This section is about the species that the club would like you to report. If you have a rarity sighting suitable to go on the Recent Sightings page then you can use the Submit a Sighting form.

The Club has recording guidelines of what to submit. Broadly speaking, the guidelines ask you to submit all records of unusual species and red listed species, significant numbers of common species, and all breeding records. Therefore not just the rarities that get reported on the Recent Sightings page.

Scarce and Rare Species

Like all counties, Surrey maintains a list of species that are regarded as so scarce or rare that records need to be supported either by notes or a full description, depending on how rare they are in Surrey.

These records are scrutinised by the County Records Committee with a view to publication if accepted.

Goldfinch, Graham Carey

Knot, Dave Harris

The list of species requiring notes or a more detailed description can be found in the Recording Guidelines (which lists all species).

Alternatively there is a list containing only those species where a full description or notes are required.

The notes or full description of scarce and rare species must be provided by completing the Rarity Form. This Rarity Form is in addition to reporting the species in one of the three ways listed under 3 Ways to Submit

3 Ways to Submit (General Records)

There are three principal ways to submit records.


If you prefer to use an online national database which gives you the facility to store, search and analyse your own records, the Club recommends that you submit your records to BirdTrack, provided by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO):

The BTO has designed BirdTrack with county needs in mind, and the County Recorder has full access to the Surrey records, as long as you select the option to forward your records to local bird recorders when setting up your account. When using BirdTrack please try to provide an estimate of numbers wherever possible, rather than just 'present', especially for species of conservation concern. The Club also obtains records from other BTO surveys.  Also, when creating a site, please provide a site name, preferably one that appears on a 1:25,000 OS map, and at least a four-figure map reference. Please do not just call the site for example “home” as the County recorder will not know where this is.

Goldfinch, Graham Carey

Cuckoo, Graham Carey

Direct to the SBC on a spreadsheet

This should be done periodically, typically quarterly or annually.

Going Birding Surrey

This is an online system for recording birds seen in Surrey. It is particularly suitable for records of unusual sightings of interest to other local birders as sightings are immediately made available to other users on the website. However, it can be used for all of your records, which you can access and download at any time. It also has various listing facilities to enable you to view the county list and to keep your own county life, year or patch lists.

You will have to register before you can enter records.  Registration is free, and only has to be done once.  Once you have registered, entering records is straightforward. The site has a Surrey gazetteer with map references, and when entering records you are asked to select a site from the gazetteer if at all possible.  If none of them fit, please provide a site name, preferably one that appears on a 1:25,000 OS map, and at least a four-figure map reference.  Observer entered sites are reviewed from time to time and upgraded to ‘official’ sites as appropriate.

All records entered into the site are available to the County Recorder, but the system has some filters, for example to ensure that sensitive breeding records remain confidential.  You can find a full description of the facilities on the Going Birding Surrey website (click on ‘Home’, then ‘About’).


Goldfinch, Graham Carey

Forms & Lists

This is the spreadsheet where you have multiple records to report and you do not wish to report them through either BirdTrack or Going Birding. If any of the species is a rarity you will also need to complete the Rarity Form (see below)

Here is the form where you have one record to report (any other species of interest you see at the same time can get reported on the same form e.g. Black-tailed Godwit, Cuckoo and Lesser Whitethroat) and you do not wish to report the record through either BirdTrack or Going Birding. As the species should be a rarity you may also need to complete the Rarity Form (see below)

This is the form to complete where you have a rarity to report. Remember that this form is only to give a detailed description of the species so you also need to report the species as explained in 3 Ways To Submit

Here is a list of the species which, in Surrey, are counted as rarities so you need to complete the Rarity Form as well as report the species in the usual way

Here is a list of all the species in Surrey indicating when the club would like you to report the species