Friday, 17 October 2014

The Big Vis - Filling in the Form

You may have noticed the appearance of the Big Vis form on the right hand sidebar. Due to the limitations of blogger and google forms it isnt quite as all singing and dancing as I would like BUT it will record the data effectively. In this post we will explain how to fill out the form for those that arent regular PWC competitors (and those that make a mess of it each month - Im looking at you Ryan).

There are two main things to note about submissions:

  1. They are broken down by hour. You should only submit an individual hour per form.
  2. There are only enough fields to submit ten records per form. Please fill in multiple forms if you get plenty of species or birds flying in various directions and need extra fields. This isnt ideal but it is the limitations of google forms I am afraid.

The first field is observer name. Who are you? As it is the weekend I will be Judy BUT my submission will be under my given name,

The second field is Location and here we need the name of where you are watching from and even more importantly the grid reference. You can find the grid reference using the link below:

The third field is date and that is simply going to be 18/10/2014 or 19/10/2014 dependent upon whether it is Saturday or Sunday when you take part.

Start time is the fourth field - this should be dawn which will be 7.40ish. To get the sunrise time for your location try this website:

For the weather field we want to know whether it is raining/snowing/sleeting/dry etc, the temperature in celcius, the cloud cover expressed in octets (8/8 for fully cloudy sky, 0/8 for no cloud), the wind direction and strength using the beaufort scale and the visibility in distance (>2km if vis is excellent, 500m-2km if a bit ganky and <500m any="" as="" be="" can="" changeable="" fog="" here.="" horrible="" if="" included="" notes="" other="" p="" showers="" such="" weather="">
Hour - we are asking you record for a minimum of two hours and we want an hourly breakdown for results so here you tick which hour you are submitting results for. If you are super lucky and get an awesome passage you may stay beyond 4 hours and this all goes in the 4+ hours tab.

The next three fields are for each record and are repeated 10 times on the form. First up we want the species of bird followed by the number and then finally the direction of flight. If you have a single species with multiple flight directions then each different direction should get its own 'record'.

If (when) you run out of space as you have had an awesome mornings migration add extra records on a new form after you submit the first one - there is no limit.

Which birds to count? Those that are moving through - so not the resident birds and not the flock of waders flying round in circles. Anything you think may be a migrant from the geese and ducks to the thrushes and Tree Sparrows. There are no hard fast rules so use your own judgement. If you have any questions get in touch on twitter using the hashtag #BigVis and tweet us @patchbirding and also @trektellen

Good birding!

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