Summer Garden Bird Survey 2021

Background and instructions

Over the period 2014 - 2016 the Bird Club ran a Garden Bird Survey. It consisted of two winter and two summer surveys. After a break of three years it recommenced with teh 2019/20 winter survey, followed immediately by the 2020 summer survey. This 2021 survey forms part of a rolling programme over a five year cycle.

We ask that you note the bird species feeding or foraging in your garden from Sunday 7th March – Saturday 2nd October. We will 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 more or less use of the gardens.

Key elements of the survey:

  • It runs from Sunday 7th March until Saturday 2nd October.

  • The recording week runs from each Sunday to the following Saturday.

  • The survey is for those people whose gardens are in the recording area of the Bird Club, the modern administrative county of Cambridgeshire (this includes Huntingdonshire) and the unitary authority area of Peterborough.

  • Using the recording form, mark off with an X the bird species feeding or foraging in your garden for that week. The number of individuals of any one species is not needed, just that you have seen at least one bird of the species feeding or foraging in your garden.

  • The form is available as a download from this website either as a PDF form for you to print and keep by the window or an Excel spreadsheet to save and fill in on your computer and return electronically. NB The link to the spreadsheet leads to a page which shows the spreadsheet. To download it onto your PC, do NOT open it as a 'Google sheet'. Near the top right hand corner there is a down arrow pointing to a tray. Click this to download. When downloaded, if you have a prompt on the bottom line of the screen you can open it from there into Microsoft Excel. Or, right-click on the spreadsheet and select 'save as'. If you have problems email

  • Species not at present listed on the recording form may come into your garden during the survey. Please do add into the open boxes at the bottom of the form any other bird species that use your garden for feeding or foraging.

  • Only record birds actively using your garden. The birds must come into your garden and be seen to be feeding or foraging for food.

  • A species flying over your garden does not count. However, a sighting such as a hovering Kestrel looking into your garden for food does count.

  • Don't worry if you delay the start after 8th March or miss a few weeks later on.

When it comes to analysing the results it would help to know two facts about your garden. Firstly is your garden rural or urban, and secondly do you regularly provide food for the birds? These questions and a space for your answer are on the recording form.

If you have any queries, first read our Frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask at me at .

I would like to thank Vince Lea and Louise Bacon for their help and support and also my husband Roger for the computer advice and the constructive remarks. Thank you for your interest and in anticipation of your help, many thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.

Rebecca Buisson.