April 2020 proved beyond doubt what a huge variety of birds visit and fly over our Hertfordshire gardens with 123 species being recorded from 113 gardens. While lockdown restrictions are easing and many will seek birds further afield, there remains the opportunity to continue recording what we see and hear from our garden this April.
We are therefore encouraging everyone to add their sightings to the Spring Herts Garden Watch Googlesheet during April – spending as much or as little time birding from your garden as you like. There’s lots of potential with Spring migrants arriving and, for the more intrepid, the possibility of “nocmig” records of birds migrating at night. Please email for any issues using the Googlesheet.
To add a further challenge, we are planning a 48-hr garden bird race on the weekend of 17th/18th April with bonus points and prizes up for grabs!
As with previous garden bird counts, any birds seen or heard from your garden or house can be counted. The only rule is that you must be present – so records from a recording device are not permitted. We’ll be posting a weekly “Garden Bird Report” to the website with highlights of each week’s sightings.
Please visit the Surveys and projects page for details and how to take part in all ongoing and planned surveys including three for 2021 : Breeding Waders, Turtle Doves and Urban Gulls.
And go to BBS-WBBS to find vacant squares in Herts for the ongoing Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Waterways Breeding Birds Survey (WBBS).
Why not join in with these incredibly important surveys this spring? They are the main source of population trend information about the UK's widespread breeding birds, an important indicator of the health of the countryside.
Taking part if easy: just visit a local square twice during the breeding season and record all birds you see or hear.
Following the end of lockdown on 29th March, the Herts Bird Club is resuming the publication of most records of scarce and rare birds. We will however exercise our discretion not to publish records for locations where it would be difficult to follow Government rules on social distancing, and will not publish records from closed nature reserves. Please follow guidelines in relation to social distancing at all times.
Updated with new plot showing when migrants are first expected, and, first recorded in 2021 - hit read more below
With spring migration upon us, we thought it a good time to publish analysis showing the earliest, latest and median arrival dates of some of our more common summer visitors and passage migrants: it shows an interesting trend towards earlier median arrival dates for most the species covered.
The analysis covers the period 1983 - 2019, and uses with kind permission Colin Everett's 'A Review of First and Last Dates for Migrant Birds in Hertfordshire' covering the period 1983 - 2002 as included in The Hertfordshire Bird Report 2006.
Go to - First, Last, Median arrival dates 1983 - 2019 - to download the file
This year's Herts Bird Club / BTO Conference was held online for the first time. It was well attended drawing an online audience of over 100 people who enjoyed the mix of fascinating presentations and discussions - read all about it HERE