In this volume Andrew Bray presents the results of the 2011/12 winter species survey on the Imber training area (SPTA Wiltshire) and the annual trip to Norfolk whilst Richard Seargent gives an operational birder's perspective of his most recent tour in Afghanistan and provides a summary of all species seen over his 3 tours during the period 2007-2012. Tim Cowley relates the tales of the highly successful expedition to Fair Isle which "captured" all of the "Fair Isle 3" and much more! Mark Easterbrook contrasts the changes to birding in Cyprus having returned to the island after a break of 12 years and Josh Marshall gives an alternate view of birding in Cyprus with a disturbing insight into the continued illegal trapping of songbirds.
Individual members' reports cover diverse locations and activities including a cruise in the Caribbean, family holidays to Cuba and South Africa and a battlefield tour in Italy ("Nightingales at Cassino?").Download
A very busy year for all birders not least the AOS. Andrew Bray, John Hughes and Tony Giles provide an update on the Ascension Island Sooty Terns in their 24th Integrated Population Monitoring Programme Report which includes details of the deployment of geolocators for the first time. Chis Dickey details the trials and tribulations of conducting a survey on Jura in January as the AOS rises to the BTO Bird Atlas challenge in winter. Andrew Bray recounts the return of an AOS expedition to Canada, the first since 2005, to explore Ontairo Province whilst Tim Hallchurch, Miles Stockwell and Andrew Bray provide a view of the other weather extreme in Oman. Carl Powell gives his view on the success of the first tri-service ringing weekend based at Foxglove Covert in Catterick Garrison.
Individual members continue to strike out on their own and provide reports from: Brazil; Fuerteventura; Hungary; Tobago; Zambia and Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe, Botswana & South Africa and Around the World in 40 Days. There is also a colour spread of Suffolk birds courtesy of Carl Powell.
In this edition Andrew Bray presents the results of the winter species survey on the Imber training area (SPTA Wiltshire) and Peter Hubert examines the migration strategies of selected species of raptor across the Eastern Pyrenees. As ever, the AOS membership has travelled afar, and there are accounts of AOS outings to Norfolk, Portland, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the pelagic voyage from Portsmouth to Bilbao on one of the last sailings of the P&O Pride of Bilbao. Individuals’ have, however, travelled further afield and provided accounts of their journeys to: Borneo, Florida, Libya (Tripoli), Namibia, Thailand, and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (birdwatching on the Silk Road).
In this issue John Hughes and Colin Wearn provide their preliminary report on the results of the Integrated Population Monitoring Programme of Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscata from October’s expedition to Ascension Island, and Field Marshal Sir John Chapple looks at the development of the Mai Po Marsh Reserve from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Roger Dickey recounts a story of thousands and of one during the February visit to Somerset and Blashford Lakes. Andrew Bray tells of summer snow during June’s long weekend in Scotland and Hilary Nash provides the update on this year’s visit to Portland. Meanwhile, on operations, Chris Dickey provides his view of Birding through [a] SUSAT whilst on deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Individual members continued globetrotting. Mark Easterbrook tells of a summer trip to Iceland, Anne Nason of adventures in Cape Town and the Western Cape, including the local sewage works, and Keith Cherry a Malaysian special visiting the Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Fraser’s Hill and Taman Negara National Park.
Following on from the final edition of the joint service publication, The Osprey, The Adjutant is resurrected as the magazine of the AOS after a break of 8 years. The first part includes articles that have a wider ornithological interest including John Hughes’s Are introduced Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) a threat to Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscata) on Ascension Island, South Atlantic?, Ray Marsh’s review of 5 years of ringing migrating birds on Gibraltar and Andrew Bray’s account of his participation in the Royal Navy Bird Watching Society’s expedition to Diego Garcia to survey the Red-footed Boobies at the Barton Point Important Bird Area.
