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You can now book your surveys on a brand new, crowd-funded map, with some great extra features. Whether you're an old hand or starting afresh, you'll first need to sign up to the new system - then jump right in and explore!
Spend a day in the great outdoors. Book in a couple of friends and a little bit of kit, choose when and where, and make sure you have everything you need.
Here's what you need to do, to become a fully-fledged contributor to Where Where Wedgie:
Sign up as a member - this will allow you to register your survey square, receive updates and access other information resources.
Choose the place you'd like to do your survey; and register it for your chosen date(s) once bookings are opened. Learn more, and book your survey square, via Take Part.
For best results, the project needs a total of three days of survey per 4 km x 4 km survey square – on any combination of the survey dates (mid- and end-May). You can just do one of the days, or all three - as you like.
On a survey day, six 10-minute surveys need to be done in different parts of the square, with each survey starting either on the hour or the half hour (e.g. 9:00, 10:00, 10:30 etc.), any time between 8 am and 4.30 pm.
So it may be possible to cover two squares in one day, but it will be hard work. We recommend that you prioritise having a safe and enjoyable day!
Discover why we’re doing it like this under Survey design in the Get Ready! resources (but note some details in these resources, such as the datasheets and app info, are now out of date). You can also find out more in the 2018-2020 Report.
Your dream team is three people: (1) one who doesn’t take their eyes from the sky and the bush, and uses the binoculars if you can get hold of some; (2) if you can get hold of a photographer with a telephoto lens, it would be helpful to photograph any of the birds you spot; (3) finally, you need someone with a smartphone and/or clipboard to write down the details, including your location. A compass, a GPS and a map will also be useful (both for the survey and for keeping you safe).
You are responsible for your own safety while taking part! Make sure all of your team will be safe and comfortable moving to and around your chosen survey square.
Here's what you need to prepare from scratch. (If you're already fully familiar with both the survey methods and bird ID - wonderful! - and do please share what you know with newer NatureTrackers).
1. Watch the videos on this page (but note we now have a new booking map and app - details via the Tips document in the DropBox folder below).
2. Learn about everything from using binoculars to advanced bird of prey identification in the Get Ready! resources (noting that some details in these resources, for example the datasheets and app details, are out of date). There's more info on the new app in this Latest News update.
3. Chat to someone who's already done it. Experienced NatureTrackers will be available in various locations across Tasmania to help you prepare - email us (soon!) if you'd like to talk to someone in your area.
4. Practise doing a survey: once you've booked a square, click on 'Recording your observations' below to get familiar with the NatureTrackers app, with the aid of the datasheets.
Once you've booked your square and honed your skills, it's time to get ready for the day. Print out AND CAREFULLY READ! the Tips document in this DropBox folder - for instructions, a checklist on what you need to bring and details on how to record your observations. (Note: anyone can access this DropBox link - no need to sign in!).
Let someone know when and where you are going and when you expect to return. Make sure you have your survey kit, the right clothing, enough food and water and other useful things for the day - not only to be safe, but to have a great day (see the checklist in the Tips document).
Help organise/join in on local activities at the end of each weekend to celebrate our findings.
The preferred data collection method is via the NatureTrackers: Where? Where? Wedgie! app, which will work on smartphones and tablets even when you're out of mobile coverage (just make sure you zoom into your square beforehand, to cache the map, while you're in coverage).
Here's a video to introduce you to all aspects of the booking map and app. If you prefer, you can jump to learning about map features that will be useful to you during the survey at 1:05 (ie 1 minute 5 seconds into the video), or start on data entry at 3:46, and learn about using the app when out of coverage at 10:25. (Make sure you cache a copy of the aerial map of your square!).
Additional/back-up options are to record your data on paper - print out the two datasheet files from the DropBox folder) and, when you get home (a) copy it onto the web version of the app (go to the Booking Map via Take Part, and click on the clipboard logo) or (b) email or post your datasheets.
(Note: anyone can access this DropBox link - no need to sign in. If you have any hitches, though, don't hesitate to Contact Us - we can always email them to you).