When posting sightings on the Latest News page, it saves the London Natural History Society (LNHS) much time and effort if you adhere to its standard format, thus enabling the automatic extraction of observers' records into its database. These are the basic requirements.
- Begin with the name of the site or district, followed by a colon. You can include any general information (e.g. “vismig 07.00 to 09.30”) within double quotes before the colon, but please use dots not colons within times.
- List the notable species. For each one: give the total number, then the species name, then any additional information of interest (e.g. singing), and then a comma before the next species. Avoid any use of commas in the additional information, and do not use “and” or “&” instead of the comma before the final species.
- End with the observer’s name (not just initials) inside round brackets.
- If you want to add your own sightings at the end of someone else’s list, put a semi-colon after their names, add your own general information (if any) inside double quotes, list your species, and end with your name inside round brackets.
- If you want to report other sightings, such as butterflies or dragonflies, please enclose their records within curly brackets.
- Ensure that you have sent your email contact details to the London Bird Club Data Manager: , so that you can be contacted to resolve any problems.
Please do not be annoyed if you later find your entry has been edited to facilitate automatic database extraction.
To assist the automatic compilation of your records into the database, please try to follow the standard contributors' format outlined above. (NB: Posts that do not adhere to the 'comma-separated values' (CSV) data format used by the extractor may be edited or even omitted.) In general, this means:
- Do not over-punctuate, e.g. type '2m 3f' rather than '2m, 3f' because the extractor interprets commas as separating different species' records.
- Use generally-recognised names for species and birding sites, spell correctly, avoid abbreviations and be consistent.
- Include an Ordnance Survey (OS) Grid Reference in the general information for any new site.
- Add postcodes for street sites (e.g. Waxwing sightings).