Throughout the month of April the Herts Bird Club will be running The Great Herts Garden Bird Count. The aim to see how many species we can record in or from our Hertfordshire gardens from 1 April - 30 April.
The rules are simple: any species seen or heard in or from your house/garden. Flyovers or birds seen/heard in neighbouring gardens or streets all count as long as you are in your garden or house at the time.
No need to register, simply submit your garden records to the Herts Bird Website and enter the word 'garden' in the Comment field.
As well as a county wide count there will be individual awards for:
- The garden which records the highest number of species 1 April - 30 April
- The garden which records the 2nd highest number of species 1 April - 30 April
- The best bird recorded (based on fewest number of historical records)
Running totals will be provided throughout the month on the website and from @hertsbirds on twitter and you can share your garden sightings and photos on twitter using the hashtag #hertsgardenbirds
Get the family involved. And whilst counting and watching garden birds why not make a note of other species groups visiting your garden such as butterflies, bees, beetles, amphibians & mammals and submit records to HNHS or via a wildlife recording App such as irecord.
Unfortunately due the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the Herts Bird Challenge on 25 April 2020 is cancelled. Both the 24 hour County Bird Race and Site Challenge will no longer take place. The competition will be rearranged for 2021.
Look out for The Great Herts Garden Bird Count posting soon!
Please read BTO statement on COVID-19, in particular the paragraph below:
"BTO’s senior leadership team has reviewed the government advice and is asking our networks of volunteers to follow the advice and remain at home. Do not travel to survey squares or fieldwork sites, or participate in BTO surveys and monitoring if by doing so you would be in breach of the government advice. Please do not leave your home to carry out a survey operated by BTO."
Well done to Gill Merritt whose excellent image of Kestrels at Tyttenhanger was voted Herts Bird Photo of the Year 2019 at the Herts/BTO Bird Conference on 29 February 2020.
And congratulations to all photographers who made the final ten as drawn up by the Herts Bird Committee from over 500 photos sent into the Herts Bird Club throughout 2019.
Go to 2019 Bird Photo of the Year Finalists to view the ten finalists voted for at the conference.
Thank you to all those who voted and to everyone who sends in photos.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Herts Christmas Bird Count, both out finding and counting birds and sending records to the website. Subject to any late additions or changes, 111 species were recorded from 25th to 31st December 2019, two more than the same period in 2018; a great effort. A full list a species recorded can be viewed here: Christmas Bird Count.
A special thanks to all those who went the 'extra mile' targeting species that, as the period progressed, hadn't yet been recorded. By close of play on 29th Dec the total had reached the same as 2018, 109, and with no additional species recorded on the 30th nor throughout much of the day on the 31st it looked like we were going to end on the same number. But then, at 3.06pm on 31st Dec, a tweet came through from Murray Orchard that he was out looking for one Herts resident species yet to be recorded.....
Read Murray's excellent account of what happened next below....
"As the year was drawing to a close I’d been trying to make the most of opportunities to catch up on a few birds I’d not seen in 2019. This involved a couple of trips to Kent at the expense of more local birding over the festive period, and helping with the Herts Christmas Bird Count. I had tried to add Hen Harrier to the list