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Recorded sightings and contributed photographs

I am far from being the only wildlife enthusiast here in Dorset! There are a number of others who have a keen interest and spend hours visiting the wonderful natural places of Dorset, recording what they see and taking superb photographs. Some of this number post their most interesting records and best photographs on Twitter and Facebook and the Nature of Dorset is able to pick up these valuable contributions to public knowledge and recycle them in various ways to help them reach a wider audience.

As well as re-tweeting and sharing posts to widen their exposure the Nature of Dorset also stores these records and photographs in a databse, indexes them and displays them linked to species deacriptions, the sites where they were seen, by date and by the contributing recorder. This expands the information I have personally collected for many sites and species myself and, therefore, enables visitors to the Nature of Dorset website to find out much more about the county's wildlife and nature reserves. The main database of records is available to interrogate in several ways and there is a map of the sites that receive the most coverage as these tend to be the best sites in the county. You will also find records and photographs on species information pages where it is available.  

The number of records and photographs increases daily and if you want the latest news then the summary of yesterday's records is the page to follow. If you are interested in historical data for research or just for general interest then there is an ever growing wealth of information available to inerogate in the records database and there is a facility to produce your own reports, charts and maps from this data. You can even download the data to your own computer to do further analysis.

I am sure I have not identified all of the active amateur naturalists at work in the county. If your tweets or Facebook posts are not included and you would like them to be please let me know via the website contact form, there is a link to the contact form at the bottom of every page. 

  • CLICK HERE to see a summary of what was seen in Dorset yesterday by our local wildlife enhusiasts.

  • CLICK HERE to see which species have generated the most records in the last month.

  • CLICK HERE to see a list of the more notable Dorset bird records (since January 2017).

Alternatively, use the links below to access the records by species, by site, by month, by contributor or to build your own reports, charts and maps.


Click/tap your selection to move to the next level down:


An index of species for which we have received contributed sightings in Dorset. Click on any species to see the details of those sightings. If you have a particular interest you can filter the index for just birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies, flowers and so on.


Some of the Twitter contributors we monitor have favourite sites that they frequently visit and record at. These sites have far more coverage than the others and so I have identified them on a location map. Not only do these sites have the most records they are amongst the best places to visit in Dorset.


At the end of each month I write a short summary of the wildlife activity in Dorset as seen by, and reflected by, the posts on Twitter from those contributors I follow. Each summary is accompanied by a list of species seen ans some charts to help visualise the month's data in graphical form.


The people whose Twitter feed I follow to find sighting records with a summary of their contributed tweets and photographs. 


A gallery of pphotographs submitted with tweets that I have collected to help people with identifiaction of species they may have seen.


Examine the sighting records data by generating your own reports, charts and maps using powerful database filters.


Access the SPECIES section for the complete database of records and photographs by species  . Use the SPECIES section if you:

    • Want to see what can be seen in Dorset and where, including what is about in Dorset at the moment
    • Want to see distribution maps and recording frequency graphs for a particular species
    • Want to see additional photographs of some species

Access the SITES section for the complete databse of records and photographs by location. Use the SITES section if you:

    • Want to see the best places to visit and where they are
    • Want to see the what you may find at these top sites
    • Want a better understanding of the top sites in Dorset 

Access the DIARY section for the  records in the database for any particular month of your choice. Use the DIARY section if you: 

    • Want to read a summary of what was seen in a month of your choice
    • Want to see a list of recorded sightings for a particular month
    • Want to see the data for a particular month in graphical chart form 

Access the CONTRIBUTORS section for the complete database of records and photographs by contributor . Use the CONTRIBUTORS section if you:

    • Want to see whose Twitter feeds are monitored for sighting records
    • Want to see the tweets and associated data derived from those tweets from a specific contributor
    • Want to see if your tweets are being tracked and what information has been accumulated from your tweets

Access the GALLERY section for the complete database of photographs contributed. Use the GALLERY section if you:

    • Want to see some excellent photographs of wildlife of all kinds
    • Want to help identifying a species where seeing some photographs might help
    • Want to see the latest photographs added to the database as well as the most viewed or the most recently viewed photos

Access the SPOTLIGHT section to analyse the  records in the database and produce your own reports, charts or maps. Use the SPOTLIGHT section if you

    • Want to create your own reports of species or sites by date and even download that report data to your own computer for further work
    • Want to create your own charts showing activity by year, month or day and compare two charts on the same page
    • Want to create your own distribution maps for specific species or groups of species defining time frames if desired  

This chart shows the number of records contained in the database for each month over the last year:

... and this one shows the number of records contained in the database for each day over the 30 days:

This chart shows the number of records in the database by species group.