The Shropshire Ornithological Society (SOS) was formed in 1955 with the following aims:
- to encourage the study and protection of birds in Shropshire and elsewhere,
- to organise a wide range of activities and produce publications with this objective, and
- to co-operate with other bodies with similar aims.
The Society plays an important part in the national network of Bird Clubs. This includes the production of an annual Shropshire Bird Report, which contains the systematic list of all sightings reported to the County Bird Recorder, together with articles and reports on all aspects of bird study within Shropshire.
The Society covers the County for national surveys and makes past records available for current research. It is actively involved in the partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology and county bird clubs. For more information about conservation-oriented research projects in the County, click here.
SOS is involved in the management of several sites in the County, to ensure they remain attractive habitats for birds. Venus Pool, an important wetland, is owned and managed by the Society. Select this link for more information on reserves.
As a member of SOS you are welcome to participate in Society activities.
- Join us on field trips to the best bird-watching places in Shropshire and elsewhere in the country. Day visits, coach trips and weekends away are all part of a varied programme. Follow this link for details of currently-scheduled field trips.
- Come to the indoor meetings. These are occasionally films but more usually are illustrated lectures by speakers who are nationally-recognised experts and who show stunning images. You will meet other people with similar interests and learn more about birds and related subjects. The main Society meetings are held during the winter months at the Bayston Hill Community Centre in Shrewsbury (MAP). Select this link for details of the current indoor meetings programme. Church Stretton has a branch of the Society and has its own activities. For more information on the branch, click here.
- Get permits for several of the best bird watching places in the County. Access to these sites is restricted but permits are available to Society members. Venus Pool also has a members-only hide.
- Help with fieldwork for local and national surveys. These mainly involve locating and sometimes counting particular species, so you do not need to be an expert to make a contribution to bird research. An example of the results of this sort of activity is the Society’s own Atlas of the Breeding Bird of Shropshire and Birds of Shropshire: an Avifauna (published in December 2019).
- Send in records of the birds you see to BirdTrack for inclusion in the County Bird Report, to contribute to national records and to inform other birders in the County.
- Help with other activities undertaken by the Society and have your say in what you think the Society needs to be doing.
- Receive a copy of the quarterly publication, The Buzzard, which gives full details of all current activities and includes “Bird Notes” – a summary of recent records sent in by members.
- Receive a free copy of each year’s Annual Bird Report.