In addition to the conservation-related projects detailed elsewhere on this website, the SOS encourages members to participate in surveying and recording Shropshire’s birds in three ways.
- You can contribute to national -scale projects on particular species or habitats run by bodies such as the British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to ensure that the County is represented adequately in their datasets.
- In addition, you can participate in surveys with a more local scope, often organised by fellow SOS members.
- Finally, make your observations count! A day’s birding is not over until you have submitted your records in an appropriate manner so that they will contribute to our knowledge of the avifauna of the County (and elsewhere). More on this can be found here.
NATIONAL BIRD SURVEYS
British Trust for Ornithology Volunteer Surveys. Through the efforts of volunteers participating in BTO surveys, UK bird populations have been monitored more effectively and for longer than those of most other parts of the world. This helps us understand the challenges facing wild birds at a time of great environmental change. [MORE]
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. RSPB conducts survey work, by itself and in conjunction with other like-minded organisations. [MORE]
LOCAL BIRD SURVEYS
Shropshire Community Wildlife Groups. Wildlife is an important part of our landscape and natural heritage but much of it is disappearing. Community Wildlife Groups give local people a chance to do something about this by finding and recording wildlife (both plants and animals) of all types, especially species which are in decline, so that existing populations and habitats can be conserved. The Groups (of which there are now eleven) bring together people interested in wildlife, undertake survey work to establish the status of key wildlife species and their habitats, encourage and enhance local interest in wildlife, and actively promote conservation. [MORE]
Shropshire Mute Swans. For many years now Martin Grant has been keeping the records of all colour-ringed Mute Swans in Shropshire and he asks that, if anyone observes a colour-ringed Mute Swan in the County, they send the ring number, with date and location, to him at email@example.com. He will send previous sightings and ringing information to the reporter.
The Shropshire Migrant Arrival Database (SMAD). Initially created by John Tucker/Lanius, this database has been maintained, from 2021 onwards, by Rachel Bromley. It records around 4,500 first record/arrival dates in Shropshire of 36 migrant bird species, starting with the very first (a Cuckoo on 9 April 1871, recorded by William E. Beckwith). The database will be kept up to date annually. For more information on this valuable data source, follow this link.
SOS/SWT Lapwing Survey. The Lapwing has declined in numbers as a breeding bird both nationally and in Shropshire. The SOS has joined with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and other agencies in an attempt to reverse the current trend. The SOS has agreed to collate all sightings of the species on behalf of the other partners in this project. Please report every sighting of Lapwings during the breeding season (late March to July) to include any evidence of breeding. The amazing aerobatic display flights early in the season will indicate where pairs are setting up home and, if followed up, may lead to confirmation of breeding by seeing sitting birds or young Lapwings later in the season. All reports should be submitted to the County Bird Recorder via email.
THE HISTORICAL ORNITHOLOGY OF SHROPSHIRE
You may have collaborated in bird surveys in the past. Indeed, such surveys are the basis of what we know about the distribution of species and their changing abundance over time. To experience the roles played by bird enthusiasts in the past, users of this website are encouraged to make use of a major item of historical ornithological scholarship by John and Peter Tucker, The Historical Ornithology of Shropshire. This link takes you to a wealth of historical materials relating to birds in the County with various ways of accessing particular documents (which are largely available as scanned digital copies or the originals).