Reg Charity No. 702484
Privacy Policy
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CAWOS welcomes records for all birds seen in the Cheshire and Wirral areas.


Submission of Records

From 1 January 2020 CAWOS moved to using the BTO BirdTrack application to hold the bird records for the Society.


There are 3 ways of submitting records :



BTO BirdTrack app (preferred)

The BirdTrack app can be used on a mobile device (phone or tablet), laptop or desktop computer. This method allows users to input their own records.  The process for access and use can be found at:


However, it is recognised that some people cannot do this, in which case there are 2 other options.



In all cases the following apply for locations and sensitive records.



If possible, please refer to the published Gazetteer when listing the site name and grid ref. A more detailed location can always be included under 'Visit Comments' and in this case the more precise grid ref (if given) will still be held against that record. A new site can be added if it cannot be readily included under another site already listed, or if it is an important birding location which was missed off the original list. Please detail the new site in the main body of your e-mail and provide the 6-figure grid ref, the nearest town or village, and a suggested site name. The Gazetteer is free and up-to-date electronic copies can be downloaded using this link.


Sensitive/confidential records

Any breeding records of 'Schedule One Breeding Species' or other rare species must be marked as Sensitive/Confidential by entering a Y in the Sensitive column of the recording spreadsheet, or, noting in the comments section of the paper record. If a detailed location is to be withheld  general locations may be used such as Wirral, Chester, North Cheshire, East Cheshire, Mid-Cheshire and South-east Cheshire, as listed in the Gazetteer.


Electronic Records on a spreadsheet

A copy of the standard CAWOS Recording spreadsheet can be downloaded here.  Each column has a short note detailing the content of the column. A guide on completing the CAWOS Recording Spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking here.


Complete the spreadsheet and submit this to submissions mailbox or by post on a USB stick or CD to : Phil Hampson, 2 Winsfield Road, Hazel Grove, Cheshire, SK7 6ES . Help and advice is available by sending an email to submissions.  All records will be input to BirdTrack.


Paper records

Please use the standard paper record which can be downloaded by clicking here.  A copy of Guidelines for the Submission of Paper Records can be downloaded by clicking here or contact: Phil Hampson, 2 Winsfield Road, Hazel Grove, Cheshire, SK7 6ES. Email: submissions


Please fill in both the page number and the total number of pages submitted at the top of each form, e.g. page 2 of 4.


Note: Other salient points listed under ‘Electronic Records’ should be noted, e.g. the use of specific dates, accurate numbers, and Gazetteer site names and grid references where possible, and the desirability for additional comments to put the record in context. Please ALWAYS detail if this is a Sensitive/Confidential record.


All records must be sent to arrive by 31 January, any received after 28 February may not be used in the production of the annual Bird Report.  Records are entered in the database, reviewed and the report written starting from 1 March annually in order to meet the deadline for publishing the Bird Report.


The local significance of some records may not be immediately apparent. Additional comments are therefore welcomed and observers’ anecdotes are often useful in preparing a readable Bird Report.  Comparisons with previous years' records are also useful.


If your sighting refers to an unusually early or late date for a particular species, please add as much extra information as possible, e.g. whether the birds are singing or not.


Paper records should be scanned and e-mailed to submissions or sent by post to: Phil Hampson, 2 Winsfield Road, Hazel Grove, Cheshire, SK7 6ES


This link is to the detailed instructions for providing records to the Society.  The pdf document can be printed and provides links (when viewed online) to all the relevant documents and contacts.


County Bird List

In December 2020, 365 bird species had been recorded in the Cheshire and Wirral area.  This list may be downloaded as a pdf file by clicking here. Birds which require a description for County Records are noted, please note that National Rarities are not highlighted and the appropriate process applies.


Please note, all species in this table from categories A-C of the British List have been reported in a wild state (not in captivity) in Cheshire and Wirral.  Inclusion of the list implies nothing about the origin of any particular bird or birds.


County Rarities (for which a description is essential)

Full descriptions, when required, should be written out on a County Rarity Form which can be downloaded by clicking here.  They may also be sent in electronically, but the information given must be the same as on the form. Guidelines for assessing scarce county bird records are available as a pdf file by clicking here.  A complete list of county rarities is published in the Bird Report or downloaded by clicking here.  Email or post county rarity descriptions as soon as possible after the sighting to the Rarities Secretary: Jane Turner, Quaintways, Marine Road, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 2AS. Tel: 0151 632 3308 Email: rarities


National Rarities

Records of national rarities have to be accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) before they are accepted for publication in the Bird Report. A list of these species is published in British Birds periodically.  To allow time for circulation and approval of the record by the BBRC before the Bird Report is published, descriptions should be sent in as soon as possible after the sighting.  E-mail or post national rarity descriptions to the County Recorder: Hugh Pulsford, 6 Buttermere Drive, Great Warford, Cheshire, SK9 7WA.Tel: 01565 880171 Email: County Recorder


Rarities Database (spreadsheet)

The Rarities Database collates the descriptions of county rarities submitted to the County Rarities Committee and records the decisions made for each record.  On an annual basis the submissions are checked off against the general bird records submitted to the Society. The records of rarities that were not supported by a description are held in in the rarities database for two years with the status "in limbo". For the more regular county rarities these unsupported records will then be removed in order to save space. Hence the unsubmitted records may be incomplete for some species.


A spreadsheet database is used to log all rarity records and monitor progress through to acceptance. The database can be accessed by clicking here.  Unfortunately, we can only make it available as an Excel file to ensure that the user can access different views of the data.


Note that there are two extra tabs added to the worksheet. One describes how to use the drop-down lists for data filtering and the other describes the meaning of the coded entries.


If you find any errors in the data then please contact us.


Recording Area and Site List

The Gazetteer contains a complete site list and has been produced by the Society to enable the accurate identification and recording of sites within the recording area of Cheshire and Wirral.  Over 2000 site names and grid references are listed. Almost all the county falls within the 100 kilometre square SJ, except for a very small area in the eastern hills of the county, which is in SK.


The recording area is all of Cheshire and the Wirral.  Clicking on this map will result in a full size map.


Cheshire and Wirral
   Ornithological Society
Registered Charity No. 702484