The Bird Group was founded in 1974 and has met regularly - and informally - at the Bricklayer's Arms in Hadham Road on the first Monday evening of each month at 8pm ever since. (The second Monday if the first coincides with a Bank Holiday).Since the introduction of the computer numbers tend to vary considerably, but the Group is still active in terms of survey work that is undertaken as well as the considerable achievement of regularly publishing booklets on the status of the birds of the local area.
The group participates in all relevant national surveys with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and has just seen the most recent result of this collaboration with the publication of the BTO Bird Atlas after four years of fieldwork. Similarly, the group has close ties with the Herts. Bird Club, where it contributes to surveys that are relevant to the Bishop's Stortford area and habitat.
Perhaps the most significant achievement has been the Hatfield Forest Breeding Bird Survey that has been carried out by group members regularly since 1976. Because this is an on-going piece of research, the team responsible for the survey, regularly need to recruit new members who can help with the survey. Its importance can be judged by the historical changes that have occurred over the years and its value reflected in some of the measures that have been undertaken to help preserve some of the species that are indigenous to the forest.
One or two stand out items:
All four species' records are in line with national trends, although those pertaining to the Willow Warbler present a more dramatic picture. However, one real surprise is that during the breeding season, the Hobby has never been recorded in any area of the forest which offers such ideal habitats. Furthermore, sightings during the migration periods are remarkably few, considering the dragonfly/hirundine population over the lake at these times.
Some informal group visits are occasionally made to areas of ornithological interest and, this year, a barbecue is planned at a local pub to celebrate the formation of the group forty years ago.
Willow Tit 1976 : 5 2013 : 0
Jackdaw 1976 : 0 2013 : 18
Turtle Dove 1976 : 4 2013 : 0
Willow Warbler 1976 : 19 2013 : 0
See some local sightings here.
|Old Woman's Weaver|
|Pishiobury Park Bats|
|Forest Bird Watch|
|Breeding birds survey 2015|
|Over the Farm Gate|
|Records & sightings|