Avon BTO

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Validation looms

At the BTO conference over the weekend, and now the Website is down for 48 hours for major revamp , so I have no idea how many more tetrads have been done recently. The latest I had was that 46 had been done and 72 were left to do; probably half have now been done, half left.
I will send out a reminder to those who still have to do them- though I can well understand people leaving it until the chrismas break when travel is easier.
Also good news there are I think just four tetrads left to be covered.
Validation means that I will be checking all entries, and If I feel uncertain I will send you an e-mail asking you to confirm the record. It is easy to make slips- I have been guilty of several. As for rareities I will not be asking for descriptions, and my standards will be lower than those of the County Recorder. I just have to be convinced you are certain that you saw enough of the bird to be certain of its identity. The golden rule is "if in doubt leave it out".
But I will also be asking about Breeding Status- many people omitted breeding status when it clearly was a possible breeding bird- and some put in breeding status for birds that were clearly still migrants, or, in July, juvenile birds that had dispersed from their nesting colonies. It is very important for this survey that we very clearly differentiate if possible between species that are breeding and those that are definitely not. Also be clear that breeding status only matters at Ten-km square level, not at tetrad level. I am interested in it at that level, but, because it would be impossible to get the same degree of effort in every tetrad to check status, I do not intend to seek the information.
Please be clear the decision is yours, not mine. I cannot alter what you have entered.
Editing your records is quite easy, though at first a bit daunting.
Richard Bland


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