Lists and facts

First and last dates, peak counts and other statistics

Mark Hawkes has compiled from the Cambridgeshire Annual Bird Reports a useful summary of key facts about birds in Cambs

County life lists

Just how many species have the top Cambs listers seen in Cambridgeshire? Compare the County Lists of some of Cambridgeshire's best known birders. Updated 11 June 2020.

To add your own list to this page or to have your entries updated, please contact Mark Hawkes.

County year record

In 2009, Ade Cooper took the County year record with a remarkable 218 species. The previous record held by Mark Hawkes, with an amazing 214 species was recorded in Cambs during 2003. 

County day record

The seven year record held by 'The Cambs Diehards' (Steve Cooper, Alan Hitchings, Richard Patient and Jonathan Taylor) of 130 on May 13th 2000, was finally beaten by 'Team Cambirders' (Ben Green, Mark Hawkes, Jono Leadley and Duncan Poyser) on May 2nd 2007 with a total of 131 species. Highlights included Common Crane, Curlew, Ring Ouzel, Mediteranean Gull, Bearded Tit, Common Scoter and Whooper Swan. Birds missed but present the previous day included Red-crested Pochard and Barnacle Goose.

However, from their many years of 'birdracing' in Cambridgeshire, the 'Cambs Diehards' (Richard Patient, Steve Cooper, Jonathan Taylor and Mark Ward) always felt a mark of 135 species was possible and on 10 May 2008, they finally reached their goal. Richard's brief summary: 

"A really enjoyable day was had by the team, with many potentially tricky species such as Little Owl, Jay and Kingfisher falling into place with little effort. Biggest surprise on the day was a magnificent male Goshawk which gave great views as it stooped after pigeons at Grafham Lagoons, but other finds by the team on the day included a Temminck's Stint at Maxey GP and a first summer Caspian Gull at Paxton Pits. Other highlights included views of a Corn Crake, and bugling Cranes. The team did not have sites for Mandarin or Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but, other than rare nesters, recorded all of the other breeding species. The final bird of the day was a humble Dunlin during what proved to be a very poor spring for the species locally".

1st January record

This record is currently held by Steve Cooper and Richard Patient and was set on 1st January 2002, with a total of 95 species.

Self-powered Cambs Day List record

Duncan Poyser's musings from his epic cycle ride 7 May 2023  resulting in 118 species can be read here 

Prior to this, this record was held by Brian Stone and Mike Weedon and was set on 3rd May 2010, with a total of 110 species.  Further information can be found HERE.

County garden lists

View the Garden Lists of some of the county's more 'green-fingered' birders. Updated 30 December 2020.

Some comments made in December 2020:  Graham Hirons has amassed an astounding total since moving to his Earith home in July 1999. With a house that overlooks the Great Ouse, a floodplain and with Ouse Fen beyond this, it has provided an amazing platform from which to observer a mind-blowing array of species - his total currently stands at 172 species. Graham also informs us "The average annual total for the 18 complete years we have lived here is 113 species; the best month is April (average 74.9 species) and the best annual total 126 species (achieved twice)".

In second place, with a garden list (and garden) that most birders would be highly envious of, is Tony Martin. Having moved to Dunkirk in 1991, it has taken 29-years to amass an extremely impressive total of 157 species (103 of which have also been trapped & ringed). This total includes some top-class county rarities, and a first for the county (Little Bunting). Recent additions include Tawny Owl and Coal Tit, but Tony has yet to record a Spotted Flycatcher, which must be high on the list as the next likely addition.

In third place, Richard Porter (now residing in Norfolk) had originally set a blistering pace, with a combined list of 155 species from his two virtually adjacent gardens in Roundhouse Drive, Perry (overlooking Grafham Water). When Richard lived at number 17, between 1982–1988 he totalled an impressive 120 species and a staggering 143 when he lived at number 21, between 1988–1999. One wonders what would have been added in the intervening 20 years!

Steve Dudley, in fourth place with an impressive 150 species from Farcet Fen, has managed to reach this total since November 2002! A rapid accumulation in such a short time, and especially so given that Steve cannot see any permanent water from his property.

Mike Everett is in fifth position, with an amazing 149 species since 1980 in his garden at Hemingford Grey.  His list includes such wonderful additions as two Diver species, Velvet Scoter, Montagu’s Harrier and Arctic Skua.

To add your own list to this page or to have your entries updated, please contact Mark Hawkes.

RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes

A list of the birds that have been recorded from the RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes has been compiled by Richard Patient.

Birders' personal accounts of bird sightings  and patch descriptions