Somerset Birding News

Our friends over the border in Devon are planning to publish the Devon Bird Atlas 2007-13 in January. It will be available at a discount price of £30 (plus £6.99 p & p) until 31st December 2015. It is the second published Atlas of breeding – and for the first time, wintering – birds in Devon. Accounts cover 480 species and subspecies. A flyer will be enclosed with the Somerset Bird Report mailing in November. It will also be possible to order online at www.devonbirds.org/shop.

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The Somerset Atlas of Breeding and Wintering Birds 2007-2012 was published at the end of November 2014. It has been well received by birding press reviewers and sales have now exceeded the 400 mark. It can now be obtained online through the NHBS at www.nhbs.com.

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After 2 years of meetings, a Memorandum of Understanding is being drawn up between SERC and the SOS to ensure that there is an exchange of bird data and information between the two organisations.

This is principally to ensure that bird data previously from outside the Society is included in our annual report and that environmental planning takes into account the diversity and distribution of bird life in Somerset. Rarities and confidentiality are a key consideration in the agreement.

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It has all gone rather quiet after the political declarations of green credentials pre-election but we still have relatively little news about the state of progress with the Tidal Lagoons in the Severn Estuary and particularly Bridgwater Bay. Any development will have a direct and significant effect on our bird life and we must all stay alert to opportunities to contribute to the discussion.

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We have already mentioned elsewhere the loss of Bruce Taylor from the Committee. In his place we are delighted to welcome Dave Dawe. Dave is Somerset born and lives in Milverton. While Exmoor is his favourite area, his main passion is seawatching, mainly at Hurlstone Point in the company of another avid seawatcher, Brian Gibbs. Dave confesses that he now eats, sleeps and talks birds, but occasionally stops for a glass of cider. We are sure Dave's enthusiasm will be an asset to the Committee.

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