The second part is devoted to members’ articles of general interest covering birdwatching ventures around the world to destinations including: Australia; Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia; Ecuador; Egypt; Finland; Northern France; the Galapagos Islands; Libya; Morocco; New Zealand and South Africa. Not forgetting, of course, UK’s very own Rainham Marshes!
A very busy year! Andrew Bray relates the highlights from the annual trip to Norfolk, the AGM at Castlemartin including excursions to Skomer Island and Castlemartin Ranges, two days in Suffolk and a low budget long weekend at Texel in Holland. Hilary Nash gives the update on the annual visit to Portland and provides the comparative list for 8 years’ worth of visits.
From Helmand Province, Afghanistan Richard Seargent gives a birder’s perspective of Operation HERRICK 6.
Another expedition headed out for Ascension just before the start of the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War and Andrew Bray looks at how a post conflict report started the now long running sequence of surveys. Meanwhile, Royston Griffin and Mike Vincent report on Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) nesting on Letterbox.
In a clearly ‘jet set’ year AOS members covered the globe. Andrew Bray tells of a Singapore stopover on route to expedition on Diego Garcia and brief chances to birdwatch whilst on a working trip to Orlando. Mark Easterbrook provides details of his trips to Egypt, on a Nile River cruise, south-west Turkey and the Spanish Pyrenees and Steppes. Nicholas Beswick recounts two trips to Tripoli, Anne Nason a visit to Chete Island, Lake Kariba, Zambia and Rodney Walker a spring trip to Finland. Finally, Keith Cherry heads out on a Naturetrek tour to Venezuela visiting the Llanos (Venezuelan Flatlands) and the Henri Pittier National Park.
Ascension Island is a major focus in this edition. Andrew Bray gives details of February’s ‘mop up’ visit while Mike Vincent describes August’s EXERCISE BOOBY XII and also provides a brief history of Ascension. John Hughes faces the crowd and presents on the AOS monitoring on Ascension Island to the seabird conference in Aberdeen
It has been a good year for AOS trips and Andrew Bray gives a flavour of the main events: the annual New Year trip to the North Norfolk coast, the AGM weekend at Thetford and the annual trip to Portland. Andrew also gives an account of the pelagic trip aboard the P&O Pride of Bilbao from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Richard Seargent leads an April long weekend to Germany to visit his old stamping grounds of Munster, Lippstadt and the Arnsberger Wald.
Gerry Birch provides some notes from Shetland, Ken Wright visits the swannery at Abbotsbury, Dorset and Rodney Walker reports on the birds encountered during his annual meanderings.
A quiet year for overseas trips but Richard Seargent still managed to observe birds whilst on Exercise LION SUN 13 in Cyprus, Anne Nason managed a February trip to Botswana and Mark Easterbrook escaped the Christmas blues in the Gambia.
The Armed Forces’ Bird Watching and Ornithological Journal. This issue has a heavily Mediterranean theme with four items from Jason Wilson, WSBA Conservation Officer Cyprus, covering the plight of the Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gypus fulvus, the 2005 Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo Survey, the 2005 survey of Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae breeding sites and the results of a House Martin Delichon urbica survey at Troodos Station and Mount Olympus Retained Sites.
Mike Blair reports on two RAFOS expeditions, GibEx05 (6-21 March 2005) the third in the series of counts, at approximately 18-month intervals, of Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis in Gibraltar and BrandEx05 (4-28 May 2004) to Germany to survey common bird species in parts of Brandenburg during the breeding season. Closer to home, John Wells and Martin Wightman detail the results of Winter Duck IV (4-12 February 2005), the RAFOS coordinated land-based Wetlands Bird Survey (WeBS) of northwest Scotland.
From more distant lands, John Hughes reports on the survey, conducted during January 2005, of Wattled Ibis along the border of the Bale Mountains National Park in the Ethiopian Highlands and, with Colin Wearn, looks at the success of re-trapping adult Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata on Ascension Island. Finally, Tim Hallchurch and Hilary Nash recount their experiences on Exercise Brahminy Kite, the AOS led visit to Malaysia in February 2005, which encountered 312 species.
