Shropshire Ornithological Society
Registered Charity No.: 514487
Welcome to the website of the Shropshire Ornithological Society (SOS). In these pages you will find information about the objectives, activities and work of the SOS. Just select the links on the menu above or in the listing below.
If you find any errors or have material for inclusion on the site, please contact the web manager.
Avian Influenza & Venus Pool – PLEASE READ!
Users of Venus Pool reserve are advised that a case of avian influenza (“bird flu”) has been confirmed at a location near Wem and a second case is suspected in southern Shropshire. The former affected domestic birds but, worryingly, the latter involved wild waterfowl. This disease is highly contagious, especially for waterfowl and domestic chickens, but can be contracted by any bird species. Please note the following points.
(1) Avian flu is transmissIble to humans and, although this is uncommon, it has occurred increasingly since 1997. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline (03459 33 55 77). Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. For further information see DEFRA’s advice to the public.
(2) It is critical that we avoid spreading the condition to reserves like Venus Pool. Please stay on hard surfaces at VP, like the parking area, made-up footpaths and hide flooring, as much as possible, and stay out of long grass, particularly if waterfowl faeces are present.
(3) If you have birds at home (whether for eggs, meat, companionship or aviary breeding), follow the advice offered in the DEFRA document alluded to above. You may also wish to disinfect your footwear and car tyres before and after visiting waterfowl sites such as VP.
SOS and COVID-19 – REVISED 12/12/21
♦ PLEASE VISIT THIS WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON COVID-19 IMPACTS ON SOS ACTIVITIES. THIS IS THE OFFICIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE SOS’S RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC. Please check out the web pages on indoor meetings and fieldtrips for the latest on the status of these events. When online meetings are necessary, we will be contacting all members who have submitted an email address for inclusion in the membership database by that means. If we do not yet hold a current email address, please see the green text box below the logo above.
♦ Our recent indoor meetings have been very poorly attended. We believe that this might be a result of members’ reluctance to take part in an indoor meeting with a moderate number of other participants, despite our precautionary measures regarding face masks, social distancing and ventilation, particularly against the background of the latest omicron variant. As a result, the next meeting will take place online, via Zoom software, as was done successfully in January and last year.
♦ VENUS POOL NEWS. While the hides at Venus Pool Reserve are now open, there are precautions in place for their use under Covid-19. Details are available here. Please comply with these procedures for the saferty of yourself and other VP users. Also see the advice offered in the first section of “Breaking News”.
Fieldtrip to Bird Fair 2022 Cancelled. It is with regret that, following a recent announcement from the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust, the Bird Fair is no longer going ahead at Rutland Water. To see the announcement, please follow this link: https://birdfair.org.uk/2021/11/23/birdfair-update/ As such the proposed Coach Trip in August 2022, as found in the programme for 2022, will not go ahead. If there are any queries, please contact Sue Brealey.
SOS Save our Curlews Campaign
It is vitally important to continue the project work in 2022, and we need to raise more money to be able to do it all. We also hope to start work in the north-west of the county, around Oswestry, subject to having the funds. We are therefore re-launching the appeal. Please donate if you feel able to. See here for the Appeal Leaflet and to download a donation form. Please also complete the Gift Aid certificate if you are a UK taxpayer, as SOS can claim 25% in addition to your donation from HMRC.
Obituary: SOS President, Peter Deans. Chris Whittles’ obituary for Pete is available here.
SAVE YOUR SOCIETY PRINTING COSTS, VOLUNTEER TIME AND POSTAGE & PACKAGING – GET YOUR COPY OF ‘THE BUZZARD’ ONLINE. Further information on this option is available HERE.
Trips & Meetings
Shropshire Birds & Birding
Bird Research & Recording