How to record a sighting

What should you record?

At its most basic, a biological record needs to include the ‘four Ws’:

  • Who (the name and contact details of the person who saw it)

  • What (what was seen – use the scientific name if possible)

  • Where (where it was seen – be as accurate as possible, a grid reference is ideal)

  • When (the date it was seen)

Extra information such as the numbers you saw, life stage, sampling method and habitat adds value to a biological record.


  • Go to and click on “create new account”. Please complete the form with your details, including a valid email address so you can be contacted if there are questions about your sightings.

  • Once logged in, you will be taken to the home page, which displays recent sightings. From the top menu bar, select “Record” and then chose from the three options, according to how many records you would like to submit.

  • Complete the record form, filling in as many of the fields as possible. Please note that the fields marked with an asterisk are compulsory. The form also contains a map which can be used to record the location of your sighting.

  • For a single record, choose “Enter a Casual Record”.

Recording app

For mobile phones, there are a number of freely available recording apps, including general ones, such as iRecord, and specialised ones for recording particular groups, such as butterflies. LERC Wales (Local Environmental Records Centres Wales) have developed their own recording app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play. Follow the link below for further information about the LERC Wales App :

Paper-based recording

Records can also be submitted by post using a Sighting Report Form. Click the link below to download a form:

Wild Watch Sighting Report Form