Herts Bird Club – making the most of local birdwatching

Welcome to the Herts Bird Club website. We promote the study and recording of birds in Hertfordshire and encourage a wider interest in natural history including the conservation of wildlife habitats.

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Latest news

The Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch 2020 - Update

24-Oct-20, 7.15am

Eight days to go in the Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch and the clocks going back tomorrow (Sun 25 Oct) gives some valuable extra morning light for the final week.

Final Week 'Best Bird' Award

To add some extra incentive for the final week there will be a 'Best Bird' award. This will be awarded to the person that finds the best bird* from their garden (seen or heard, though not from a recording) between Sunday 25th and Saturday 31st October. The winner will receive a painting of the species from local birder and wildlife artist Matt Moreton (@moreton_birding)

Please enter your counts on this simple GoogleSheet or email to birdweb@hnhs.org

* at the discretion of the judges - the rarest species found based on fewest number of historical Herts records

The Autumn Herts 24-hr Garden Vismig Race – Winner Announced!

In spite of (and perhaps because of) the poor weather, The Autumn Herts 24-hr Garden Vismig Race on Sat 3rd October, proved a big success.  Visible migration was observed from a number of Herts gardens throughout the day and highlights included a Merlin from a garden in Walkern , Golden Plovers over gardens in St Albans and Walkern, 17 Snipe and a Brambling over a garden in St Albans.  Other migrants included Swallows, House Martins, Redwing, Fieldfare, Meadow Pipits, Siskins and Redpolls as well as notable movements of more common birds such as Chaffinches, Skylarks and Lapwing.

 In the end three observers recorded the same highest count of 42 species from their gardens – Rupert Evershed in St Albans, Stuart Cossey in Walkern and Chris Ruis in St Albans.  However, there can be only one mug winner and a decision was made to award the mug to the observer who recorded the rarest bird.  The overall winner and proud recipient of The Mug is therefore Stuart Cossey who observed a Merlin from his Walkern garden.  Congratulations Stuart!

 A big thank you also to everyone who participated.  Autumn visible migration is by no means over and

Peregrine Breeding Success at Welwyn Garden City

2020 has seen not one, nor two but three pairs of Peregrine breed in Hertfordshire, the highest number to date since the first confirmed pairs in 2017. In total, nine young successfully fledged in 2020: two from a pair at Watford, four from a pair in the north of the county near Hitchin, and for the first time three from a pair at Welwyn Garden City.

And, not only was it the first time a pair have successfully bred at Welwyn Garden City, but, all three of the young were colour ringed; a first for this species in Herts.

Read Barry Trevis and Colin Shawyer's account of this fantastic success below:


The Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch 2020

Autumn is upon us and while many of us still remain home-based there’s never been a better time to check out what birds might be migrating over or through our gardens.

So during the months of September and October the Herts Bird Club will be asking you to record migration from your garden with the emphasis on visible migration or ‘vismig’.  This means recording counts of any species seen or heard in or from your house/garden during the day or night, including flyovers or birds seen/heard in neighbouring gardens or streets. 

Latest Hertfordshire Bird Report

Hertfordshire Bird Report 2018

The Hertfordshire Bird Report 2018 was published and circulated to HNHS/Bird Club members in November 2019 (Transactions of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society, Vol. 52 (2), pp. 85-172.)

The report reviews each of the 192 species recorded in Hertfordshire in 2018 (down six from 2017), including Pallid Harrier and Penduline Tit, both new to the county.

Thanks go to everyone who contributed to the report not least  850 observers who submitted records.

Copies are classed as a benefit of Herts Bird Club or full HNHS membership. Non-members interested in obtaining a copy should contact the HNHS Secretary.

Read more

Latest HNHS publication

2020 subscriptions due now

Please renew your membership of HNHS and Herts Bird Club, details here.

Birds of Hertfordshire


Our new avifauna - Birds of Hertfordshire by Ken Smith, Chris Dee, Jack Fearnside and Mike Ilett was published on 24 February 2015.
Read the review in British Birds, here. Buy now direct from Herts Bird Club for only £34 (or £39 by post).

Herts Invertebrate Project

Read here about how to join this new recording initiative.

Herts Atlas of Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles

Please submit sightings and field signs of mammals, amphibians and reptiles to our countywide survey, full details at the Herts MARA website.

Hertfordshire Bird Atlas

All the results from the most recent Atlas (2007-12) and both previous atlas surveys available here.

Bird records

Please send us your Herts bird sightings through the records submission page. Use the Breeding status dropdown where applicable and Comment field to add notes of interest.

Latest sightings of interest are published on the right hand side of this page, once they have been checked by a moderator. Search for older published records by month/site/species in Sightings Archive


See details of some great places to visit in Hertfordshire at this time of year.

Take part in our  projects and surveys.

Buy a book, most HNHS books are now for sale at half price or less.

The success of the site depends on you, the users, entering your records and sending in interesting information, not only sightings which can be entered online but also reports on trips and additional site guides. We also welcome feedback on what you would like to see on the site: email birdweb@hnhs.org

Injured or orphan birds ? advice here.

The Herts Bird Club is part of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society and our websites are integrated. We hope this will encourage those of you who have not investigated other aspects of wildlife in Hertfordshire to have a look around the HNHS website, discover what is available. Please submit your records of other wildlife, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles and dragonflies through the HNHS website.

Who's who in the Herts Bird Club.