Bird News Anywhere has three components: a mobile web-based service for any handset with a browser, an iPhone app, and an Android app. For information about the apps, click the appropriate tab below.
This FAQ is for Bird News Anywhere on a mobile browser. Choose another tab for advice on using the iPhone or Android app.
Bird News Anywhere is a mobile-friendly service provided by BirdGuides. It allows you to browse through our bird news output on your mobile phone its browser.
To make the service easy to use even on smaller screens, Bird News Anywhere pages are shorter and less interactive than our Bird News Extra service. The Bird News Anywhere service is mainly text-based, though photographs are available for handsets able to display them.
The information provided by Bird News Anywhere is updated frequently so the service allows you to access constantly updated news via your mobile phone. Bird News Anywhere pages are less restricted in length than SMS messages, so we are able to give you more information than we can squeeze into a short text message.
Bird News Anywhere gives you access to all the recent bird news that is on the BirdGuides website, even when you are in the field. At any time, wherever you are, you'll be able to use your mobile phone to look up all the recent sightings anywhere in the country. By clicking on any sighting you can get further information about the past history of that bird or further details of the site where it has been reported (usually including a grid reference, and often details of how to access it). The amount of information you can access is greater than anything a pager service can provide and, since you already have a mobile phone, this service costs less than one that involves having to rent or buy a pager.
If your phone supports it, you can also view bird photographs via Bird News Anywhere.
Bird News Anywhere provides much the same information as our Bird News Extra service (excluding certain graphical pages, notably the BirdMap). Pages provide the following information:
A subscription to Bird News Anywhere costs £40 per year, or £5 per month. You can top up an existing bird news subscription for the remainder of your existing subscription for just £10. Please ring 0800 919391 during office hours and we'll be delighted to help.
The amount charged by your mobile provider for using your app will vary depending on your phone contract, but we've designed the news-feed to be as sparing as possible. It's equivalent to browsing web-pages with your phone.
Yes. You can try Bird News Anywhere free of charge for one week (apart from the connection charges detailed above). Just go to the registration page and sign up.
You access Bird News Anywhere much as you would a website - via a bookmark. However there may be a few initial steps to go through, as follows:
Each step is explained in more detail below.
To use the Bird News Anywhere service, your phone must be capable of accessing the web. If you're not sure, consult your handset documentation or contact your mobile provider for details.
Just go to http://www.birdguides.com/anywhere/register,asp and follow the instructions.
You can have a bookmark sent to your phone from the setup page. You can then save this bookmark as detailed in your phone documentation. Or you can manually enter your unique address into your browser (it should look like news.birdguides.com/?w=XXXXXXXX where XXXXXXXX is a unique 8-digit number assigned to you). You should then save this bookmark. Most handsets will allow you to define a 'home page' - set it to your preferred Bird News Anywhere page for the quickest possible access.
Go to the setup page and change the Protocol (bottom right) to "HTML". A button on the setup page allows you to email the bookmark to your phone; follow the bookmark or refresh the home page on your iPhone, then create an icon for Bird News Anywhere by tapping the + icon at the bottom of the screen and choosing Add to Home Screen.
It's possible that there's nothing new to tell you. Assuming that's not the case, it's likely that your phone has 'cached' the page in question. Because of the relative slowness and cost of connecting via a mobile phone, handsets often 'cache' pages for a certain period - that is, store them locally so they can be retrieved without having to reconnect to the server. This is OK for static pages (such as the home page) but not for dynamic pages that change frequently. You can generally tell your phone to "Reload" an individual page, or "Clear the cache" to force every page to be reloaded.
An obscure situation that will show similar symptoms arises if you click an "Earlier Reports" link to look at earlier reports, and THEN bookmark one of the resulting pages. The 'earlier reports' pages show sightings reported before a certain date and time (which is encoded in the bookmark), so if you access such a bookmark it will, by definition, never be updated with later reports. If you find yourself in this situation, delete the offending bookmark, navigate from the home page to the latest reports from the region, county or site you're interested in, and bookmark the first page you come to - this page will always show the most recent sightings.
No. You can bookmark any page (such as a particular county page, or one of your personal sites, or the history page for a bird you're intending to go and see), and then connect directly to that page via the bookmark you've created.
First of all, make sure you're waiting long enough - sometimes pictures take a while to download, and may not display until the file has completely finished downloading.
If a picture doesn't appear on a picture page, try clicking the "Link to picture file" link. On some phones this will work even though the picture doesn't display on the actual picture page.
Not necessarily. Many phones will allow you to disconnect (using the red button) without clearing the page you're currently viewing. Some phones will cache a whole series of previously visited pages, so you can browse backwards and forwards through pages you've already viewed, without reconnecting. Also, you may be able to save individual pages - though if you save a dynamic page and view the saved version, bear in mind that it won't show any new information added after you saved the page.
This message usually indicates an error in the address you've bookmarked on your phone. Check your bookmark carefully; the address should be something like this:
where xxxxxxxx is your unique ID as shown on the setup page. Make sure you've got every character right, including all the slashes, question marks etc.
If you're sure you've got the address right, you could try this longer version:
where xxxxxxxx is your unique ID as before.
This error indicates that a Bird News Anywhere page is too large for your phone to download. You can reduce the size of the pages via the setup page (see "Your advanced settings").
There are three likely reasons for this:
If you change your handset, or your provider updates your mobile browser (which may happen automatically), you may see this message. Reset your account via the setup page - click the link under "Your mobile number" in the "Your Bird News Anywhere Settings" section. You can use this even if you haven't changed your mobile number. If you have changed your number, you'll need to confirm the new number (follow the instructions) but either way you should subsequently be able to access the service as before.
Yes. Bird News Anywhere offers a "compact" mode, intended for handsets with small screens, where blank lines and non-critical information such as headings are suppressed. Click the "Compact mode" link at the bottom of the Bird News Anywhere home page (also available in "Your advanced settings" on the setup page).
Go to the registration page.
Click here for information on setting up a new bookmark.
To set up Bird News Anywhere, go to http://www.birdguides.com/anywhere/setup
Other bird news services from BirdGuides