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.
Peter Deans. It is with great sadness that the Society announces the death of its President, Peter Deans. Peter died on Friday morning as a result of a heart attack. He has been a pillar of the SOS over many years, having served as Chairman for 30 years before taking on the position of President. He will be greatly missed by the SOS and by all of his many friends in ornithological and other wildlife pursuits. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, Jan. As additional information becomres available, it will be posted here.
Honey-buzzard Survey. There is a national Honey-buzzard survey in 2021, due to start in July. Minimum commitment is 2 or preferably 3 visits, 3-4 hours each, in July or August, ideally 20 July – 20 August, to a vantage point with a good view of a large area of woodland. I hope you can help, please. See attached. Please let me know if you think there are other woods to be added to the list, and which you think we should prioritise. If you can help, please let me know how much time you are able to commit to the survey, and which woods you would like to cover. Leo Smith.
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 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. SEE BELOW FOR THE LATEST ON OUR MEETINGS, FIELD TRIPS AND THE STATUS OF VENUS POOL.
♦ 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. Currently, we have no idea what possibilities await us for the 2021-22 series of meetings. Watch this space, and the Indoor Meetings page, 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
See next item for information on the reopening of the VP hides and more!
Venus Pool News
♦ VP HIDES TO REOPEN JULY 19TH
We are delighted to announce the reopening of the hides at Venus Pool on Monday, July 19th. However, in welcoming you back, we ask that you respect the concerns, and maintain the safety, of your fellow visitors and, to this end, procedures have been put in place regarding the use of the hides.
- bring hand sanitiser with you and use it regularly, particularly after entering and exiting each hide;
- keep all the hide windows open at all times;
- wear a face mask when in the hides (we appreciate that this may be difficult when using optical equipment but, if you are able to do so, please wear one);
- maintain a social distance when in the hides and, if a hide is full, come back at at another time; and
- do not stay too long in one hide, particularly at busy times – let others have an opportunity to see what is about.
♦ MEMBERSHIP CARDS & HIDE CODES
Please carry your membership card with you at all times when you are on the reserve: if using a members-only hide, you may be asked to produce it. The code that will open the members-only hides following the reopening is printed on your card and should not be shared with non-members.
♦ VENUS POOL VOLUNTEER WARDENS
Please be advised that the SOS Management Committee has appointed several Volunteer Wardens for VP. Their role will be to act as a point of contact for visitors who may not be familiar with the reserve, ensuring they know where they can and cannot go, to assist and inform visitors about the reserve, to provide advice in cases of medical emergency or incident, and to note and report to the Reserve Manager potential hazards on the site. Our Wardens will engage with visitors not complying with reserve rules and will be a source of information in bringing SOS endeavours to the attention of visitors. They will also maintain the feeding stations and monitor usage of members-only hides. Our Volunteer Wardens will carry a card indicating their status and we ask that all visitors, whether members or not, comply with their requests but also feel free to ask about the reserve, its birdlife, and the Society.
♦ 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