- You don't need to live in the parish
- Submit as few or as many sightings as you wish
- Submit sightings just for a one or many months
- Record sightings in your garden, out walking, at work or any other occasion
- We need records of rare and common birds
Please feel free to send your comments, questions or feedback via the form below
Photos by Steve Hopper
You can contact us through the form at the bottom of this page.
Take part in:
The Garden Birds of South Brent Parish
from October 2019 until the end of April 2020
During 2014–16, Brent Birders recorded the species seen and heard in all 52 1-km squares of the parish every month for three years and summarised the findings in The Birds of South Brent Parish published in 2018. The survey has continued since then, but only in January and May to represent winter and the breeding season. In addition, the Brent Birders garden Bird Survey (BBGBS) was launched in 2018 to encourage bird recording in gardens from October to April. The results from the first winter were circulated to participants and can also be downloaded from this website - see below and in the box to the lower left of this page.
Although only 25 people participated, the BBGBS provided very useful information on the number of gardens in which each species occurred, the numbers in which they occurred and monthly changes during the 2018–19 winter. Such a survey can also be used, alongside the January and March surveys, to monitor changes from year to year, and so we'd like to continue the survey in the 20019/20 winter and hopefully beyond.
The recording form and guidelines for the Garden Bird Survey can be downloaded here:
Recording Sheet (Excel) - for use if you want to email your results
Recording Sheet (pdf) - for use if you want to return your form by post/artworks
Participation. The survey is open to all. It is aimed at gardens in South Brent Parish, but this can be extended to include any within 1-km of the parish boundary.
Choosing a garden area. For our purposes a garden is an enclosed area of land adjacent to or surrounding a dwelling. Most people will want to record just from their own garden, but if you want to include the gardens of one or more neighbours that you can see from yours, that is acceptable, as also is just choosing part of your garden. Whatever area you choose, however, try to record from the same area each month.
Which birds to record. The list on the form includes almost all of those you're likely to see or hear. Any other can be added at the bottom. Only include birds that you consider are using your house or garden for perching, resting, bathing, feeding, nesting etc. Thus high soaring Buzzards, or Herring Gulls flying over, would normally be excluded, but hunting Sparrowhawks or murmurating Starlings would be included. If you have problems identifying a bird, please try to get a photo and/or provide a short description and get in touch (see below)
Filling in the form. Fill in your contact details and information about your garden in the top box on the form. Against each species indicate a P (for Present) if it occurred in that month OR give the maximum number seen at any one time during the month. Add any comments in the final column, or separately.
Returning your form. At the end of December, and again at the end of April please return your forms to either of the email addresses below, or if you'd prefer to send your data using paper forms please contact us to arrange a handover!
Further information. If you have and questions or need help or clarification please contact us at or fill in the contact form at the end of this page.
Books from Brent Birders
'The Birds of South Brent Parish' has now been joined by 'The Butterflies of South Brent Parish' and
'The Moths of South Brent Parish'
The Birds of South Brent Parish: The 244-page full-colour book presents results of the 3-year Brent Bird Survey as well as some historical records and recollections of South Brent birdlife going back to the earlier part of the 20th century. £17.50 from artworks or contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
The Butterflies of South Brent Parish is based on data gathered during the bird survey lists and has distribution maps of 28 species. Peter Reay and Monica Hazell have contributed articles and the book is richly illustrated with photographs. £3.50 from artworks or contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
The Moths of South Brent Parish lists nearly 600 species recorded in the parish together with distibution and flight period tables. Background articles and photographs provide a comprehensive view of the moths found in our parish. £5.00 from artworks or contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
A crib sheet for breeding codes, grid references and square numbers
This Crib Sheet may be useful to all observers out there. It converts between Ordnance Grid References and the square numbering used by the Brent Bird Survey. It shows the geographic layout of the squares. It also shows the codes to be used in the breeding part of the survey.
I print it out in A6 size as this fits neatly inside the back cover of my field notebook but you can resize it to whatever page size you wish. If you're not sure how to do this let me (Phil) know. You can reach me either directly or via the "Contact Us" form at the bottom of this web page.
You can download the Crib Sheet here.
Meetings are open to all. A small voluntary contribution is asked for to help pay for hire of the room and speakers fees/costs. Mid-talk refreshments are free.
The following meeting is postponed until later in the year:
Thursday 2nd April 2020: Dave Scott with a talk entitled "Life on a Grouse moorland". Time & place: 7.30 pm in the Old School Community Centre.
Sixty bird species were recorded during the three-month period , but some of these were not regular garden species, including Canada Goose and Great Black-backed Gull. If you haven't already received the report by email please do download it from here and read about all 60 species and their distribution across the parish gardens.
New and hot off the presses:
The Brent Birders Garden Bird Survey (BBGBS)
OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2019 REPORT
House Sparrows are in decline nationally but the population in the south-west is probably holding up. However, these birds seem to have a strong preference for some gardens or buildings over others which seem to be very similar. This survey aims to help us understand House Sparrow distribution and breeding sites across the parish - mainly in buildings.
As part of the project Dave Scott will be ringing a number of birds under a British Trust for Ornithology scheme (Dave is a licensed ringer) to give us information on how far they disperse. Additionally we'll be looking out for 'Italian-type' Sparrows after the appearance of one in Steve Hopper's garden.
The recording form can be downloaded here:
- In pdf format to print out and for a hand-written record to be returned to Mike Goss at the end of September 2020
- Click here to download the pdf format Guidelines which explain how to fill in the form.
The photos below by Steve Hopper give good views of the differences between our usual House Sparrow and an 'Italian' Sparrow.
Male House Sparrow with grey/dull head and grey cheek colouration.
'Italian-type' Sparrow with a rich chestnut-coloured head and bright white cheeks.
The Brent Birders House Sparrow Survey 2020
Since the start of the Brent Bird Survey in 2014 several reports have been written summarising sightings of new and exotic species in the parish as well as those which are rather more familar but equally exciting. These reports can be downloaded from the links below or click on the images (BBS = Brent Bird Survey ; BBGBS = Brend Birders Garden Bird Survey):
12 11 10 09 08 07
06 05 04 03 02 01