Cambridgeshire Bird Club

Welcome to the club

The Cambridgeshire Bird Club promotes the study, recording and conservation of birds in Cambridgeshire and encourages a wider interest in natural history and the protection of county wildlife habitats.

We record the County's birds in our Annual Report, so we need your records. We have a stunning Gallery, so we want your photos. We have field projects, we have indoor meetings and trips, and we keep you informed with our monthly emailed and bulletins. We have links to active bird ringing groups. And have a look at our Facebook and our Twitter sites.

You can see What's About? and we urge you to report interesting, sensitive or confidential sightings to the County Recorder.

We hope you enjoy your visit and come back soon.


  • Picture of the Month for March is Ian Dawson's White-tailed Eagle - see here

  • The next club meeting is on Friday 14th May 2021, 7.30 pm, entry from 7.20 pm, using the Zoom video platform ‘The fascinating cognitive abilities of corvids’ by Claudia Wascher - see more here

  • Congratulations to Nigel Sprowell for winning the Photo of the Year competition 2020 with his Sedge Warbler. See this and the two runners-up on this page.

  • The Club eBulletin for February (#92) is now available to non-members - containing records, photos, articles and event reminders . Read here

  • There will be a national 2021 Turtle Dove survey. To become involved in surveying in Cambridgeshire, see here.

  • The Winter Garden Birds Survey finished on Saturday 6th March, and the Summer Survey is due to start (7th March). Instructions for the summer survey are here, and how to send in your winter records is here.

  • The Woodland Bird Survey started in late March. Read more here

  • The Spotted Flycatcher project has now been written up for 2020 - see more here

  • NEW - the revised CBC recording checklist ('2020') should be used from now on, view and download here

  • Club Bulletins back to the first issue in 1951 have now been digitised and added to the website - read them here

Twitter feed: many thanks to Brendon Doe for setting this up.

Friday 14th May 2021, 7.30 pm, entry from 7.20 pm, using the Zoom video platform

‘The fascinating cognitive abilities of corvids’ by Claudia Wascher

A corvid is a member of the passerine bird family Corvidae, which includes crows, magpies, ravens, jays, and choughs. Corvids are distributed worldwide and inhabit harsh environments such as mountainous regions, but also thrive in urban areas. Corvids are of broad significance for behavioural and ornithological research not only because of their ability to adapt to diverse habitats and live in complex societies, but also because of their remarkable cognitive skills. In this talk, Claudia Wascher will give an overview over recent findings of cognition research in different corvid species and will discuss what we can learn about the evolution of cognition from corvids.

Claudia, is a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, experienced in social cognition and physiology, interested in the evolution of cooperation as well as costs and benefits of social behaviour. For her PhD she studied greylag geese at the Konrad-Lorenz research station in Austria.

Photo of the year: 2020

Congratulations to Nigel Sprowell for winning the 2020 Photo of the Year competition with his photo of this Sedge Warbler. In second place was David Ball's Grey Wagtail, and in third place was Nigel Sprowell's Beard Tit. Click here to view all three, and 2020 candidates to see all the photos that had been entered.

(c) Les Bunyan

National 2021 Turtle Dove Survey

As the fastest declining UK species, the Turtle Dove is one of the highest conservation priority species for the RSPB. Between 1995 and 2018, we lost 95% of our Turtle Doves, and with such low numbers, monitoring through BBS is becoming increasingly difficult. Thus, surveys can support monitoring of the Turtle Dove national population, and the results can better target where urgent conservation action is needed to prevent extinction.

Our county has about 150 1km squares which need to be checked as part of this valuable survey. If you want to help and survey one or more squares, read more here

The Cambridgeshire Bird Club Summer Garden Bird Survey

If you have a garden in this area and you like to watch the birds in your garden, we would like to invite you to take part in the Cambridgeshire Bird Club Summer Garden Bird Survey 2021.

We ask that you note the bird species in your garden from: Sunday 7th March – Saturday 2nd October

Please then, each week, mark off the species on the list available to download from this website.

By the end of October, send it in to:

From this survey you will be able to discover which species of birds make most use of gardens in the county during the summer months, find out whether new species are coming into gardens and whether the regular species are making less or more use of the gardens.

The details are here


Cambridgeshire Bird Club Winter Garden Bird Survey 2020-2021

Thank you to everyone who sent in their results for the Winter Garden Bird Survey. There have been 38 gardens recorded for this survey. Of the bird species recorded, those seen across all gardens have changed slightly from previous surveys with Blackbird appearing on this list. Also, several species have been recorded such as the Meadow Pipit indicating the rural setting of many Cambridgeshire gardens. A report of the findings is available to members in the next copy of the Bulletin.

I hope that having completed this survey that you have gone on to do the summer 2021 survey and I look forward to receiving the results in October 2021.

Cambridgeshire Woodland birds survey 2021

In 2003 the Club carried out a survey of woodland birds focusing especially on the scarce and declining species such as Marsh Tit and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, and it's time to do this again.

We hope to cover as many woodlands as possible across the county, with three visits; late March, late April and late May, and the objective is to make a species list and estimate numbers of territories (singing in the same-ish area on 2+ visits). Read more here

The Cambridgeshire Bird Report 2019, No. 93, is now available to purchase.

Click here for details

Spotted Flycatcher project, 2021

The project has now morphed into a study of adult survival and return-rates, following the fortunes of individual birds.

Michael Holdsworth will be continuing work on Flycatcher communities and adult survival into 2021 and we would still like all records to be sent to

There's a 2020 project report at:

If you are unsure of the location of the less well-known birding sites, check our Gazetteer, which also provides standardised names to include in recording checklists for the Club's database and Birdtrack. Check the Grabagrid map which provides precise site grid references, and also shows pop-up vice-county boundaries (confirm boundary using the OS map if site very close to boundary).

Picture of the month: March

White-tailed Eagle © Ian Dawson, Grafham Water, 6th March 2021

Duncan Mackay made this month's selection:

"I enjoyed several of this month's images. Some are excellent compositions, others are technically almost perfect... but combining both photographic criteria with what the image tells you about the bird and its behaviour, I think the series of White-tailed Eagle photos by Ian Dawson takes some beating. The mobbing gull for scale, together with the dramatic bending of the feathers really gives the photograph a lot of feeling which makes this image very arresting. Number 5 is my choice".

See the latest photos

Avian Flu

AVIAN FLU: The Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service reported on 5th Dec that avian (bird) flu was confirmed in fenland swans. They advised, "Please be aware that you may see dead swans on the Nene or Drains. Dead swans may be found elsewhere too. Please under no circumstances go near or touch them. Phone Defra: 0345 933 5577, option 7: 'all other enquiries'. They will direct you to the correct local swan rescue (recovery ) people as all dead swans must now be collected for investigation". Email: and provide details. More info at Avian influenza (bird flu) - GOV.UK (

  • For sick swans, the RSPCA is the first place to contact and they will give help as to who should be informed.

The three Lockdown races of 2020

To see how these played out, look here

Recent annual Cambridgeshire Bird Reports

  • The Cambridgeshire Bird Report 2019 No. 93 has been published. Copies can be purchased from the Club - see here

  • The Cambridgeshire Bird Report 2018 (No. 92) is now available to read online - see here

Lists and facts

County birders life lists, individual record year lists / record day lists, garden lists and other records - view them here