All sightings are important, from butterflies to hedgehogs, to the birds and the bees, so get out and about record what you see!
Here’s what to do
- Note down a few simple details of what was seen where and when and by who, e.g. Kingfisher; River Tone in Taunton by the Goodland Gardens bridge; Harriet Smith; 15 October 2009.
- Be as precise as possible, if the details are too vague we won’t be able to make use of the record.
- Provide any other relevant information such as, the type of record, number, sex, or stage.
Who – Provide your full name and contact details; this helps us distinguish between different recorders and enables us to check details if necessary.
What – Give the scientific name if you can, or the standard common name.
If you don’t know the exact species please be as specific as possible about what you’ve seen, for example ‘pipistrelle bat’, ‘newt’, ‘Rosa species.’’
Where – Give a grid reference and a location name if you can, otherwise please provide a good description to help us assign an accurate grid reference.
When – Ideally give an exact date, however the month and year, or a date range, is sufficient.
SERC is interested in all records – please don’t assume that we already know. Records of rarities are always useful and can aid conservation efforts, but equally important are records of widespread species. All records can be useful for plotting the distributions of species both locally and nationally, and for detecting trends.
Need help identifying something?
If you see something new or you’re just not sure what it is, it’s really useful to take a couple of photos if you have a camera or mobile phone with camera facility.
The internet is a great resource for identification. You can often type in the colour and size of something with the month you’ve seen it and various possibilities will be returned. Alternatively you may like to try a specialist site for butterflies or birds for example.
One off records
It’s great to hear about the wildlife you see when you’re out and about or in your garden. Please let us know the details by entering these into the Somerset Wildlife Database.
If you would rather submit a one-off record by email or you have an identification enquiry please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org attaching photos if you have any.
Regular submission of records
Many people submit sightings to us more regularly than once or twice and information about wildlife you see in your garden, neighbourhood or regular walking route can often be the most effective type of monitoring. Homeowners and locals tend to notice wildlife and seasonal changes which others wouldn’t.
Some examples are; there’s always a ring of fungi on my front lawn, our garden robins pair up a couple of weeks before Christmas, there is an active badger run through our road, we have frog spawn appearing and we usually get bats in the garden in the summer.
If you think you could pass more regular information to us it would be great if you could submit things straight into the Somerset Wildlife Database.
Thank you very much for submitting your records to us. Please send any records to SERC via the email: email@example.com.
For information on how we use your records click here.