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 need your photos. We have field projects , we have indoor and outdoor meetings, and we keep you informed with our regular emailed and online bulletins. We have links to active bird ringing groups. And have a look at our Facebook page.

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.


  • The Cambridgeshire Bird Report 2018 No. 92 has been distributed to Club members. Copies can be purchased from the Club - see here
  • Next indoor meeting, Friday 14th February: 'Birdwatching through geological time' by Daniel Field at St John's Community Hall, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN.
  • The 2020 AGM of the Cambridgeshire Bird Club will be held at 7.45pm on 13th March at St John's Community Hall, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN. Documents from previous AGMs can be viewed here.
  • The November Club e-Bulletin is now available to non members - records, photos, articles and event reminders . Read here.
  • New Checklist order for 2019 records spreadsheet: In February 2019, the BOU brought in a new checklist order. Our records spreadsheet has been changed accordingly. For those of you who do direct records submissions to the Cambridgeshire Bird Club, could you please use our revised 2019 spreadsheet from now on. (All earlier 2019 records will be converted for you, which is also true for BirdTrack records)...... More details here. The new order will be adopted from the 2018 report.
  • Cambridgeshire Bird Report 2017 (#92) is now available to read - click here for CBR 2017 or go to Bird Reports

CBC Spotted Flycatcher research 2015-19, linked to the BTO's geolocator project

Michael Holdsworth's excellent study on Spotted Flycatchers can be read at

Cambridgeshire Winter Garden Bird Survey 2019/20

The Winter Garden Survey resumed on 6th October. It is still not too late to start recording. If you like to watch the birds in your garden, we would like to invite you to take part.

We ask that you note the bird species feeding or foraging in your garden from 6th October 2019 – 7th March 2020, or for as long a period as possible.

We will discover which species of birds make most use of gardens in the county during the winter months, find out whether new species are coming into gardens and whether the regular species are making less use of the gardens. For further details, read here.

Club meetings

  • Details of our indoor meetings and summer outdoor trips can be found on our Meetings page.

14th February: Birdwatching through geological time by Daniel Field

St John's Community Hall, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN. 7.30pm for 8pm start

An asteroid impact 66 million years ago may have wiped out the giant dinosaurs, but it also resulted in the rapid diversification of birds. From that point onwards, avian evolutionary history was changed forever, eventually giving rise to nearly 11,000 living species. Dr Daniel Field explores the evidence for the early evolution of modern birds, and sheds light on how, when, and where modern bird diversity arose.

More on club meetings here

13th March: Annual General Meeting followed with ‘Birding in Yunnan’ by Jeff Blincow

St John's Community Hall, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN. 7.30pm for 8pm start

This talk highlights the superb birds seen on a trip to south-west China in the winter. Yunnan has a varied landscape with snow-capped mountains, lakes, deep gorges and rich sub-tropical forest in the south. At first, visiting in winter would appear an unusual idea, but the lowland forests along the Burmese border hold a strong resident avifauna and the region is the wintering ground for migrants from nearly all points of the compass. Many of the miss-placed eastern rarities that reach the UK shores in the autumn were headed for the forests of Yunnan to join the laughing-thrushes and pheasants that grace the remaining forests.

Jeff Blincow has enjoyed bird-watching all of his life. He worked as a teacher of Information Technology and has been lecturing on wildlife since 1980 on such topics as Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia and bird families. He has travelled widely and his focus on South America in the 1990s led him to be one of the founder committee members of the Neotropical Bird Club. He is now interested in all aspects of wildlife and recently became a member of the conservation team at Yardley Chase in Northamptonshire.

More on club meetings here

Photo of the year: 2018

Congratulations to Neil Bramwell for winning the Photo of the Year competition with his photo of a Hawfinch. In second place was Nigel Sprowell's Spotted Flycatcher, and in third place was a Peregrine Falcon by Simon Stirrup. View here to see all three, and click here to see the photos entered.

Picture of the month: December


© Gary Thornton, Fowlmere RSPB, 2nd December 2019,

John N Wells gives us his choice for December

There were 21 photographs from various locations around the county including some very difficult ‘subjects’ to photograph in their natural habitat, such as the Long-eared Owl by George Walthew and the Pallas’s Warbler by Jon Heath. There was a mixture of interesting poses as well as some inclusions which were both scientific and novel, such as the preening Siberian Chiffchaff by Garth Peacock, the speedy Common Sandpiper by Ian Dawson, to the malformed beak of the Goldcrest in three close-ups, again by Garth.

Also included were atmospheric shots of Starlings at roost by Jon Stephenson and Short-eared Owl by two photographers (two studies, in separate locations), hunting at dusk in fading light. It was not an easy job for my first attempt at judging for the Club.

After much thought and some tough ‘calls’ in deciding a winner, I reduced it to four based on sharpness, composition, exposure and light: Common Sandpiper by Ian Dawson, Siberian Chiffchaff by Garth Peacock, Kestrel by Gary Thornton and Siberian Chiffchaff by Neil Bramwell.

My winning selection was the male Kestrel by Gary Thornton. The warm and rich winter light together with the overall sharpness, background study in an agricultural setting and pin sharp stare of the bird towards the camera won me over.

County peak bird counts and earliest / latest dates

Updated by Mark Hawkes - view them here