Getting Your Sightings Records into Birder’s Diary for the First Time

Many new users to Birder’s Diary have recorded initial sightings of species in the back of their field guide or in other written sources such as notebooks or journals. If this resembles your situation, then

  • use the Checklist Entry method and

  • set the Style to Initial Setup and

  • set the Sort order to match that of your records.
     For example, if you have previously been recording your first sightings of species in the back of your field guide which is in alphabetical order, then choose either “Common Name” or “Last Name” in the sort dropdown. This will make it easier to go through your field guide’s index and the list in Birder’s Diary while you transfer your records! Alternatively if you are transferring records from a journal which contains species in taxonomic order, then select “Taxonomically” from the sort dropdown.

You would select the taxonomic list that covers your area and specify a location filter that covers all of your sightings.

This screen was designed to quickly allow you to transfer your written initial sightings records into Birder’s Diary. This method allows you to select a different location and date for each species. Along with comments and counts.

Now you can go through your records in the order you have recorded them and quickly get them into Birder’s Diary!

 Use the All Comments field to append whatever you type into this field to the comments of each sighting you enter in the checklist grid!

 Scroll the grid to the right or increase the width of the Sightings Entry – Checklist window to see the Comments field for each species.

Your Sightings Are In Random Notes

If your sightings are not as above, but rather in a notebook that is not sorted by taxonomic order or name, then you should consider using the Keyboard Entry method for entering random notes. This is fast and the easiest method for entering this kind of data.

Select the taxonomic list and location filter that covers your list of sightings and you are ready to go.

What If Your Initial Sightings Do Not Have Dates?

All sightings must have a date associated with them. If you don’t have dates for some/all of your initial sightings, then choose your birthday (the date your were born) and assign that date for those sightings. It will then always be easy to view those sightings and edit them if necessary – should you remember a date for one of them.

You have now finished the QuickStart Guide for Birder’s Diary. If you have any comments or suggestions on this please send them to

Start using Birder’s Diary, remember test and play all you want with the Sample observer to figure out how features work and use your real observer for the real thing.