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The Great Coastal Birdwatch 2023

The Great Coastal Birdwatch 2023

Thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s Great Coastal Birdwatch.

We had a good mix of sunshine, rain, storms, flooding and rainbows during this year’s fortnight of birdwatching, but our wonderful coastal birds put on a magnificent show. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to get involved.

To be included in this year’s findings, you have until 30 November to let us know what you saw. Send us your data in one of 3 ways:

Great Coastal Birdwatch

Saturday 14 October to Sunday 29 October 2023

This year we teamed up with our friends at Bird Aware Solent, Birdwise North Kent and Birdwise East Kent, to mark the arrival of the migratory birds which spend the winter months on the Essex coast, with the Great Coastal Birdwatch.

By taking part you’ll increase your knowledge of the awesome coastal birds in your local area, help contribute valuable data and learn how to become more bird aware.

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How to take part

If you are visiting the Essex coast between Saturday 14th – Sunday 29th October 2023, we would like to know what coastal birds you spot.  We’re asking you to simply tick off the different birds you see in one hour and simply submit your sightings to us.  You can do your birdwatch at any time during the Great Coastal Birdwatch.

What you’ll need:

  • Choose a spot around the Essex Coast to do your watch, between Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 October.
  • You might choose to download the Great Coastal Birdwatch recording form, or our Children’s Great Coastal Birdwatch recording form , to help you identify the birds and keep count.
  • Spend up to one hour seeing how many different species of birds you can spot. Check out our Meet the birds pages for help in identifying them.
  • If you want, you can add to our data by letting us know how many of each species you’ve seen.
  • Remember to be bird aware and follow the Coastal Code to avoid disturbing the birds:  look out for birds, move away if they become alert, keep dogs alongside you and follow requests on signs.

After you have finished your bird watch, let us know what you spotted using our special online form you can click the submit button below, or email us your results or completed forms at  or you could hand your spotter sheet in to one of our rangers at one of our pop-up events taking place across the coast.

Great Coastal Birdwatch recording forms

Meet the Rangers

Our rangers will be hosting pop-up events during the two weeks – why not stop by and say hello, see what activities we have on!


  • Saturday 14th October  –  Promenade Park, Maldon @ 10am
  • Wednesday 18th October  –  Two Tree Island, Leigh on sea @ 10am and  Chalkwell Promenade, Leigh on Sea @2pm
  • Tuesday 24th October  –  Brightlingsea Promenade @ 10am
  • Wednesday 25th October  –  Gunners Park, Southend @ 10am and Shoebury East Beach @ 2pm
  • Thursday 26th October  –  Thameside Nature Park @ 10am
  • Friday 27th October  –  Dovercourt Beach @10am and Mistley Walls, Manningtree @ 2pm
  • Saturday 28th October  –  The Naze Discovery Centre, Walton on Naze @ 10am

Check out our recommendations for keeping warm and safe as well as our extra tips for getting the most out of your coastal birdwatch.

Don’t forget to share your pictures with us on our social media pages @birdawareessex

Great Coastal Birdwatch: Advice for staying safe and healthy

We hope you have fun on your Great Coastal Birdwatch but here’s some information which you might find useful.

Find out more

Great Coastal Birdwatch: further tips and advice

The Great Coastal Birdwatch is a citizen science project that aims to raise awareness of the incredible range of overwintering birds that visit the Essex coast each year.

Find out more