Somerset Birding News

The 2016 AGM was held at Ruishton Village Hall on 14th April.
The most significant change was to create the role of Chairman. Roger Dickey resigned as President and now assumes the role of Chairman. This brings the Society’s structure in line with most other similar organisations, where a Chairman rather than a President heads the committee running the organisation. We are pleased to announce that Stephen Moss, broadcaster, producer and author and our Indoor Meetings Secretary until recently, has accepted the position of President. Stephen will be a huge benefit to us in this largely honorary role.
Other notable changes are Brian Hill becoming Indoor Meetings Secretary, Alison Everett Field Meeting Secretary and Simon Breeze, newly appointed to the Committee, Surveys Secretary.
The revised list of Committee and Contacts is set out here. The new Rules will be posted on the website soon.

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Somerset Ornithological Society has launched a new public wide survey investigating the abundance and distribution of two well-known but declining birds seen throughout Somerset: the Kingfisher and Little Owl.

Following on from findings of the Somerset Bird Atlas of breeding and wintering birds 2007–12, the survey aims to build a detailed picture from target and casual observational records into possible causes for decline, including climatic effects, habitat degradation and food resource depletion.

For full details, click here.

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We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Devon Bird Atlas 2007-2013 on Friday 29th January.
For more information on the Atlas, click here.

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The British Trust for Ornithology and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have recently started a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff. As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye. In addition state-of-the-art tracking devices have been put on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, which is providing fascinating information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night. Work is ongoing, with the aim to mark more birds of these species and additional duck species during January and February.
The BTO have asked us and other societies to publicise the project. Full details may be obtained by clicking here. This blog also has information on the project.

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The BTO are seeking volunteers for their Non-Estuarine Waterbirds Survey in Somerset. There are some vacant sectors just east of Watchet. All that is required is a single visit before the end of January, to record the birds and mammals that you see. The focus is on the intertidal zone, though you can record birds from adjacent land and sea too. Counts are best made around low tide. If you are interested, please visit www.bto.org/webs-news or contact Eve Tigwell.

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