Tim Cowley tells us about the major AOS venture of the year in the form of Exercise WESTERN TANAGER; 15 days in western Canada (14-28 May) racking up 272 bird species and 31 mammal species. Mark Easterbrook shares his thoughts from Central Iraq whilst based at FOB Dogwood. Andrew Bray gives the latest AOS update from Ascension whilst John Hughes says “Publish or be Damned” when it comes to your hard won data.
Roger Dickey describes the “French Experience” in February as a Continuity AOS (CAOS) long weekend experiences birding in sub-zero temperatures! Andrew Bray relates the highlights of this year’s AGM, held at ATE Swynnerton near Stafford, and Hilary Nash provides a summary of species lists for all Portland weekend trips over the period 1999-2005. Roger Dickey recalls another January Somerset gathering and John Hughes provides details of Quail monitoring on Salisbury Plain.
Rodney Walker describes an AOS autumn visit to the Wirral and tells, “New Tales from Cheshire.”
Our ‘foreign correspondents’ travelled afar again: Gerry Birch returned to Nepal, Ken Wright went on safari to southern Senegal, Mark Easterbrook took in northern Tunisia, Keith Cherry explored the cloud forests of Ecuador and Anne Nason visited Bazaruto Island, Mozambique as well as discovering that “House Sparrows are alive and well and living in New Zealand!”
Another year of long distance adventures both at work and play. Andrew Bray gives an overview of Ex Booby Dragon IX, the ninth AOS expedition to Ascension Island, and Richard Seargent recounts the success of budget long weekend trip to Flevoland in the Netherlands in April.
Hilary Nash reviews the regular AOS Portland weekends, including details of all species seen over the period 1999-2004, whilst Andrew Bray spills the beans on the 2004 trip. Rodney Walker, on his UK travels, tells us of birdlife in Wybunbury, Cheshire and Anglesey among others. Roger Dickey recounts a January days birding in Somerset. Posted to Greece and living in Athens, Simon Strickland discovers Long-eared Owl Asio otus in his local park, Syngrou Park.
Accounts of international trips include Hilary Nash’s birding in Belize (winter 2003) whilst on a sub-aqua adventure training exercise and a repeat visit to the Red Sea in June, “to do a bit more fish watching.” Tim Hallchurch goes on a February recce to Penang in Malaysia, Mark Easterbrook escapes to Goa, India for Christmas and New Year 2003-2004, Andrew Bray explores Wisconsin, USA, Hilary Nash takes in USA and Canada in the spring and Anne Nason escapes the British winter for birding in South Africa.
In a packed edition, Ken Wright revisits a Canadian ID conundrum from Stratford on Avon, Ontario, gives us a peak at a Hawk Conservancy activity day and shares the highlights of a Bulford Conservation Group led walk on Salisbury Plain. Leslie Bond gives an update on the Bulford Conservation Group’s activities. Travelling around the UK, Anne Nason gives an update on the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s new Langford Lakes reserve which opened in 2002 whilst Hilary Nash gives us a look at Yateley Common, Hampshire and Llangollen. Andrew Bray recounts his first, if slightly damp, visit to Porton Down where waterproofs rather than ‘Noddy Suit’ are the order of the day and Gerry Birch shares the highlights of his visit to the 15th British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland.
European ventures include Patric Baird’s visits to eastern Hungary in May and October 2002, Anne and Ian Nason’s April birding trip on the River Danube from Passau to Budapest and Nicholas Beswick’s May visit to the Pyrenees
Hilary Nash tells the tale of Exercise Night Heron, the name given to a joint project between the AOS and the Makasutu Wildlife Trust to produce a base line survey of all the birds and other wildlife seen on an expedition up the River Gambia over the period 7-21 March.
Finally, there are accounts of more exotic trips. Hilary Nash tells us about the birds he saw on his August “fish watching” trip to the southern Red Sea whilst Keith Powrie tells of his February trip to South Korea with Birdwatching Breaks.