Berkshire Ornithological Club


New meeting place for Nightjar walk 16th July. 13 Jul

The meeting place for the Nightjar walk has been changed to Pirbright Village Green Free Car Park in Avenue De Cagny. From there we will combine into less vehicles to the access point. This is due to blocking of the normal parking area by the Military. The same time of 20.00 will apply. Please let Colin Wilson on know if you are coming.

Nightjar walk Thursday 19th June is cancelled. 16 Jun

The walk will now be on Wednesday July 16th at the same time BUT meeting at the large parking area on north side of Mytchett Place Road between Pirbright and Mytchett at SU918557. Note: This is considered a better time for Nightjars as young will be flying by then, in June often one bird is still on the nest hence reducing sightings. The walk will be a joint event with Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, full details are on their homepage

For further details contact Colin Wilson

Changes to Mid-week Walk to Cholsey Marsh 1 May

There are some important changes re the mid-week walk at Cholsey Marsh on 8th May.

Firstly there is a change of leader. Adrian Brown has kindly volunteered to lead this walk.

Secondly the rendezvous point has been changed due to limitations of parking space in Ferry Lane. The new meeting point is the layby on the east of the A329 about 600 yards past the crossroads at Cholsey (Grid ref SU 598863)

Any queries prior to trip to Ray Reedman on 0118 9864338, please.

2009 and 2010 Birds of Berkshire Annual Reports 1 May

The 2009 and 2010 Birds of Berkshire Annual Reports are now available from the Secretary for £7.50 each plus P&P (£1.50 per report + £1 per additional report) (Cheques payable to Berkshire Ornithological Club). Free to BOC Members.

BOC Photographic Competition 2014 – Results 18 Mar

(Sponsored by London Camera Exchange) Judges David Cottridge and Dickie Duckett commented on the general excellence of the entries in this year’s competition, making for some tough decisions on winners and runners-up in the three categories - which can be seen here. The audience of Club Members then voted for the overall winner and recipient of the Gordon Langsbury Trophy, which was Brian Winter for his delightful portrait of a Little Owl.

Little Owl by Brian Winter

BOC Norfolk Weekend - Feb 2014 25 Feb

The dreadful weather of the first weeks of the year, which had already wiped out two events, left many of us with low expectations of this year’s trip to Suffolk and Norfolk: in the event we got away remarkably lightly and were able to complete most of the outlined programme. Read more...

Berks & Oxon BTO Conference 31 Jan

To be held at Benson Parish Hall, Sunnyside, Benson, Oxfordshire OX10 6LZ on Saturday 1st March 2014, from 9.30 – 16.45

Conference Fee: £16 (Includes coffee, tea and lunch)

Everyone is Welcome!

Download the Programme and Booking Form here.

Optical Equipment for Sale 31 Jan

A club member has some optical equipment for sale.

Fobney Island Monitoring Report 2013 12 Jan

The Fobney Island Monitoring Report 2013 has been published and can be viewed here.

Cancellation of Excursions 11 Jan

You will not be surprised to hear that the recent exceptionally wet weather has forced the cancellation of some of our upcoming field trips. Hence the following trips will NOT be taking place :-

Mid-week walk to Hurley on Thursday 16th January.

Coach Trip to the Ouse Washes on Sunday 19th January.

We can only hope that drier weather will allow other trips to take place, but it is always worth checking with the leader beforehand to make sure.

Photographic Competition 2014 10 Dec

The BOC is delighted to announce Dave Cottridge, a frequent past visitor to the Club and a leading bird and nature photographer and author will join our own expert Dickie Duckett in judging the competition in 2014. The rules allow up to twelve entries per member (four per category) and are the same as 2013 but can be found here. Entries and any questions should be addressed to the organiser Colin Wilson by 21st February 2014. Entries are welcome from all members, the overall winner has been different for each of the last ten years now and will win the Gordon Langsbury Memorial Trophy currently held by Ken White for his superb image of Cory's Shearwater in flight.

Adjourned 2013 AGM 27 Nov

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.

Auction of Birds Of Berkshire Covers by Robert Gillmor 9 Oct

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.

New season programme announced 23 Aug

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.

Request for Volunteers to Help Club 7 Jun

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 :

  1. Distribution of BOC publicity leaflets and posters to libraries, nature reserves, etc. (please state which part of the county you'd be willing to help with distribution in)
  2. Coordination of leaflet distribution
  3. Design and production of publicity leaflet, posters, etc.
  4. Advertising events on community websites
  5. Passing information on Club activities to the local media
  6. Helping on stands at local events
  7. Coordinating BOC presence at local events - identifying events, contacting organisers, arranging for volunteers to help on the stand

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 .

Berkshire Atlas & Avifauna - pre-publication offer 11 May

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 to see more about the new atlas and for order information. All profits from sales will go to bird conservation work in Berkshire.

Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve Opening 24 Apr

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 ) if you would like to attend.

For more information about Fobney click here and do please visit the ‘Friends of Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve’ Facebook page.

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Latest reports

2010 annual report 2009 annual report 2008 annual report 2006/07 annual report 2005 annual report 2004 annual report

New report JUST PUBLISHED - April 2014!

The 2009 and 2010 Reports are now available from the Secretary for £7.50 each plus P&P (£1.50 per report + £1 per additional report) (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 (excluding 2009 and 2010) 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

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