We are a club and registered charity for people interested in wild birdlife, local, national and international, and aim to offer something to birders of all levels of experience - from seasoned to newcomers.The Huddersfield area has nationally important breeding habitat for some of Britain's most endangered species. It attracts rare and scarce birds every year and offers interesting birding all year round - if you know where to look !
Please explore our web site to learn more about us and about the birds of Huddersfield.
Huddersfield Birdwatchers’ Club formed in 1966 and registered as a charity in July 2003, has the aims of:
1. Studying and recording the wild birds of the area and publishing an annual report:
Members and other bird watching supporters are out and about throughout the year observing birds across the area and submitting records for analysis by our Club Recorder. We now have a wealth of data covering over 40 years, an invaluable source for studying the trends in local bird populations. The Club is the only organization in the area undertaking and publishing this kind of ornithological research and Birds in Huddersfield, our annual report, has been published every year since the Club was formed.
From time to time we also produce more specific, one-off publications, including in 2001 an Atlas of the Breeding Birds of the Huddersfield Area, in 2004 Birds of Blackmoorfoot Reservoir 1985-2003 and in 2008 a major new work The Birds of the Huddersfield Area, which reviewed the complete history of every species recorded in the area since records began, right up to modern times.
We also publish the Huddersfield List, a checklist of all the species of wild birds and additional races that have been officially accepted as having been recorded in the area. This is now updated annually as a ‘tick list’ to enable birders to record their own yearly and lifetime sightings around Huddersfield.
Our publications are to be found in the Huddersfield Public Library, and go to many regional and national ornithological and wildlife conservation bodies.
2. Promoting education of the public about wild birds and their habitats:
Our lecture and meetings programme runs between September and May, at which visiting experts present on a wide range of birding topics, from local to overseas, with some stunning still and video photography. There are also club nights, with, for instance, members showing photos of their own birding outings, local and further afield, a ‘brains trust’ of experienced members to answer your question or quiz nights using video footage of birds in the field to test your identification skills – an excellent way of improving them !
Each year, we also hold a number of local ‘patch outings’ or bird watching walks on which members pass on their knowledge of local sites of particular birding interest.
The forum on our web site is open to public view and shows the latest bird sightings posted by members, often with photos, as is a great way of finding out what is about.
3. Supporting research into conservation of wild birds and their habitats:
Readers will be only too well aware of the threat to many of our wild birds, but if conservation is to be effective, it needs to be based upon hard evidence and research. This is where the Club comes in. We have members with substantial experience in bird observation and surveying and there is also a role for less experienced volunteers.
The Club has played a major role in many bird life surveys of local, regional and national importance, including over 50 for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), RSPB, National Trust, English Nature (now Natural England), Peak District National Park, Kirklees Metropolitan Council and The Friends of Beaumont Park. We also advise Kirklees Council on bird life issues through our representation on its conservation committee.
We aim to undertake a survey of some type every year, of a part of the club area or of a particular species.
Our research is undertaken entirely by un-paid volunteers and we rely entirely upon the generosity of members and upon voluntary donations to continue our work.
Members of the public are welcome to all of our meetings and patch outings, free of charge (voluntary collection), and we try to provide something for birdwatchers of all tastes and experience. It is a great way to learn about birds and to meet fellow birders.
So, whether old hand or beginner, why not come along and join us ?