are fine to appear on the forum.

Peregrine

Records for Peregrine except at monitored 'safe' sites such as Lincoln, Grantham, Boston and Louth should be sent direct to the county bird recorder as soon as possible after the sighting to enable the prospects of breeding to be evaluated. Records of passage birds on the coast, are fine to appear on the forum.

Marsh Harrier

Posting records from reserves with full time wardens such as Frampton RSPB, Gibraltar Point and Far Ings is not a problem. Records away from these sites should be sent direct to the county bird recorder. When posting, please do not pinpoint breeding sites, for examples “males carrying nesting material seen over the Sea Bank Pits”

Barn Owl

For more ‘commoner' Schedule 1 birds such as Barn Owl, there is not a problem reporting sightings, but you still shouldn't mention anything that would pinpoint a breeding site, for example 'seen regularly taking food into the black barn half way down Little Fen Lane' etc...

Little Egret

Please do not publish any records of breeding Little Egrets, at or near Heronries. Records of birds away from possible nesting sites are fine. Please send all breeding records to the relevant county recorder.

Montagu's Harrier, Black necked Grebe, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Other Species

A list of the scarcer UK breeding species which are monitored by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) is at this link: http://www.rbbp.org.uk. A number of these species breed in Lincolnshire and reporting their presence generally is not a problem but please do not pinpoint suspected breeding sites. You should suspect breeding whenever you see a bird holding territory (present for more than 1 week) from March to end of July or if a pair of birds is present away from a usual migration site.

If you see a potentially rare breeding bird that has not been previously reported and it is on a wardened nature reserve, please inform the warden and check with him first before posting any details on this site or through other media.

Any information on all rare breeding species should be sent to the county recorder along with any details which might confirm breeding. This advice is subject to change and all updates will be posted on the LBC Forum.

COUNTY RECORDERS CONTACT:

North Lincolnshire: John Clarkson
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South Lincolnshire: Phil Hyde
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Lincolnshire Bird Club Rare Breeding Bird Panel Representative: Phil Espin
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County Recorders

North Lincolnshire

John Clarkson, 33 Ramsgate, Louth, Lincs LN11 0NB
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South Lincolnshire

Phil Hyde, The Cottage, Fen Lane, East Keal, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4AY
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lbrc

Species considered rare at county level are dealt with by the Lincolnshire Bird Records Committee. The committee currently comprises Phil Hyde, Steve Keightley, James Siddle and Andy Sims; Roy Harvey is LBRC Secretary.

Please fill in the online form below with details and descriptions of any LRBC species. If you experience difficulties with the on-line form, please contact us at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A list of the species considered in alphabetical order can be found here.

All records of LRBC species should be submitted as soon as possible after the sighting and not left until the end of each year. County rarities accepted by the LBRC will be published in the report together with the initials of the finder/identifier. The verification of the data that appears in the annual report is essential to the production of an accurate and meaningful report. A systematic approach to the verification of ALL rare bird records, no matter who has reported them, prior to the production of the annual report is required before they are published.

From time to time the LBRC will reserve the right to seek additional details of other records deemed exceptional by virtue of, for example, date, location, or number. The list of birds considered by this committee and the level of proof needed is subject to regular review as, indeed, is the membership of the LBRC.

Please enter the details of the person submitting this record

Please enter your full postal address

Gathering records for the LBC database

In order to compile our annual report voluneers take records from almost anywhere, such as from the Forum, Facebook and Twitter but the correct way to send in records in using the LBC Spreadsheet Template.

Records in the same format as the LBC Spreadsheet Template can be imported in seconds and to keep the database as up to date as we can we hope that the county birders will submit thier records on a monthly basis.

The LBC Database is kept using Wildlife Recorder to store its records. If you use this or Bird Recorder written by Jack Levene can export your records and then send then by email as an exported csv file. This information is then imported directly into the LBC version of Wildlife Recorder. From our point of view this is obviously the best option, as it involves less work and gives us more time for bird watching!

CD DVD recorder

Birdtrack is the online service from the BTO, and it has an export routine that will export your records as a csv so we can modify the data and then import the records into the LBC Database.

BTO BirdTrack

Some members use the online igoterra system to store their worldwide records and it offers a csv export routine which can be emailed to us for inclution in the LBC Database.

igoterra logo

Another software and online package that offers an export routine is Bird Journal

 bird journal logo

Keeping the records up to date is a huge task, especially when those doing the recording in the field send in their records as text or even written in an email. Another option is the use of spreadsheets. The best format is known as a “Trip”, which gives the date and location, together with a list of birds seen (not necessarily in systematic order) with the number of each species seen. The information can be copied onto a special template, which has been designed by Andrew Chick, and again can be imported into the database. If anyone is interested in submitting records in this way, a copy of this template, shown below, is available on request.

lbc records format

H = heard only, several other codes are also used, ie E = escape etc, we will add these codes as appropriate.

Click here to download this template – LBC Recording Template

If you have no method of recording your sightings, an email to the county recorders or us would be most acceptable, using the same format as for spreadsheets, ie in “Trip” format.

