With autumn fast approaching and birds on the move once again we will be running The Second Herts Garden Vismig Watch during September and October following the success of last year’s event.  For those who took past last year, it’s an opportunity to better your totals or add new species and for the uninitiated it is perhaps an opportunity to get to grips with ‘garden vismig’ for the first time!

‘Vismig’ or ‘vismigging’ is simply the activity of observing and recording bird migration as it happens visibly – through our gardens and overhead.  Autumn sees the departure of our summer visitors – Swallows, terns, Yellow Wagtails and so on – and the arrival of winter visitors – Redwing, Fieldfare and Golden Plover among others.  There is a lot of ‘bird traffic’ so the chance of this crossing through your garden or over it is much higher than at other times of the year.

During September and October last year, 98 different species were recorded from Herts gardens, with some real surprises including, a Gannet, Great White Egrets, Pink-footed Geese, a Short-eared Owl and even a Yellow-browed Warbler.  Your garden doesn’t need to be anything special and, if you are in your garden, you stand a good chance of seeing something different pass through.

Early mornings, before work, or later in the evenings can be very productive times and with more people than ever working from home there’s always the opportunity to pop into the garden during the day to see what’s about.  For those who are really keen we will be running another 48-hr vismig competition on Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd October to see what can be recorded over an intensive weekend of watching!  There may even be prizes up for grabs!

Taking part is simple and open to all.

Enter your sightings (as often or as little as you wish) on the Googlesheet and join in the banter on Twitter using the hashtag #hertsgardenvismig.  The only rule is that you must physically see or hear a bird from your property (house or garden) for it to count.  Birds in the distance count as long as you see (or hear) them from your property.  Birds recorded on sound recording equipment won’t count for the purposes of the Herts Garden Vismig Watch but the records are still very welcome so please submit them to the Herts Bird Club as usual.

So, get vismigging this Autumn and add yourself to the Herts Garden Vismig Googlesheet so you can enter what you record from 1st September and see what others are finding too!