Join the BOC and you'll get:
The Christmas Social and Quiz will be held at 8pm in Earley St Peter's Parish Rooms, Church Road, Earley
As the AGM held on 20th November 2013 was not quorate (only 46 members were present instead of the 50 required for a quorum), it was adjourned and has been reconvened for 11th December at 8pm, in conjunction with the Christmas Social and Quiz. If 50 members are not present at 8.00pm, the AGM will be held over until 50 members are present or until 8.30 pm, when the meeting can proceed with however many are present. Copies of the agenda, the report from the Chair and Officers and the Birding Highlights for 2012/13 can be found here. These will not be read out at the meeting, but there will be an opportunity to ask questions on the Chair's report.
The Club is auctioning the originals of the illustrations from the Birds of Berkshire covers for 2005 (Laughing Gull), 2006/7 (Alpine Swift) and 2008 (Red-footed Falcons) by Robert Gillmor to boost the Club funds. The pictures are initialled by Robert and are unframed. Each picture will be sold by a separate sealed bid auction.
Sealed bids are now invited for the 2005 picture of Laughing Gull. These will be opened at the AGM on 20th November 2013. Size of the picture is 130mm x 145mm on a sheet 254mm x 177mm. Price guide in excess of £200.
Bids, bearing the name and address of the bidder and bid value, should be put in a sealed envelope marked "2005 cover artwork" which must be with the Secretary by 8pm on 20th November 2013.
Bids may be handed to the Secretary at an indoor meeting or sent to: The Secretary, Berkshire Ornithological Club, 7 Fawcett Crescent, Woodley, Reading RG5 3HX.
The envelopes will be noted by the Secretary with the time and date of receipt. A bid by the Secretary must be similarly noted by the Chairman. The Chairman and Secretary will open the bids and announce the winner at the end of the AGM and before the talk on 20th November 2013 in Room 109, Palmer Building, University of Reading. If there are equal winning bids the first that was received wins the painting. All bids, other than the winner, will be held confidential by the Chairman and Secretary.
The Committee has put together a varied programme of events for the new season, both indoor and outdoor – something for everyone. The indoor meetings will feature some top speakers on a variety of bird topics, with almost all meetings taking place in our usual venue at in the Palmer Building at Reading University. Unusually the first talk will be a joint venture with Reading Museum and will take place at the Museum on Saturday 28th September (see the latest newsletter for more details, and let Ray Reedman know if you would like to attend so that seating can be planned). Outdoor excursions will take us to many fine birdwatching sites, both near to home and further afield – much further in the case of trips to Spain! Most outings are day or half day outings, but there are a few weekend options as well. All trips have named contacts so please talk to them to find out more and check that the trip is taking place as advertised, as circumstances can dictate changes to plans. For weekend and longer trips please contact the leader well in advance to book your place and allow arrangements (hotel rooms, car sharing etc) to be finalised in good time. The programme card contains information about both indoor meetings and outdoor trips. All members are welcome, as are guests and prospective new members.
We are still looking for people to help out with the running of the Club, mainly with various elements of publicity. You don’t need to have any particular skills, just a willingness to get a bit more involved in the Club and its activities, which we all benefit from and enjoy. So don’t be afraid to put yourself forward if you have a little time to spare – further details are below.
We still have no-one to look after publicity for the Club. The job of publicity officer is fairly large, so we are looking for people to take responsibility for different aspects. If you are interested in helping with any of the following, please contact Mike Turton at mike.turton berksoc.org.uk:
If you would like to offer to help with any other areas of publicity not included in the above list, please let Mike know.
Ray Reedman would also like some more people to help with organising and running the outdoor excursions for the Club. If you would like to help, please contact Ray on ray.reedman berksoc.org.uk.
The new Berkshire Atlas and Avifauna will be coming out later this year. It will be a beautiful, large format book packed with drawings and photos as well as over three hundred species accounts and chapters on Berkshire bird history, habitats, and a where to watch section. The pre-publication offer provides large discounts on the published price for oders by 20th June. Go to http://berkshirebirdatlas.org.uk/ to see more about the new atlas and for order information. All profits from sales will go to bird conservation work in Berkshire.
BOC members are invited to the official opening of ‘Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve’ at 11am on Friday 17 May 2013. Please note the change of date from the preliminary announcement.
For several years the project sponsors, the Environment Agency, Thames Water, Reading Borough Council, the Thames River Trust, have worked together to transform Fobney Island into an attractive and diverse site that we trust will be used by people and wildlife for years to come. Berkshire Ornithological Club and Reading and District Angling Association have provided specialist advice and support throughout the project. Download invitation here.
This event will mark the official opening of the site. After a short opening presentation there will be guided walks of the nature reserve. The partner organisations will host stands and activities including bird walks and a display tank with native fish species and pond dipping for children. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Reading Borough Council.
