Somerset Birding News

The Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership is trying to organise seven Breeding Bird Survey transects at Shapwick this year. If you are interested in taking on one or more transects, please contact Seb Mepham at the Avalon Marshes Centre through one of the following:

Visit: Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick Road, Westhay, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9TT

Telephone: 01458 860556


Web Site:

This is a good opportunity to carry out some valuable work in one of the County's birding hotspots!

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Our first Member's Day will take place on Saturday 8th April, between 1.30 and 5.30 p.m. It will feature the Society's AGM and a variety of interesting talks on aspects of Somerset birds and birdwatching, and will be a good opportunity for Members to socialize. Other societies have been successfully offering something similar for a few years now, and we hope that ours will be as well received and become an annual fixture. So please come along and give us your support. Click here for the Programme. There will be a raffle (which will include books donated by NHBS) and a ringing table. A map showing the location of Cheddon Fitzpaine Village Hall can be found here.

In order to speed up proceedings at the AGM, we are publishing various AGM documents in advance. Please click on the following links for the relevant documents:

AGM 2017 Agenda

Draft Minutes of 2016 AGM

2016 Financial Statement

Membership Report

List of Officers to be elected

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The Society is seeking someone to monitor Pied Flycatcher nestboxes in Holford Combe in the Quantocks this spring. The essential task is to ascertain when the pulli are ready to be ringed, so more than one visit per box will be needed. A reasonable standard of fitness is required as boxes are on the slopes of the combe. If you are able to help, in the first instance, call Brian Hill on 01823 443504 or e-mail

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Somerset Wildlife Trust is asking the SOS for help with the 2017 breeding wader surveys in the Avalon Marshes area. They need coverage for Burtle Moor and Catcott Lows. The survey work is not easy because the terrain is very demanding- deepish wet gutters, dense rush, large sites etc.; but it is an exciting environment to survey!  They use standard methodology, which requires a minimum of 3 visits. It’s a case of starting within 3 hours of sunrise and walking to within 100 metres of every part of a field, recording breeding wader activity. One or two volunteers are required. Instructions for the survey will be provided

SWT would also like someone to do rare duck and Spotted Crake surveys too. There's always Garganey, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal and Wigeon around in the breeding season at Catcott and the possibility of Spotted Crake. This survey requires people to go to the Catcott Lows hide and keep an eye open and record what they see. There is no need to walk across the site. For Spotted Crake, it'sjust a question of  keeping ears open.

If you think you might be suited have a go at either survey, please contact Roger Dickey at

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