Army Ornithological Society Blog

Somerset Levels

Another great field day with a joint AOS/RNBWS trip to the Somerset Levels on Saturday 5 February which included Shapwick Heath, Greylake, Westhay, Ham Wall and other sites in and around the Avalon Marshes. At least 60 species were seen as a group with the undoubted highlight being the Baikal Teal (a vagrant from Eastern Russia and Asia) at Greylake; a lifer for most of us.

Other notables included Tundra Bean Goose, a drake Ring-necked Duck (a vagrant from North America), Cattle Egret and Great Egret. One lucky observer had a Merlin over at Shapwick.

Not much photography was going on in the group so nothing spectacular to show you.

Thirteen members attended in total, including four from the Royal Navy.


Website Maintenance - 3 Sep 21 - Completed

Website maintenance was conducted today, Fri 3 Sep 21, and has now been completed.

The two key changes that users will notice are as follows.

  1. Forum - The forum functionality has been removed and it has been replaced with a static read-only copy so that the historic reports can still be viewed.
  2. Gallery - The gallery has been removed in its entirety and the Flickr site will be closed soon.

All other changes are "under the bonnet".

If any users identify any issues during use then please let Site Admin know using the usual channels.

Thank you.


The Adjutant 2018 & 2019

The 2018 and 2019 editions of The Adjutant (Volumes 39 and 40 respectively) are now available publicly on the AOS website.



I went on the Plain after my trips to Sri Lanka in January and Iceland in January and February.  The trip to Sri Lanka was an AOS organised trip and we all saw the total number of endemics (24) plus many others.  In Iceland there was a juvenile White-tailed Eagle and a Brunnich's Guillemot.  I have also bought a new car that is not a 4x4.  The large exercise created quite a bit of damage to the tracks so I was very careful where I travelled. There were lots of soldiers about the Plain with most woods occupied.  There were a few Fieldfares still about with some Starlings mixed in.  There were plenty of singing Great and Blue Tits as well as Robins.  A Blackbird was out of the wind.  The Crows and Jackdaws made the wind look insignifcant as they flew about. A puddle did contain Fairy Shrimps as well.   It was a nice walk with singing Skylarks on the slopes.  Last year I saw 199 birds in the UK. This year I have seen 71 in UK but my list for the year is already 348 (a few more than the total for the whole of last year).  The Coronavirus might put my birdwatching on hold.


More Birds Than Bullets

Geoffrey McMullan's new book More Birds Than Bullets is released on 30 January 2020.

AOS members may find it interesting as it includes details of Geoffrey's adventures with the society.

More details about the book, including pre-order options, can be found at the More Birds Than Bullets website.