We wouldn’t object if the same information is hand written and sent to the county recorders by ‘snail-mail’, preferably with the information in the same order as for spreadsheets/emails.

For those who are not members of the LBC there is the Casual/Confidential facility available on the Forum. Why not join – for £12 a year we think it is good value!!

So that we can continue the momentum, you can help by letting us have your records as soon as possible after the year end – we are aiming for a cut-off date of 28th February for every year.

Sheila and Colin Jennings

September 2009

LBC is concerned with recording birds in Lincolnshire for the enjoyment of our members and to further the cause of bird conservation.  We work closely with other organisations with similar aims to our own, principally BTO, RSPB and LWT.  Many LBC members are also members of all or some of these organisations.

The majority of hard core birders in Lincs both serious and aspiring are members of LBC and if our collective efforts are organised we can make a difference to the position of birds in Lincs.  One particular way we can do this is by helping to monitor the changing fortunes of our common and rarest birds in Lincolnshire from both a national and local perspective. A systematic list of all known and suspected breeding birds in Lincolnshire from 2000 onwards is reproduced in Table 1.  Two measures of abundance are shown arising from the 2009 BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).  The first is the number of squares in which each species was recorded in the UK out of a total of 3,243.  The second is the same statistic for Lincolnshire out of 51 squares surveyed.  Many rarer Lincs species do not show up on the BBS survey because insufficient squares are covered.  If you’d like to find out more about this survey and perhaps take part, find out more at www.bto.org/bbs .  Unfortunately at the moment BTO splits Lincolnshire data between Lincolnshire and Humberside so at the moment certain data is missing.  We are looking to address that point with BTO and hopefully we will have full data for 2010 onwards.

The next column shows the conservation status of species assessed to be of conservation concern by RSPB in 2010.  Red data species have suffered over 50% falls in population since the early 70s and amber species have suffered lesser but serious falls.  Some still abundant species like Skylark and House Sparrow are red listed because they are at least 50% less common than they used to be.
The final column shows the Rare Breeding Bird Panel (RBBP) status of those species which are absolutely “rare” or “less scarce” in the UK.  The entry “LBC” refers to those breeding species which may be relatively common in the rest of the UK but are rare in Lincs.  These birds are particularly attractive targets for egg collectors and we urge you not to pinpoint their nest sites in reports on the LBC forums or other public media.   Our county recorders, John Badley (South) and John Clarkson (North) welcome all records of all rare breeding species with information about their breeding success where available,  which should be sent direct to them.

If you suspect a bird is breeding and it is not on the list, please treat it as rare and contact the county recorders. Each year we compile a report to RBBP from the information you send us and other information we chase people for.  The information is published annually by RBBP in the monthly magazine British Birds for the whole of the UK.  The last report published was for 2008.  We have submitted the 2009 data and are currently compiling 2010.  For a sneak preview of the 2009 data for the whole of Lincolnshire look at Table 2.

An alternative way of looking at Lincolnshire Birds is to rank them by their relative abundance and this is shown in Table 3.  The measure of abundance used in the first instance is the number of BBS squares in which each species is recorded in Lincolnshire.  Where a species has not been recorded in Lincs BBS squares the UK figures are used.  If we could cover more BBS squares we would pick up more species and the data would be better.

This list is very interesting and raises lots of questions.  Please have a look at it and let me know if you think certain species should be added or deleted from those designated as LBC rare breeding birds with LBC against them in the final column. Finally it is interesting to ask; how does the relative density of birds recorded in the BBS in Lincolnshire compare to the rest of the UK?   By looking at the relative occurrence of each species in Lincolnshire compared to UK we can get a handle on which birds our county is important for and which ones we are poor for.  I’ve allocated each species for which we have data to one of 5 categories:

Important Lincolnshire is more than 50% better than rest of UK
Good more than 10% better
Average less than 10% better or worse
Less than average more than 10% worse
Poor more than 50% worse

The data is in table 4.  The data may not be statistically significant, does not yet cover the whole of Lincolnshire and is based on subjective measures but it does provide interesting work in progress.  Once we have the BTO atlas results next year we will have a much better picture.  The main headline is that Lincolnshire is important for farmland species and poor for specialist woodland species, no real surprise there but it does help focus priorities particular for our species of conservation concern, the most important red data species of which in 2009 are:

Species

Number of squares

 

(out of 51)

Skylark

50

Linnet

37

Yellowhammer

37

Lapwing

24

Tree Sparrow

16

Yellow Wagtail

12

Grey Partridge

10

Corn Bunting

9

Turtle Dove

7

If you have any comments on this information which it is intended will be updated at least annually please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Philip Espin

About Us

We are the Lincolnshire Bird Club

Our aims are to encourage and further the interest in the birdlife of the historic County of Lincolnshire; to participate in organised fieldwork activities; to collect and publish information on bird movements, behaviour, distribution and populations; to encourage conservation of the wildlife of the County and to provide sound information on which conservation policies can be based.