News - Announcements

It is with much sadness we report the death of Hugh Boyd.

Hugh was a pioneer of waterbird science and conservation and was the first ornithologist at Slimbridge. His membership of the Society goes back to the 1960s.

We offer our condolences to his family.

For more information on Hugh, click here.

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On 28th April Natural England opened a new tower hide at its Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Somerset providing local nature lovers with spectacular views across the Avalon Marshes landscape.

Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is one of England's most important wildlife site and home to rare species like Bittern, Bearded Reedling and Marsh Harrier, as well as wildlife spectacles such as the winter starling murmurations. The tower hide is located just a short distance from the Ashcott Corner car park. It offers far reaching, elevated views over the lakes and extensive reed beds of Meare Heath, the opportunity to glimpse some stunning wildlife and brings improved access and visibility for all visitors. The new hide was designed by Shattock Associates of Bridgwater and has been built thanks to the donations from the many supporters of the reserve (including the Society) during a 'crowdfunding' campaign in December 2015. Over £17,000 was raised to build the new hide. Simon Clarke, Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England at Shapwick Heath NNR said, "The public support we received in December was phenomenal and very humbling. It's provided us with the funds to create an incredible new hide that will really enhance the experience for all visitors to the reserve and allow them to enjoy a very special wetland. I'd like to thank everyone that has donated to the project, the really hard work of the contractors who've built the hide, and all those who have made this possible". The opening ceremony was attended by over 40 supporters of the project. The hide was opened by Dr Andy Clements, Director of the BTO (British Trust of Ornithology) and board member for Natural England.


 

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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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