Reporting Your Records Using a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet Format

The recommended method for submitting records to the County Recorder is to enter them via BirdTrack at the BTO website. If, instead, you wish to submit your records on a spreadsheet, please note the following.

Your spreadsheet can include the following columns.

  • Date (e.g. 11/03/2016)
  • Location (e.g. Venus Pool)
  • Site Code (e.g. 2) OR grid reference (e.g. SJ549061)
  • Species (e.g. Bittern)
  • Species Code (e.g. BI) – BTO species codes are available here
  • Count (e.g. 2)
  • Notes (e.g. “Seen from the main hide moving through typha to left of the main phragmites reed bed”.)

Note: data shown in RED are required fields; the remainder are optional.


Grid Reference. A grid reference is not essential but is very useful when identifying new locations. It may be left out if the site has a Site Code (see below) but is helpful in locating precise positions, especially in the case of breeding birds. A six-figure grid reference is best as this identifies the position to 100 m but a four-figure grid reference will do if you are not exactly sure where you are – this identifies the position to 1 km accuracy). For assistance with calculating grid references select this link.

Site Code. All observations are identified by the place where the bird is seen and the County Recorder has allocated a number to each place mentioned by an observer in the past.  To download the list of Site Codes (in MS Excel format) select this link. Leave this column blank if you cannot find the name on the list or you are unsure. If your records are from a new site, please give some information about it.

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Page updated: 07/06/2021