Ray Turner's picture

BirdTrack Android app

Having downloaded this app and briefly played with it today I would highly recommend it to all those who contribute to the BTO’s database BirdTrck. It is designed to be a tool to allow field recording and upload of casual records.

The app is quite small so downloads and installs very quickly and efficiently. The screens are attractive, stylish and modern looking with the minimum of nice large buttons necessary to do the job. Once installed you have to tell the app to download the BTO species list. If you tell it your BirdTrack log in and password you can also download your existing sites.

Operation is simplicity itself. After clicking the Add a sighting... button type/select the species and time. Assuming the phone has GPS a grid reference will be automatically entered or you can select one of your existing sites. The count number can be entered as can the usual breeding info and so on. All entries can be amended or added to.

To upload your sightings first go to the Data Management page, verify the sightings (the phone goes off and talks to BirdTrack here for some reason) and once this has been done upload.

This is the first public incarnation of this app and I found it generally very good however there is room for improvement. It can only upload casual records, it would be nice to load complete lists. Some of the navigation within the app is a little frustrating, a little too much back and forwards to upload when one strategically placed button would avoid this. It does not turn the GPS off when exiting the app (on my Wildfire S) and of course like most apps it is a huge drain on batteries.

Of all the above criticisms the one most important to me is the inability to upload complete lists. Having said that I think this is a great little app and would recommend it. I have only played with it loading sightings from the back garden so far but will be out in the field over the weekend and look forward to giving it a real workout.

There is apparently an i version under development for those with ithings.