On Sunday 11th June Matt Prior, Chair of WOS will be helping out at the Marlborough Downs Space for Nature, Open Farm Sunday at East Farm, Winterbourne Monkton SN4 9NW 1100 - 1600 hours. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-marlborough-downs-space-for-nature-13177493244


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. It was WOS’s good luck that because of this connection, he decided to become involved in the activities of WOS rather than the Society’s Somerset counterpart. He joined the Society in 1984 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 1994, where he served until 2006 when he was elected President of WOS, a position he held until his death. Among his many contributions to the work of the Society were chairing the Wiltshire Tetrad Atlas Group, responsible for planning and organizing the fieldwork for Birds of Wiltshire (1995-2001) and subsequently as Chief Editor on the Birds of Wiltshire Editorial Board (2002-2007). James had also held many senior positions in the national birding community, including editor of British Birds, President of the British Trust for Ornithology, Deputy Director of the RSPB and Records Committee Chairman of the British Ornithologists’ Union. He wrote or co-authored a number of books and was one of the original planners of The Birds of the Western Palearctic. He will be greatly missed.

A full obituary will be published in WOS News and in Hobby in due course.


Thank you to everyone, members and friends who have supported WOS this year. Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

To all email users …

Do we have an up-to-date email address for you?

Would you like to receive monthly email alerts to remind you about forthcoming meetings?

Would you like to receive an electronic WOS News?


The e-News is in pdf format and is sent out by email. It can arrive as much as two weeks before the print version and you don’t have to wait for printing and posting. What’s more, it now has colour photos throughout (the print version is black and white except for the cover). The more people who opt for the e-News, the more the Society can save on costs.

If you have an email address and would like to receive the e-News, the monthly alerts, or both – please send an email to the Membership Secretary, Frank Mogford: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please make sure you let Frank know if you change your email address!

Conservationists in West Berkshire are asking for help from WOS members as they seek to oppose a planning application to build 224 houses and 24 floating homes on Theale Main Lake.

The scrub around the lake is a stronghold for breeding nightingales during the summer.

Please read http://berksoc.org.uk/news/berkshires-nightingale-stronghold-under-threat-please-help-now/  where the Berkshire Ornithological Society explains the threat to the nightingales and other species which use the lake. Towards the end are details of how objections to the proposal can be registered. 

Details can also be found on http://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveTheThealeNightingales/?fref=nf

The deadline for comment is Monday 13th June.


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