In support of the HNHS Statement on Covid-19 the Herts Bird Club have decided not to publish sightings that may tempt people to travel outside their home area. In particular, records of species that would normally be highlighted in red as rare or unusual.
While the Herts Bird Club encourages everyone to follow Government guidelines it is not the responsibility of or practically possible for the Herts Bird Club to police people’s movements. The Herts Bird Club therefore encourages everyone to take responsibility themselves for adhering to Government guidance and the law.
Regardless of whether they are published or not, sightings will continue to be added to the database and are greatly valued so please continue submitting your records as usual.
One way of making your birding count in 2021 is to add a grid reference to the records that you submit to the Herts Bird Club.
In 2020 just over 40% of submissions to the website had a grid reference, and these records allowed the creation of the attached map which shows all of the identified 1km squares, giving us a good idea where our records came from. Accurate locations, ideally provided by six-figure grid references, also allow others to see birds that you have found.
Grid references are added to records on the record submission page, either by clicking the “Get Grid Ref” button and using the map, or by manually entering into the Grid Reference box. We appreciate that working out a grid reference is not easy, and so recommend downloading one of the many free apps for smartphones that can provide an instant grid reference for your location whilst out in the field.
We hope that with more grid references, we will be able to produce more accurate distribution maps of our records including at species level, especially for those species whose status is changing rapidly in Hertfordshire.
Best wishes for 2021 and please comply with government guidelines on COVID whilst out birding.
Subject to late records and rarity decisions the final species count for the Herts Christmas Bird Count 2020 is 111, a very good total; just two fewer than 2019 and one more than 2018.
This included four species: Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Short-eared Owl and Mealy Redpoll, not seen over the Christmas period in past two years bringing the total number of species recorded across the three years since we have run this count to 121.
From the 25th to 31st December we received nealy 700 records to the website - an excellent tally - many thanks to all those that contributed.
Wishing everyone a great birding year in 2021.
Following on from the Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch the Herts Bird Club are continuing the garden count theme for those that wish to keep and share a record of their winter garden birds.
The count runs from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021 and as before all birds seen or heard whilst you are within the boundary of your property can be counted.
Please use the new Winter Count Googlesheet to enter your counts.
Following on from the great success of the Great Herts Garden Bird Count in April 2020, the Herts Bird Club decided to continue with a new challenge whilst the country was still in partial lockdown, and so with the aim of keeping interest up and adding value to bird records, the Great Herts Breeding Bird Challenge was created.
Observers were asked to submit all breeding records, especially those proving breeding, to the website. They were asked to use the standard BTO breeding codes from the drop down menus on the website, as well as grid references where possible. This allowed accurate recording of location and breeding status.
This challenge ran all summer and