IMPORTANT - Amwell NR closed until further notice

Due to confirmed cases of avian flu at Amwell NR the reserve has been closed until further notice following Defra advice.

Please report signs of avian flu from other sites: any dead wild waterfowl (gulls, swans, geese or ducks) or five or more of other bird species to Defra on 03459 33 55 77. Do not touch sick or dead birds.

Farewell Jon Ridge - London & Hertfordshire birder

It is with regret that we report that London and Hertfordshire birder Jon Ridge sadly passed away on 4 January 2018.

A well liked and knowledgeable local birder, Jon was best known for birding Pinner Park Farm where his finds included Ortolan Bunting (2 September 2002), Wryneck and Great Grey Shrike. He visited a number of Hertfordshire sites too including Stocker's Lake and Hilfield Park Reservoir.

His funeral will be held at 11am on Thursday 25 January at Breakspear Crematorium East Chapel, Ruislip, HA4 7SJ. All birders who knew him are welcome. The venue for the wake to be announced at the ceremony.

Hawfinch Irruption

It has been a fantastic winter to enjoy the beautiful Hawfinch in the UK with significantly higher numbers arriving here last autumn than in recent years. By the end of October Birdtrack’s reporting rates for Britain as a whole were more than 12 times the historical average, and here in Herts birds have been reported from across most of the county with sizeable flocks at several locations. Compare that to recent winters in Herts where reports were mostly limited to small groups from a handful of regular haunts.

Not for many years has it been such a good time to get out and look for this striking and normally elusive finch.

Writer and Herts birder Rupert Evershed shares his experiences of finding Hawfinch in Hertfordshire this winter in his monthly ‘Noting Nature’ column.

Hawfinch photo by Alan Reynolds.