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SPTA West

The snow is lying thick at home and it still has not stopped snowing all day.  It started last night and this afternoon I cancelled my monthly walk on the Plain which was planned for tomorrow.  I have been busy on the Plain and done some ringing in the Braydon Forest enclaves followed by twitching at the Cotswold Water Park where I was fortunate to see the Ring-necked Duck with a flock of Pochard.  On the Plain I have been steadily working west with my surveys which have had to stop because of the white stuff.  There has been plenty of corvids and pigeons though I have not yet seen the Starling roost nor a Short-eared Owl thinking about it.  There has been a variety of small birds seen from Great and Blue Tit to Goldfinch and Bullfinch.  There has been Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Stonechat and Skylark up to large birds including Raven, Buzzard and a few Sparrowhawks.  There has even been Kestrel and Linnet as well as quantities of Fieldfare.   The last birds I added to the 2019 list were Stock Dove and I am now 83 species for my home land locked county of Wiltshire however that includes a varity of duck.  As well as birds on the Plain there has been Badger setts, Grey Squirel, Roe Deer and Fairy Shrimps.  

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SPTA West

It is already mid January and I am up to 115 birds in UK and 61 in Wiltshire.  I eneded up on the Norfolk Coast for the 1st weekend in January with friends from the Society.  It was a good weekend with a lot of birds seen.  I have been on the Plain and did my first survey last week where I found  the normal corvids and stuff.  I also went on an egg hunt for Brown Hairstreak and though the group found 22 eggs (white dots on Blackthorn) I found several eggs of the Blue-boarded Carpet (white dots on Blackthorn though no dimple).  I have been ringing and twitching in Wiltshire.  It has been a bit windy to ring at home but have been out and about at other locations.  Today I extracted and put a ring on my first Snipe and twitched 3 Whooper Swans near the Thames.  The other day I twitched the Smew though it took me 2 attempts to find it.  On the Plain I saw a Ring-tail Harrier and a Merlin though not on my grid square.  There were also some large adult Fairy Shrimps as well in the last puddle before walking to the car after finishing my grid sqaure (onyy 12 sqaures to go).  There always are Roe Deer about but they are very skittish.  

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SPTA West

I have been doing lots of surveys on the Plain and sometimes it is deadly quiet and other times there are lots of birds.  The Plain has been open to the public since the 27th as long as they keep to the open roads and church.  Most people do as they are told though there are some idiots that ignore signs.  The highlight has been the 400 Golden Plover that was circling just above my head twice now.  There have been huge flocks of Starling and Fieldfare with the odd Redwing mixed in.  There have been Meadow Pipit and Skylark flying up from the long grass though you have to be in close proximity for them to fly.  There has been Woodcock and Snipe plus lots of corvids including Jay.  There have been lots of tits, Chaffinch and Goldcrest seen on the days out across the area as well as Linnet and Goldfinch.  As it is the new year I did pop out to Langford Lakes but drove across the Plain and stopped at the church. It was very quiet today until about 11am when the hordes decended (acording to the staff).  I wish you all a Happy New Year.

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The Adjutant 2017

The 2017 edition of The Adjutant (Volume 38) is now publicly available via the AOS website.

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New President Announced

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that the new President of the Army Ornithological Society is Maj Gen Kevin Abraham CB late RA. A long-standing member of the ABWS and AOS, General Kevin is a very keen birder and looks forward to taking an active role in the Society.

Kevin Abraham joined the Army in 1983 having read Philosophy at St Andrews University. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and spent the majority of his time at regimental duty serving with 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, whether in Germany, Canada, UK, Kenya, Bosnia or Kosovo.

In recent years, he has had appointments involving the force development of the Army, its re-design through the Army 2020 project, and lately, as the Director General of Army Reform, with particular responsibility for the development of the Army Reserve.

He is Honorary Colonel of the Tayforth Universities Officer Training Corps (St Andrews, Dundee, Stirling and Abertay universities) and a member of the Honourable Artillery Company, serving on its Regimental Council.

Home is in Wiltshire with wife Julia and labrador Pip. Birding, sailing, skiing, and watching rugby are his principal interests.

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