Please r.s.v.p (by email to thameswestfrb environment-agency.gov.uk) if you would like to attend.
(Sponsored by London Camera Exchange) Judges David Cromack and Margaret Welby found the standard as high as ever and chose winners and runners up from the three sections here. The audience of Club Members then voted narrowly for Ken White's Cory's Shearwater as overall winner of the Gordon Langsbury Memorial trophy.
We met around 8:30 in the Tesco’s at Ipswich, at the junction between the A12 and A14, known as the Copdock Interchange (Postcode IP8 3TS), most of us having set off from Berkshire between 5.00am and 6.00am, and with one group having already seen the first significant bird of the trip, a Woodcock from the car somewhere in Oxfordshire . There were 16 of us in 5 vehicles. Colin had organized a full itinerary for the trip, which we all more or less followed, but not always together. Read more...
For some years, the Berkshire Ornithological Club has been working with Reading Borough Council, the Environment Agency, Thames Water, the Thames Valley Restoration Trust and Reading & District Angling Association to help design a wetland reserve just to the south of Reading centre, between the River Kennet and the Kennet & Avon Canal.
With the completion of the works, there is now access to the island and there will be a formal opening on Saturday 18th May, when the BOC will be providing information and offering bird walks. There is no public access on to the area of scrapes at the west end of the island, to protect breeding birds, though two viewing screens are provided. Read more...
As you know the Birds of Berkshire Atlas and Avifauna (second edition) is now expected to be published later this year. We are taking advance orders at a price of just £25 now (£20 to species sponsors).
This new book will include all new artwork specially commissioned from a group of exceptional artists, Robert Gillmor, David Thelwell, Jan Wilczur, Dafila Scott and many others. Most of this artwork will be available for sale when we publish the book but the first option to buy these lovely black and white pictures, at a special discount, will be offered to those who have been kind enough to sponsor a species. This is a great opportunity to own a piece of artwork published in a book to which many of you have contributed in one way or another.
There is still a list of species available to sponsor available here Once the sponsors have had a chance to buy the artwork it will be offered on general sale to members, details and prices will be advised at the time.
Meantime, we recommend sponsoring a species and ordering your copy of the book – at the special pre-publication price using the form attached.
There has been a huge response to the American Buff-bellied Pipit at Queen Mother Reservoir. As well as our own permit-holders, we have issued day permits to some 800-900 people have come to see the bird, including birders from Scotland and Belgium. Most birders have been very complimentary about the arrangements the BOC has put in place to make this possible and we have so far raised nearly £1,700 for Club funds. A big thank you to all who have helped.
Bird watchers and anglers have a lot in common. We both spend a lot of time out in the cold, staring at expanses of water in lonely places. We are both interested in Nature and wetland areas; though it seems to me that most anglers know a lot more about birds than birders do about fish. So it came as a shock to me to hear that some Berkshire bird-watchers had been offensive to a number of anglers over access to lakes and over maintenance work on angling sites, which has resulted in a loss of goodwill and the withdrawal of certain access privileges for bird-watchers.
Anglers often pay a lot for fishing rights and have costly equipment that they understandably do not want damaged. They also own or lease a number of private sites to which they may allow access to bird-watchers or the public at large – we go there on sufferance.
Last year the BOC had a number of constructive meetings with Reading & District Angling Association to discuss their and our concerns. Amongst other things we discussed the clearance of scrub around parts of the Searles Lane GPs, which was needed for the health of the fish stocks, and possible mitigation measures for the resultant loss of some Nightingale habitat. We have also worked with the anglers on the planning of the new wetland reserve at Fobney Island. Bird-watchers and anglers have shared interests in protecting our natural environment – let’s be friends!
Car park charges now apply in ALL car parks at Dinton Pastures Country Park, from 08:00 to 18:00. The nearest ticket machine to Lavell's Lake is in the middle of the sailing club car park (now called the multi activity centre).
Prices are shown via the link below but in summary are 50p for up to 1 hour, £1 for up to 4 hours, £2 for 4 hours plus. There are annual season tickets at £76.50 available from the Countryside Service Office above the Cafe, disabled can park free.
We are advised that tickets will be checked, so please be aware you may get a fine if you choose not to pay.
Please help the club by using the services of our Supporters.
All Berkshire sightings are welcome. Options to submit them are found here.
New report JUST PUBLISHED - August 2012!
The 2008 Report is now available from the Secretary for £7.50 plus £1.50 P&P (Cheques payable to Berkshire Ornithological Club). Free to BOC Members.
Previous Reports STILL AVAILABLE
Previous reports (2004 onwards) are still available for £6 plus £1.50 P&P. Any two reports purchased will qualify for a £2 discount from the total price. Please add P&P of £1.50 for a single report + £1 for each additional report. There is also a limited stock of reports prior to 2004 available for the cost of P&P only - please contact the Secretary for availability