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.
Shropshire Rookeries in 2021 – probably the easiest bird survey ever! Shropshire’s over 600 rookeries were surveyed in 1975, and again in 2008. Rook populations may now be in serious decline. You can help this year by checking some of the 428 rookeries which need a report. More information here.
Bird Surveys for 2021. Two bird surveys will be underway soon. Both need volunteer observers. If you would like to be involved, please follow one or both of these links for further information and details about participating:
45 Years of British Birds Available to a Good Home. A collection of the journal British Birds is available to anyone who can give them a good home. The series runs from 1977 to 2020. The first two years are bound and the remainder are boxed and are in ‘as new’ condition. If you are interested in this valuable set of magazines, please contact Pete Deans (email) or Pam Swales (email or by phone at 01952 248 749). The collection cannot be broken up and it will be the recipient’s responsibility to pick up and transport the volumes. The owner has suggested a donation to SOS funds in exchange for the set.
SOS ‘Save Our Curlews” Appeal. SOS is sponsoring an appeal to raise funds for conservation-related research into the status of Curlew. Shropshire plays a significant role in the conservation of this species in the UK. The project was launched in February 2020 but, unfortunately, work was postponed because of coronavirus restrictions, although observers continued to report. Regrettably, these data suggest that failure of chicks to fledge remains a major cause of the decline. The project will begin again in spring 2021. Most of the money required has been raised from SOS itself, donations from the Appeal in the February Buzzard, and from grants, all of which will be carried forward into 2021, but we still need to raise a few thousand pounds more to do all that we would like to. We need your help. To assist, download a donation form to print and contribute. For more information on the project, follow this link. Thank you
COVID-19 Pandemic News
♦ PLEASE VISIT THIS WEBSITE OFTEN 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.
♦ SOS MEETINGS.
As many of you will be aware, starting in 2021, as many of the Society’s monthly meetings as possible were held online using Zoom. The 2020-21 season of presentations is now over. As of April, we have no idea what possibilities await us for the 2021-22 series of meetings. Watch this space for details!
If online meetings become necessary again, 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 have a current email address, please see the green text box below the logo above.
♦ FIELD TRIPS
Bearing in mind Government guidelines regarding COVID-19, we are provisionally cancelling all field trips for the rest of 2021. However, we are constantly monitoring official advice and it is conceivable that some of these trips may be reinstated if conditions permit, especially after July. Please monitor the field trip web page for the latest information.
♦ VENUS POOL NEWS.
The car park and paths around the arable field and over the causeway will remain open during the third lockdown, with the hides staying closed. Visitors should observe government regulations on outdoor recreation and exercise, local travel, and social distancing when meeting others.
This means that there will be only limited, long-range views of the pool itself. The road down to the disabled car park will be closed off at the main car park. As is the normal situation, there is no access to the meadows, dogs are not permitted on the Reserve and please take your litter home.
We ask you to please respect the safety of both yourselves and other users and adhere to notices indicating where areas are closed and follow the Government guidelines. If the car park is full or overcrowded, please leave and return later when it is quieter and do not park in the narrow lanes or in front of gates, access along which may be required at any time. We trust all visitors to be sensible and please help to guide others if you feel that this is appropriate or necessary. We hope that VP can be returned to its normal state when circumstances permit.
No decision has yet been made regarding the reopening of the VP hides although the matter is constantly under review. Based on the criteria in the Prime Minister’s ‘road map’ released in late February, it would appear that the EARLIEST they could be opened up would be June 21st, as that it is the earliest that any number of people from different households can interact indoors. It would be impossible for the Society to monitor the requirements of the previous phase in the relaxation process. Of course, the date of June 21st depends on progress being made towards a weakening of the pandemic’s grip and will depend on infection rates, hospitalisations and death data moving in the right directions over the next several months. As the ‘road map’ indicates, the timing of the relaxation will depend on meeting four tests: (1) the success of the vaccine rollout, (2) evidence of vaccine efficacy, (3) an assessment of new variants, and (4) keeping infection rates below a level that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
As always, this website will be used to announce COVID-19-related changes, including reopening of the hides, so you should return here often for the latest news.
♦ WALL FARM HIDE CLOSED!
While not an SOS site, we have been asked to announce that it is closed until the health emergency is over.
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