County Recorder


Jon has been Northamptonshire’s County Recorder since 1st May 2020.


With advances in technology and social media, the way people enjoy and record their birding is changing. In my role as County Recorder I’m keen to embrace this and make the most of it.

I will be monitoring various sources of bird recording for Northants (WhatsApp groups, Twitter, birding websites / Apps etc) and will incorporate records obtained in this way into our county reporting. There are several ways that you can submit records, depending on your interest and preference.

If you plan on submitting a number of records across the year, I would say the best ways to do this are:

  • Complete an Excel Recording Sheet (downloadable from the CHECKLIST AND RECORDING page) and email it to me, either at the end of each year, or across the year, as you prefer.
  • Upload your sightings to BTO BirdTrack. Benefits of BirdTrack are data security, enhanced database functionality and the convenience that comes with a mobile App. It also provides a source of national as well as local recording. As County Recorder I have access to BTO BirdTrack data for Northants and can download this directly. To access BTO BirdTrack visit BirdTrack | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
  • Upload your sightings to iRecord. Benefits are similar to BirdTrack: the key difference is that iRecord is intended to be used to track and share records of all types of wildlife. For more information, iRecord | Manage and share your wildlife records
  • Upload your sightings to eBird. As with BirdTrack and iRecord, eBird gives mobile App functionality, data security and it also connects you with a global community of tens of thousands of birders who submit bird observations, track their personal records, and use eBird’s tools to better understand the occurrence of birds close to home and around the world. Here’s a link:

If on the other hand you plan on submitting only occasional records across the year, please feel free to send these directly to me by email:

Mike Alibone will continue to update this website with records and news of rarer species, so please continue to send such records to him at

If you are fortunate enough to see a rarer species and wish to have it included in the county records, it may require you to submit a Description Form. For more information with regard to these requirements see the CHECKLIST AND RECORDING page. I will liaise with observers to obtain these completed forms, and will pass them to the Northamptonshire Bird Report Records Committee for consideration. Where the species is a national rarity, it may require a description to be submitted to the British Birds Rarity Committee (BBRC): I will support this process as required.

I also hope to be able to add value to the birding and scientific communities and to nature conservation, in the following ways:

  • Provide information to interested parties or individuals on bird population trends, the status of the birds of the county, or information regarding birding sites. Considering the need to protect rarer species and sensitive habitats from disturbance and persecution I will not be able to divulge information regarding such species or locations.
  • Provide information to support environmental impact studies used for the evaluation of planning applications.
  • Provide information to contribute to ornithological and other scientific surveys, studies or publications.

Hopefully, this has helped you understand my role and how you can play a part in bird recording in Northants. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. Happy birding!

Jon Cook

July 2020