Welcome to the London Bird Club

The London Bird Club is the ornithology section of the LNHS

Cormorant on the Thames eats a fish 
Through our many field meetings and indoor meetings we provide opportunities for our members to develop and extend their their knowledge of London's diverse bird life. These include plenty of events that are suitable for beginners.

For many years we have been collecting and publishing a significant body of information, records and scientific papers about London's birds in our annual London Bird Report.

Many of our members are currently involved in the latest bird mapping project, the London Bird Atlas


Bird Portraits

Buteo buteo: Buzzard
Buzzards (Buteo buteo) can be seen around the periphery of our area. In the London conurbation itself, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks are more familar raptors.
Garrulus glandarius: Jay
The Jay (Garrulus glandarius), a member of the crow family, is often seen in London gardens where there is enough cover. It eats acorns, and by spreading them around is an agent in the regeneration of secondary oak woodland.
Phylloscopus collybita: Chiff-chaff
The Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)vis a summer visitor found typically in open woods and scrubland. It is named after its distinctive song.
Gallinula chloropus: Moorhen
The Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is a common bird of freshwater margins, easily identified by the red base to its bill.
Strix aluco: Tawny owl
The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is the only Owl that will commonly enter urban areas, and has been recorded throughout our area.
The Hobby (Falco subbuteo) is a summer visitor and passage migrant seen over residential areas, parkland, open countryside and wetland habitats. They catch and eat dragonflies on the wing.


The London Bird Report

This is an annual publication that the Society has produced since 1936, containing all the significant records during the year and various other papers. These papers can be site guides, reports about weather events affecting birds, or more specialist papers. The report is issued free to members of the Society, and can be purchased by non-members. Back copies are available - see our Publications page.

Records of rare and unusual species in the London Area are considered by our Rarities Committee before being included in the London Bird Report. Details of species for which notes or a description are needed are given in our Checklist and Guide (see Bird Recording, below). We now have a list of records for these species (Rarities). This has been drawn up from printed records in past copies of the London Bird Report up to LBR 2014. Please let us know if you spot any errors in this list, or if you have any suggestions for improving the list.

Indoor Meetings

The London Bird Club organises a range of indoor meetings and field trips. Our indoor meetings cover a wide variety of topics, including bird identification, historical reviews of sites, and reports of foreign trips. They are listed in our Programme.

Outdoor Meetings

The Section's field trips range from mornings out in London at sites such as Regent’s Park, to day trips by coach to locations further afield. Most of these are to well-known reserves or other areas of importance for birds. Such areas generally have much of general natural history interest in addition to their birdlife. Write-ups of these trips are regularly published in the Newsletter. We offer plenty of events for beginners, as well and for more experienced birders - these are listed our Programme

Reading Circle

We also organise an ornithological Reading circle that circulates a series of magazines to members at reduced subscriptions.

London Birding Highlights

View some of the recent highlights of London birding on this page.

Bird Recording

All records of ornithological interest, from LNHS members and non-members alike, are welcomed by the Society's Ornithological Records Committee. However, with an ever-growing number of active birdwatchers in the London Area, it seems sensible to issue a guide to our requirements: the Checklist Guide Breeding Criteria (PDF), and Checklist Guide (spreadsheet) is the checklist of birds of the London Area in 2014 and a guide for contributors of ornithological records. Breeding criteria are included on page 10 of the PDF file. This guide is not intended to be comprehensive, and contributors are asked to use their own guidance and common sense, but it does serve as a reference point for the type of records required.

The geographical area that we cover is divided into seven bird recording areas, or 'sectors'. (The boundaries of the sectors are more or less based on the original county boundaries). 'Inner London' consists of a rectangle based on Charing Cross. See Why collect records? for more information.

Site names are listed in our Gazetteer; please use these, if you can, when sending in records. If you send in details from sites not listed in the Gazetteer, please give an OS Grid Reference for the site. The Mini-Gazetteer (previously Short Gazetteer) of Sites (spreadsheet) lists open spaces mentioned in the 2014 London Bird Report (additions this year are in italics); it does not list the names of towns, villages, etc mentioned. The Full Gazetteer lists all these (spreadsheet).

Please download and save the LNHS Bird Recording Form and use it to email records to LNHS bird recorders (see below). The first line of the spreadsheet has been completed as an example.

Bird recorders for the LNHS area

Clink on a link below to generate a blank email message.
Please remember the LNHS spreadsheet.
List updated: April 2016.

Essex: Roy Woodward 62C High Street, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire EN8 0AH
Herts: Roger Payne, 40 Lyndhurst Drive, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 5RJ
Middlesex: Sean Huggins, 206 East Ferry Road, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3AY
Bucks: Andrew Moon 46 Highfield Way, Rickmansworth, WD3 2PR
Surrey: David Campbell Flat 12, California Court, 25 Downs Road,Sutton,Surrey SM2 5NR
Kent: John Archer 8 Smead Way, London SE13 7GE
Inner London: Richard Bonser Flat 7, 96 Rope Street,Surrey Quays, London SE16 7TQ

Rarities: Bob Watts 18 Nightingale Lane, London N8 7QU 


London Bird Club Contacts

Committee Secretary: Angela Linnell
Field Meeting Organiser: Pete Lambert
Coach Trip Organiser: Neil Anderson
Indoor Meeting Organiser: Kat Duke
Chair of Editorial Board, London Bird Report: Pete Lambert
Papers Editor, London Bird Report: Mike Trier


Volunteers wanted for Breeding Bird Survey

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK's common breeding birds. Volunteers undertake two visits each spring to a 1km square to record the birds they see and hear.

Results are produced at a national level and also for each of the government regions. BBS Results are produced annually by the BTO for the London government region and a summary of these results is included in the London Bird Report.

London trends are currently only produced for a small number of species, and by increasing the number of squares covered, we will be able to report on more species in the future. The map links for North London and South London (tba.) show squares that are currently available. Are you able to help cover any of the available squares? Please contact your BTO rep if you can help or would like more information about the survey:


Much of the LNHS area outside Greater London is covered by other BTO Regional Organisers, and members in these areas can express an interest in BBS by submitting their details on the BBS pre-registration page


The Bird Atlas Project

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) began fieldwork in November 2007 for its Bird Atlas 2007-11 project. LNHS members were involved with this project in the London region. For the latest (Feb. 2014) project update, go to our Bird Atlas Project page.

More Info


Message Boards

We currently have two message boards (sometimes called newsgroups or e-groups), intended as on-line forums where members can exchange information and news. LNHS Members is a general forum, and LNHS Invertebrates is a specialist forum about invertebrates. Only current members of the LNHS who have paid the appropriate annual subscription can join these message boards. For more information about how to join go to our Message Boards page.

There is another Yahoo message board for the London area which many LNHS members participate in. This is independent, so you don't have to be an LNHS member to join, but you will still have to be registered with Yahoo and apply to the moderator of the group. For details see London Birders.

Recent sightings

A number of LNHS members put their sightings on the London Birders Wiki site. This too is independent of the LNHS, and many recent sightings can be found on the site.

Special Access to Thames Water Sites

We have an arrangement with Thames Water to license our members to use some of their sites. Approval is in place for the Queen Mary Reservoir at Ashford, with access to other sites in the pipeline. Full details on how to obtain an access permit are provided in this FAQ.

More links

There are more ornithology links on our LINKS page

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