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Birdwatcher's Diary User Manual

The Sighting Screen

To view or edit the details of a sighting of a species, tap on the binoculars or ear icon on the left of the species name in the main screen list (remember, if you tap within one second of first recording the sighting, something different will happen, namely, you'll change the binoculars to an ear or vice-versa). When you do you'll see the Sighting Screen, which will display all the details of the sighting – species name, location, count, heard only, the date and time, the latitude and longitude and your notes on the sighting.

Editing the Sighting

Species name: At first it might seem strange that you would want to change the species name of the sighting, but you'll find it very useful. Perhaps you recorded it first as a Hairy Woodpecker, but on later reflection (perhaps after examining a photo you took) you realize it was a Downy. You could delete the sighting of the Hairy and add a sighting of the Downy, but in doing so you would lose the date/time and latitude/longitude that were recorded for the original sighting. Instead, just change the species name by tapping on it and selecting the proper species from the list that appears, and this "new" sighting will still retain the details from the original one.

Location: It's easy, when you bird multiple locations during a day, to forget to change the location as you move from one to another, only to realize it later. If this happens, just edit the sighting, tap on the location, and select the correct location from the list that appears. The software will remember the new location, so if you have to change a series of sightings to this new location, when you go to change the second (and third etc.) sighting, you'll find that the new proper location is right at the top of the screen.

Count: You can enter a number here to change the count. Alternatively, you can leave the field blank or enter a dash (-) to indicate that this was a species that was "uncounted" (i.e., you weren't taking the time to count them). Do not enter a 0 for the count unless you want to delete the sighting, because that's what will happen.

Notes: Here you can enter any notes about the particular sighting. In order to make the job easier, you can tap the Add Phrase button and you'll see a list of standard phrases which you can just tap to enter into the notes, making adding many notes a matter of tapping, not typing. The list of phrases is found in a file named Phrase List.txt in the Birdwatcher's Diary folder on your SD Card. If you want to add phrases, or rearrange the ones we provide, you can simply edit that file, which is just a simple text file with one word or phrase per line. Of course you can use the Add Phrase button to add standard words or phrases and then also add your own notes as well.

Latitude and Longitude can be entered, but that would require you knowing the values. Instead, the two buttons below provide you a way to enter them if they need to be changed. Capture Coordinates captures the GPS coordinates where you are currently located, and enters them into the Latitude and Longitude fields. The second choice is to tap Show On Map to display a map with the location of the sighting marked by a green "pin." If you're just reviewing the sighting, that's all you need to do. If you decide that the location of the pin isn't correct (perhaps you were standing and recording the sighting on one side of a large lake, and the bird was actually on the other side), you can tap Relocate and then move the map (by sliding and expanding or contracting) until the crosshairs are where you want them to be; once they are, tap Save to capture those coordinates.

When you have made any changes you wish to make, tap Save to save them, or Cancel if you don't want to make any changes and were just reviewing the details. And finally, you can tap Delete Sighting to delete the sighting (you'll be asked to confirm you really want to do that).

Entering Past Sightings

To enter sightings from before you were using Birdwatcher's Diary, add the first sighting in the usual way, and then edit the sighting to get to this screen. Now tap on the Date field and change the date to the desired date. When you tap Set to set the date, you'll see that the time is now blank and so are the latitude and longitude, since the current time and coordinates are not when and where you made the sighting. If you happen to know (and want to enter) the time, you can tap the Time field to do so, and if you want to enter specific coordinates for the sighting, you can tap the Show on Map button to do so. If you don't enter specific coordinates, then the coordinates for the sighting are considered to be the coordinates for the general location itself.

Once you tap the Save button, you'll see a message informing you that further sightings will now be recorded on that same date, and that recording of time and coordinates are temporarily suspended. Continue recording sightings from that day and, when you are finished, go to the File screen and archive the sightings, then use the menu to Clear Active Sightings and proceed with another past day of sightings. The date for new sightings will be reset to the current date (and time and coordinate recording will resume) any time you leave the app and re-enter it; you can also reset it by editing a sighting and changing the date to the current date.

Multiple Sightings

When there are multiple sightings of the same species, the title on the top line will show how many total sightings there are, and which of those you are looking at. Two arrows, left and right, allow you to move between them. If you make any changes to any of the sightings, be sure to tap Save; if you tap the left or right arrow before doing so, any changes you made will be lost.

Adding a Sighting

The software has three methods of recording multiple sightings of the same species. By default, any time you change locations, if you tap on a species for which a sighting was recorded at a previous location, a new sighting is recorded (we're referring here to sightings in your "active list" on the main screen, not sightings in your archives!). The second method is by activating Multiple Sightings mode in the Recording section of the Settings. When Multiple Sightings is checked, two other parameters in the Settings become relevant - the Minimum Time and Minimum Distance. In this mode, even if you are still at the same location, whenver you tap on a species you have previously recorded, the software will check where you are now compared to the previous sighting. If either the time difference or the distance exceeds the parameters you specify, the second sighting is recorded. If both time and distance qualify as "close" (i.e., don't exceed the values you specify), then your new taps will simply increase the count of the first sighting, not add an additional sighting. This mode allows you to record, say five individuals of a species at one spot and three more individuals of the species 1/2 mile away. If you wanted to record the time and coordinates of every single bird, you can set both Minimum Time and Minimum Distance to None. In that case, if you want to change the count of a particular sighting, you'll have to use the Sighting screen and manually enter the count as described above.

The third method for recording an additional sighting of an already-recorded species at the same location is provided on the Sighting screen. When you are viewing the most recent sighting of the species, you'll see a + button to the right of the title on top of the screen. Tapping this button adds a sighting of the species, duplicating the location, but using the current date and time and coordinates. This method is useful for situations when you don't want to activate Multiple Sightings, because you really aren't interested in recording the precise time and coordinates for different sightings of Dark-eyed Juncos, but if you see a Pileated Woodpecker at two different places, you might well want to record that as a separate sighting.

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