Stacey has created her very own app to help you identify the birds on the coastline
If you have an apple device please click on this link to download the app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/britishcoastalbirdidentifier/id1101211080?mt=8
If you have an android device please click on this link to download the app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.nworks.britishcoastalbirdidentifier
Just over 5 years ago I started up boat trips from West Mersea Island, in Essex, although having been on the water all my life I had never really taken any notice of the birdlife amongst the marshes and mudflats until this time. When I came to start learning the bird life I realised it was much more difficult than I had expected, there’s so many little brown and grey birds and they all look very alike. The books tell you all about the birds but as a novice they don’t tell you what bits you should be comparing or how to tell those similar birds apart; in fact I found most of the birds that look alike were spread pages apart in the books. I ended up taking photos of the birds then looking them up when I got home, you soon realise just how good at taking photos you need to be to get clear close photos of the birds to then be able to use the image to compare with photos in the bird books. After a few months I knew most of the regular visiting and residing birdlife amongst our mudflats as well as many other parts of the British Coastline. I decided to set about inventing my own contraption to help others learn their birds easier than the methods I had to go through. I set about creating a diagram with a series of yes/no answers that you follow along relating to the birds’ colours and features before eventually it shows you which bird you are looking at. After many trials out in the field and adding a few birds in the diagram was complete and it was much bigger than I anticipated when I set out with the challenge. I then went about turning this diagram into an app so that people can use it on their phones out on walks. The app works in two ways; you can either choose what colour bird it is and follow the diagram along yourself or; the most popular usage is the series of questions which appear one at a time on the screen and depending on whether you answer yes or no depends on which question comes up next and finally bringing you to the identification of your bird, showing you on a map where this bird migrates from or if it is a resident bird to the UK and its conservation status. It only gives you this basic information about the bird as its main aim is to help you identify the bird; there are already hundreds of other apps and books out there telling you all about the birds but no other app to help with clear identification. The app itself is only £2.99 to download which is very well priced in the market, most bird apps are between £4.99-£15.99, mine is only chargeable to cover the cost of creating the app and its annual renewal fee to the app store, I’d rather lots of people enjoy using it and learn about what our coast has to offer. Its available on iPhone, iPad and on android devices under ‘British Coastal Bird Identifier’. I have attached a few screen shots of the app to show you.