Scottish Bird Report online the Digital SBR Project

Scottish Bird Report online – The Digital SBR Project


The Digital Scottish Bird Report Project is led by Ray Murray, with the technical assistance of Ian Andrews and Stephen Hunter. The basic idea is to enable ‘readers’ to access all the species accounts, for all the recording areas of Scotland and for any year, on the SOC website. Rather than trying to compress a huge number of records into a 100–200 word account for each species, the readers can see all the ‘raw’ species accounts that were previously edited down for the old-style SBR.

This facility is still ‘work in progress’, and it will take us until around 2014 to fully populate the database. After that reports will be added annually. The online coverage page allows you to see what is already posted on the site. We have undertaken not to upload new local reports to the site until we have permission from the local branch/club that publishes the report. In many cases this will be a year or two after the publication date of the local report.

Data have been compiled either from the original computer files that were forwarded to the printers by local bird report editors, or by scanning old copies from the days before local reports were computerised. While bound copies of all local reports are available at Waterston House, scanning is simpler and more accurate when unbound copies are used. So the provision of unbound copies was invaluable in maintaining accuracy.

Scanning and the subsequent process of optical character recognition is not always 100% accurate, so some allowances have to be made for mistakes that occur at this juncture. This is especially the case with place names, particularly those in Gaelic where spell-checking software is at a real disadvantage. Similarly some of the oldest reports – printed by what are now very crude copying techniques – have caused problems. Every effort has been made to maintain accuracy, to the extent of correcting errors in the original publications! Please contact Ray Murray for any significant mistakes.


Useful links:

SBR online – Search

SBR online – History

SBR online – Coverage

SBR online – Acknowledgements