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I often go birding where there is no connectivity, so am wondering about options for creating records off-line. I am aware of the relationship with Birdwatcher's Diary, but am reluctant to learn another piece of software. Birder's Diary can import data from eBird and BirdBase, etc., so there must be a way to create data in a format that can be readily imported. However, a search in the forums just turned up advice on importing checklists, which seems different. (I'm not sure why anyone would want to do that anyway!)
Thanks for posting.
Yes - BD supports all of this in a myriad of ways.
Please watch one or all of these three videos in order of relevance to your questions.
Birdwatcher's Diary has a special export property for exporting into Birder's Diary format. Birder's Diary also fully supports eBird.
Birder's Diary fully supports importing from CSV as you discussed above. No need for creating locations in advance or adding data after the fact.
Let me know if the three videos above (first one is probably most relevant) don't get you there.
FYI: I use either eBird App or Birdwatcher's Diary App on my Android phone to record sightings offline. Then import those sightings when back to my computer. I find this much easier than maintaining a spreadsheet.