BIRDLINK Help

Summary of BIRDLINK

The primary purpose of this website is to provide a system for members to record sighting information from their bird watching activities. Users are required to register to enable the website to store sighting information in a personal database. The home page of a user displays various summary reports about the users sightings and analysis over time.

The benefits of using this website to store your sighting information, is that in return for allowing BIRDLINK to use your personal sighting information, you will have access to all members sighting information in summary form. Your home page also customises the results to identify where species are being seen, that you haven't seen.

Please note that only information relating to species and locations is used in the full membership analysis and therefore no sighting activities of an individual member can be identified from the report by other members.

The website also has a Notice Board which members can post information for other members to view. Members can also send messages to other members. This however, is only possible when either enquiring about Notice Board items, or replying to a message received from another user.


Registration

Before users can use the site they must be registered so that the BIRDLINK System can store their sighting information. To register please click the Register Button at the right had side of the initial login page.


The Home Page

The home page is the first page you are presented with when you log into BIRDLINK. This page can also be accessed at any time by clicking on HOME at the top of the website.

The Home Page contains the following elements:

Messages and Contacts : This section contains any messages that you have, it also shows information about other members who you have communicated with in the past. Buttons are available to reply to messages received, or send new messages to your contacts. You can also delete messages and contacts.

Species that you have seen : This shows summary information about how many species you have seen and locations you have been in total (that has been entered on the system) over various time periods (this year to date, last year, this month to date, last month). Click on the headings of either of these sections to go to the relevant user reports. (also available under the view reports menu)

Species that you haven't seen : This section shows information about all members sightings, customised to show only details of species that you have not yet seen. It is split into two parts, the first being sightings of species that you haven't seen that are at a location within your County, and the second, those not in your County. As you record sightings on the system, these details will become more meaningful, as the system learns which species you have seen.

Custom Reports : You can also create custom reports and save them to your home page for future reference. Note these saved reports are not a copy of the report at the time you saved it, but are regenerated each time they are viewed from current data using the filter settings stored in the custom report.

You can select which of the sections detailed above are display by clicking on the 'Hide Details' or 'Show Details'. These settings are remembered by the system therefore allow you to customise your home page.


Adding Sighting Information

You can add sighting information in two ways. The first is designed for just adding a single sighting, do this by selecting Record Individual Bird Sightings under the Record Sightings Menu. Complete the required information in the top panel and then click Add to Records. Initially only records from the last month are shown on this page. Individual sighting can be removed from the records by clicking the Del Record button next to the record in question. If you need to delete other records not shown here, visit your user reports and click the data button, which will bring you back to the data page detailing the relevant data. Additional locations can be added to the database by clicking the Add New Location button. See next section for details.

If you have had a day trip to a location and have numerous species to record. You can complete a 'ticklist' of species for the day / location by choosing the Complete a visit tick list for a location from the Record Sighting Menu. Complete the date and location, tick the species you have seen and then click the Add to Records button. Once added you will be taken to the individual entry page where individual data lines can be viewed. Again new locations can be added by clicking the Add New Location button. See next section for details.

By default the system will use the RSPB List of UK birds. If you require an extended list of species you can select to use the UK400 species list. This option can be selected on the amend membership details page. Please note that this option only affects the species that you can enter and filter reports by, there is no affect on the records held and therefore you can change this option without risk of loss of data.


Adding New Locations

Pressing the Add New Location button on either of the sighting entry pages will allow you to add a new location. You can also add new locations from the Record Sighting Menu. Locations are classed as either Public or Private. Public locations are those that are accessible by other individuals. Private locations are those only accessible by you, such as your garden etc (any sighting information you enter for these is only used in your user reports and not in the members reports, but may be used in UK wide bird sighting information records without identifying location data). There are also rules about adding Public locations, please read these and if your location does not comply, it must be added as a Private Location.

Please check that your location is not already detailed in the listing prior to adding a location. At the top of the add new location page there is a link to a complete list of existing location to facilitate this. Complete the details at the bottom of the page and click add new location. You can specify a link to a web page giving further details of the location if you wish, pressing the test link button will open a new window and load the link provided.

Once you press the button to add the new location, your location name is compared to all the existing locations, and if any similarities exist you will be presented with a list of these locations. Please check this list to make sure they are not the same as the location you are adding and then click the appropriate button. Once the location has been added you will receive a confirmation with an option to return to the add sighting record page.


Reports

Reports can be accessed from the View Reports Menu. User reports are based on the data that BIRDLINK holds for your personal sightings including those at your private locations. Member reports are based on information held about all members sightings at public locations. Bird reports are organised around bird species, whereas location reports are based on locations. Each report has options to filter and refine the information used in the report. These options are available at the top of each report. You can also save the filter settings to a custom report on your home page, to quickly access information in which you are particularly interested.


The Notice Board

Access to the Notice Board is available under the Other Facilities Menu. Here you can read all the notices that members have posted. You can also add and delete your own notices and send messages to other members who have posted notices.


Changing your Membership Details

Select Amend your membership details from the Other Facilities Menu. Here you can change all the information that you entered at registration except your user name. Please note that if you change your email address you will need to re-activate your account from this new address before you can continue to use the site. If you change your password, you will be required to log back into the site.