Data collected during commercial surveys are often valuable to conservation/research organisations and local ecological records centres and should therefore be suitably archived following survey completion.
Submitting ‘complete lists’ to BirdTrack via a mobile device provides a convenient way of recording data as you go (along with ancillary information, such as breeding evidence), and means data are available for further use, either nationally, or by county recorders. Additionally, records should also be sent to the local records centre.
Where possible, when drawing up a contract, it is best to stipulate that records will be submitted to the appropriate organisation (BirdTrack, local records centre, Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP)) unless the client, for good reason, explicitly requires that this is not done. An example of text that could be used is: ‘All records of protected or notable species encountered during the survey will be provided to *insert local records centre* and British Trust for Ornithology BirdTrack, unless informed otherwise by the client.’ Obviously, the right to share data with third parties should always be established before doing so, but it is the view of the steering group that this should be the default unless there are legal or other commercial reason that this cannot happen.
Rare breeding birds
Rare breeding birds should be reported to the appropriate County Recorder with associated data (i.e. location, date and time and species counts). The County Recorder will then ensure that this information is passed onto the RBBP.
All species listed as rare breeding birds should be reported to the appropriate County Recorder. Also consider that certain scenarios make encountering rare breeding birds more likely. These include remote survey locations (i.e. such as the Scottish uplands) and species-specific surveys (particularly where they relate to raptors, waders or divers).
In certain situations, the presence of a rare breeding bird on a site should be made immediately known to a client and the appropriate local authority or conservation organisation. Such situations could include an imminent threat to a nest site (i.e. from development or disturbance), or where a nest site may require continued protection or monitoring (i.e. a rare breeder such as bee-eater in a sand quarry, or in some upland regions, hen harrier). In this case, data should be made available, under an embargo, to the local authorities/conservation organisations until completion, or until such a time that data are made available in the public domain.