200,000 records

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 9 April 2023 18:49

A couple of days ago I got to 200,000 records in my database (my 200,000th record was a disappointing beetle, Tachyporus hypnorum). Pretty pleased with that, considering I started the database about 11 years ago. Yet I did start recording in about 1989, in fact I think I was recording for decades before I ever heard the term biological recording. It was just that it was all analogue, in notebooks. This winter, I started dealing what that backlog but now it is the field season, and I have entered some 1200 records this week alone. So what does 200,000 records look like? This...

I have records from 388 hectads, that's 10 km squares, around the UK. Not been back to Scotland since 2007, long over due a return visit. You can see the obvious Sussex cluster, which looks like this when you zoom in closer...

Come a bit closer still, to see the edge of Brighton & Ho- Woah! That's close enough, thank you.

And I have done quite a bit in Staffs where I grew up but it's nothing close to the Sussex level.

What are the top 20 species you record most frequently, I hear you say? Well, here they are!

But what about the species (of invertebrate) with conservation status that you record most frequently, I hear you also say?

Field Cricket and Fen Raft Spider are both from surveys that involved counts of singing males and nursery webs respectively, so they don't really belong on this list but I left them in for completeness. They are still very rare and restricted, unlike some of these other species. Episinus maculipes is so interesting, I only recorded it new to Sussex in 2016, it's now my 18th most frequently encountered invertebrate with status! And don't even get me started on Agyneta mollis, it shouldn't even be Nationally Scarce, I find it literally on every survey I do, yet it's my most frequently recorded spider with status now.

What I have also discovered recently is that I am now the most prolific recorder of wildlife in Sussex of all time, with both the most records and the most species of anyone, ever! Very pleased with that! Just shy of 135,000 records of my 200,000 are from Sussex.

Here are the groups and orders that I record the most of.

What about sites? What are the sites I have the most records for?

So that's a quarter of all my records from just 10 sites!

What about recording effort over time? Well this is really interesting, showing a sudden ramping up when I went fully freelance in 2020. Over half all the things I have ever recorded I have recorded in the last three years, that's upwards of 100,000 records! 

But what's the point in all of this? Well all my data is shared with the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, which means it can be used by recording schemes, to help stop developments, produce atlases and much more.

Who do I record with? Well, me mostly. Of the 200,000 records, 141,477 records were made all by myself. But that does leave about a quarter of all my records that are collaborative in nature. So here are the people I have made the most records with. Sorry if I have missed anyone here.

My most recorded hectad is TQ30, Brighton basically, with 13,321 records, followed by TQ01 with 10,616 records. This is reported to be the most biodiverse 10 km square in the UK, it's home to Amberley, Pulborough, Waltham Brooks, Parham and more. My 3rd most well-recorded square is TQ12 with 9821 records. The majority of Knepp sits in this square.

If you have an interest in wildlife recording then using iRecord is likely to be suitable for most people but if you need something a little more involved and comprehensive, then managing your own personal database like this is a really rewarding thing to do. I would recommend Recorder 6, but when it doesn't work, it's quite stressful. That said, when you get up to speed it's a great joy to curate such a big dataset and it's really fun to see where you have been over the years. So get recording! I have already added a 1000 records since I got to 200,000. 201,265 and counting...

1 Response to "200,000 records"

Stewart Says:

Great post Graeme...well done!

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