Sunday, 11 November 2007
Back in the mid-90s I bought an early version of Bird Recorder for Windows. I promptly set about populating it with my older records, although this was pretty much restricted to entering a few day lists and records of lifers. I kept it up to date for two or three years from then on, but I started slipping in 2000 and I had completely stopped using it for bird records by 2001. By then I had created a new species table for my moth recording and frankly I couldn't be arsed with maintaining two datasets. Over the last five or so years I have been using MapMate - a much better tool overall. I transferred all of my moth records from Bird Recorder and continued from there - currently I have some 31000 personal records. 2007 has been a pretty crap year though for mothing, and I have been able to keep MapMate up to date rather than spending a couple of weeks catching up during the winter. So I am now embarking on the task of transferring my birding records over. The downside is that with the number of sites to create and species names to correct between the two databases, it will actually be easier to re-enter everything. There are c8000 records to copy plus all those scrappy notebooks to wade through. I guess it will take a fair time and probably keep me busy for a couple of winters (or three). But at the end of it I will be certain of, for instance, exactly how many times I saw the Titchwell Black-winged Stilt and if I've seen five or six Rose-coloured Starlings (it'll take a while before I'm use to / happy with the current vernacular names and systematic order). I will of course endeavour to enter all of my new birding records directly into MapMate - although I certainly won't be bothering to enter every tit or finch than dangles off of me nuts.