The Sightings page is one of the most popular pages on the Society’s website. We think we can add to its interest, but it is changing and we need your help to do this.
The Sightings page is not only for experts to add their amazing sightings but for any MKNHS member, whether experienced naturalist or new member of the Society to submit their ordinary sightings.
Please look at the Sightings page every week to see what’s about. From time to time we will be adding new information about what to look for.
What we want to see on the sightings page
Up to now our website editor has laboriously transferred many individual bird records every day to the MKNHS Sightings page from the Bucks Bird Club website. To these he added any other sightings submitted direct to the MKNHS website, but there have been fewer of those. This has meant that those of you more interested in flowers, mammals or insects have seen less of interest on the Sightings page.
Bird sightings remain important and we would like you to submit those for the Milton Keynes area direct to the MKNHS website, as we will transfer very few from the Bucks Bird Club website ourselves. We explain later how you can find those elsewhere.
What to look for
Some of you may feel that what you see is hardly special enough to send in as an MKNHS website Sighting. But we want to widen what we all see on our Sightings page, so here are the kinds of sightings we will welcome:
- Your local wildlife around where you live
- Birds and insects in your garden
- The first of the season (first bluebell seen, first swallow to arrive, first butterflies of the year, which tree leaves are opening first)
- Birds, insects, flowers & fungi (wherever you see them in MK area)
- Indoor sightings (which house spiders? Oak bush-crickets in late summer)
- Plants or animals in unexpected places
- Animals not often seen (such as an Otter or a Weasel, or simply a Hedgehog in your garden)
- Road kill (such as badger, fox, hedgehog, owl)
- Animals or plants that especially interest you (but local sightings please)
- Interesting photos.
Sightings are enhanced when they come with a photo. It doesn’t need to be competition standard, just clear and in focus. So send these in, but sightings without a photo are equally welcome.
How to be sure of the identification of what you have seen
We don’t offer an online species identification service, but there are other ways you can check. When MKNHS meetings are running it is worth asking other members to find out who can help. If you have a few natural history field guides you may be able to work out possible options. Why not submit your sighting with what you think the species is but saying you aren’t sure or with two alternatives? But there is an online way of finding out through citizen science. Register for free with iSpot:
https://www.ispotnature.org/. You can then put a photo on the iSpot website and there’s a good chance other people will respond with the right identification. You can then submit your sighting to our website.
What information is needed for a sighting?
The basic information we need is: what, where, when, by whom. To which you can add a photo and a brief observation about what you have seen:
- What species?
- Where did you see it? Name of location, preferably with a grid reference.
- When did you see it? Simply the date.
- By whom? Your name
- A photo (format?)
- A brief observation. Such as how many you saw or what it was doing.
How to submit a sighting
All you need to do is e-mail this information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bird sightings and the Bucks Bird Club
It is easy for you to view any bird sightings for Buckinghamshire simply by searching on Bucks Bird Club website. The quick route to the day’s sightings is: https://bucksbirdclub.co.uk/ then click on the drop-down in the top bar for Latest Sightings which is headed Buckinghamshire Bird News. Some of our MKNHS members are also signed up members of Bucks Bird Club and have registered to submit sightings to it. For example, on 1st April 2020 Harry Appleyard submitted 37 different sightings. Several other MKNHS members add their bird sightings to the Bucks Bird Club website. Joining fee for Bucks Bird Club is excellent value, as little as £15 a year.