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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Please read HNHS Statement on Covid-19

Latest news

The Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch 2020 - Update

19-Sep-20, 8.15am

Day 18 of the Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch over and the total species count stands at 71. Total counts now exceed 13,700 birds including 6 Little Egret, 757 Canada Goose, 78 Red Kite, 17 Hobby, 3 Peregrine, 16 Moorhen, 10 Golden Plover, 1 Common Snipe, 5,351 Black-headed Gull, 215 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Caspian Gull, 502 Ring-necked Parakeet, 267 House Martin. 5 Sand Martin, 118 Swallow, 2 Tree Pipit, 203 Meadow Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 127 Siskin and 1 Crossbill.

Why not take some time this autumn to see what is migrating through and over your garden? You may be surprised!

You can record birds on any and as many days in September and October as you wish or are able to. All counts are welcome: your regular garden species, occasional visitors, as well as those migrating overhead. Enter your counts on this simple GoogleSheet

Why not try a spot of nocmig this weekend and listen out for birds migrating over your garden at night? During the April garden count earlier this year 24 species (nomig Apr-20) were recorded from Herts gardens at night - can we beat that total this autumn?

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.  As with the Great Herts Garden Bird Count in April all records count as long as you are in your garden or house at the time.*

Your garden vismig counts should be entered on the Great Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch 2020 Google Sheet – instructions are provided on the Google Sheet.  You can record birds on any and as many days in September and October as you wish or are able to.

In addition,

The Great Herts Breeding Bird Challenge

UPDATE 23rd August

We have now received 1,166 separate breeding records of 93 species for 2020. This is a big increase on previous years so many thanks to all those who have submitted records

The tables below show the numbers for selected common and scarce species, and for some a comparison with the number of records in 2018.

Please continue to submit breeding records, especially for 

Red Kite with wing tag found in North Herts

On 1 August 2020 Mike Ilett observed that one of eight Red Kites present at Deadman's Hill nr Sandon had a wing tag on both wings. The tags were yellow and the code on both was V3.

This bird (hatched 2018) was ringed on 19 November 2019 near Shaftesbury, north Dorset, 182km from Deadman's Hill.

The ringer notes that re-sighting reports of tagged Red Kites are low so please give those Red Kites you see an extra look; re-sightings of tagged or ringed birds are of great value to ringers to increase their knowledge of the movements of the birds.

If you do see one, or any other colour tagged/ringed species, the project and details of where to send the sighting can usually be found on this excellent website:


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.