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Latest Sightings.

230 Starling - Royal Wootton Bassett - Simon Gathercole 2  Green Sandpiper, Hobby, Red Kite - ...
3 Peregrine - Salisbury - Stephen Hackett Red Kite - Westbury - Mike Smith 6 COMMON CROSSBILL, 2 S...
Hobby, Little Owl - Avebury - Robin Nelson 5 QUAIL, Hobby, Curlew, Barn Owl - SPTA east - Robin Nel...
QUAIL, Redstart, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, Reed WArbler, Sedge Warbler, 74 Blackcap, 5 Garden Warbler, ...
Hobby - Draycott Verne - David Moden Peregrine, 4 Red Kite - Wilton Water - Robin Nelson Spotted F...
4 QUAIL, Curlew, 4 Reed Bunting, 3 Whinchat, 14 Corn Bunting, 30 Linnet, 32 Swallow, 10 Stonechat, 2...

Salisbury Cathedral peregrines foster an orphaned chick.

In early June, three peregrine chicks were rescued from a nest in Shropshire after the parent birds were found dead having been illegally killed.

The three chicks, two female and one male have been fostered with the male going to the Salisbury Cathedral nest site where a pair of peregrines has been raising one youngster of their own. The foster chick has been accepted in the nest and both young birds are now being fed by the adult pair.

New Incumbents

At the WOS AGM on 5th April, Matt Prior was elected as Chairman, Martin Cook as Treasurer and Nick Adams as Wiltshire Bird Recorder.

James Ferguson-Lees 1929-2017

We are very sorry to have to announce that James Ferguson-Lees, President of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society, died on the 11th of January at the age of 88. James moved to the village of Rode in Somerset in the late 1970s, and in 1984 he carried out a breeding bird survey of the Longleat Estate and later he became involved, together with John Pollard, a founder member and long-time Treasurer of WOS, in a project to install Pied Flycatcher nest boxes at Longleat.

Chris Packham petition

.....to Parliament seeking a moratorium on the hunting of critically declining wading birds. Woodcock, snipe and golden plover are shot in the UK despite serious, ongoing population declines. Chris is proposing that a moratorium should be imposed to allow the impact of shooting to be established by independent scientific investigation and any necessary regulation introduced to ensure that shooting is sustainable. 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/167410  

Matt Prior Wildlife Champion 2016

At the recent Marlborough Downs NEP Spring Celebration, Matt Prior, Conservation Officer for WOS was named as MDNEP Wildlife Champion 2016. MDNEP is a farmer led project which aims to enhance this superb area of Wiltshire farmland for wildlife, community and access. Matt was one of several speakers during the evening and gave a talk about the ringing and monitoring of farmland birds.

British Birds – new monthly newsletter

Expired

Many members of the WOS will already be subscribers to British Birds or may have taken up trial offers. Whether or not, you may like to receive their free e-newsletter every month. This offers a flavour of what has been published recently and what is in the pipeline in areas such as book of the month, news and comment, the rarities section and special offers.

High Conservation Concern for 27% of our birds

Birds of Conservation Concern 4, compiled by a coalition of conservation and monitoring organisations, has just been published. Species which occur regularly in the UK are assessed for inclusion on one of three lists, Red, Amber, Green with birds on the Red List being of highest conservation concern. 

There are now 67 species on the Red List, 96 on the Amber List and 81 on the Green List.

Wintering Smew are responding well to EU Special Protection Areas

A rare and spectacular winter visitor to Wiltshire, Smew is a duck whose habitat is changing because of global warming and it is doing twice as well in conservation areas protected by the EU, research has shown.

Scientific studies have shown that the occurence of wintering Smew have been spreading northwards across Europe as temperatures rise. A study of wetland data shows that nearly a third of the birds now spend winter in north-east Europe, compared with just 6% two decades ago.

In that region, Smew populations have grown twice as fast within Special Protection Areas established under the EU Birds Directive.

For more details follow the link:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/26/rare-european-duck-protected-areas-smew-drakes

BBC Radio 'docu-drama' tells the story of how the bird observations of WW2 POW's led to publication as scientific papers

'Through The Wire' tells the story of the British POWs who survived incarceration in German camps in World War Two by studying the birds that flew freely all around them. 

While some of their fellow prisoners plotted escape and dug tunnels, men like John Buxton, Peter Conder and George Waterston looked hard at the birds that flew overhead on migration and also at those that chose to fly through the camp wire, like redstarts and goldfinches, and breed amongst the prisoners and their guards. With days, even years, to spare but without any binoculars or other equipment, the birdmen turned watching into their way of getting through the war. 
Follow this link to BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01gvlfm

 

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