Champions of the Flyway

In 2017 a team of four birders from North Ronalsay, the northernmost island in the Orkney archipelago, headed to the deserts of Israel in order to participate in the Champions of the Flyway 2017 24 hour bird race. Their task to see as many birds as possible in a 24 hour race and to raise funds for BirdLife International. The donations raised went straight to help save migrant birds passing through Eastern Europe from illegal hunting and poaching. Millions of birds using the Mediterranean flyway including species such as Turtle Dove, Cuckoo and Blackcap are illegally trapped and killed every year.

They won and were crowned Green Champions for Champions of the Flyway 2017, an achievement even more impressive given they had no prior knowledge of the area and competed the whole event by bike and foot to minimise their carbon footprint!

Read more about their 2017 trip and planned trip in 2019 to defend their title - Champions of the Flyway North Ronaldsay

To donate to their 2019 event and raise funds to help combat the illegal killing of birds using the Mediterranean flyway please go to their JustGiving page

For more information please contact Samuel Perfect at samuel@samuelperfect.co.uk

2018 Herts Bird Club/BTO Conference Report

Around 105 people attended the Herts Bird Club Conference on Saturday 10th March 2018 at Affinity Water in Hatfield. The first presentation of the afternoon was given by Tony Blake on the Birds of Hilfield Park Reservoir. Tony gave us a great insight into his 20 years of birding the 76 hectare site which is owned by Affinity Water and managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

Action for Swifts!

Between 1995 and 2015 the RSPB estimates a 51% decrease in the number of breeding Swifts in the UK making them an amber-listed species. They need our help.

Local Swift enthusiast Vicky Duxbury wants to encourage people across the County to identify and survey Swift nest sites and to raise awareness of the decline to help stop this worrying downward trend.

Please find more information from Vicky below. If you are interested in finding out more and helping in whatever way you can please get in touch with Vicky at 

Breeding birds

As we approach the main breeding season we kindly ask that you exercise caution when sharing reports and photos of breeding birds, or birds showing signs of potential breeding, on social media platforms such as Twitter. For example, avoid providing precise location details. Please be mindful that the welfare of the birds must always come first when watching or photographing breeding birds. Do not play songs or calls to lure the birds as this can be detrimental to their breeding success. 

This is especially relevant to those species considered rare breeding birds such as Lesser Spotted Woodpecker or Little Ringed Plover. A full list of rare breeding bird species can be found at this link Rare Breeding Birds Panel.

Please continue to report all sightings with full details to the Herts Bird Club website. These records are gratefully received but please be advised that we may not publish the record on the website if we consider it sensitive.

'Birds of Hertfordshire' acclaimed among Britain's best local atlases

Birds of Hertfordshire, our beautifully illustrated account of population trends among more than 300 species recorded in the county, has been judged one of the best local bird atlases in Britain.

A panel of experts convened by British Birds magazine placed our book on a shortlist of the top six county bird atlases. It was then awarded fourth place in the final judging.

Warm congratulations go the book's authors, Ken Smith, Chris Dee, Jack Fearnside and Mike Ilett on this achievement. 

Visit Birds of Hertforshire acclaimed to read more.

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