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.
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.
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.
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
After two months of watching migration from our gardens the Great Herts Autumn Vismig Watch came to an end on 31st October with an impressive 98 species recorded and just under 37,000 records. There were many highlights including records of a Gannet, 3 Great White Egrets, 31 Pink-footed Geese, Merlin, Caspian Gull, Short-eared Owl, Rock Pipit, Crossbill, Firecrest and a county rarity in the form of a Yellow-browed Warbler. Full counts can be viewed on this Google Sheet.
The final week saw a ‘Best Bird’ challenge as the hunt for that elusive garden rarity intensified. Some good birds were recorded including both species of partridge, Little Egret, Peregrine, Snipe and a selection of wildfowl. In the end it was a narrow call between