The Adjutant

The Adjutant 2019, Volume 40

In this volume Andrew Bray provides the highlights of the Yorkshire based AGM and Rodney Walker regales us with tales of Activities in our “Back Garden” and, of further afield, in The Birds and the Bees.

Matt Rea shares with us the second part of his adventures whilst being posted for A Year in India and Andrew Bray and John Hughes share with us the stark contrast of birding in Finland in the winter compared with the spring.

Our roving birders continue to report from around the globe.  From Africa, Nicholas Beswick tells us of A Week in Ghana; from the Middle East, Mark Easterbrook shows us why Kuwait is a great location for Western Palearctic listers; from South America, Kev Campbell's photography demonstrates how dull birding can be in Peru and, from the USA, Jon & Lynne Mullin share their finds from a summer trip to Alaska

Finally, David Morgan DSC tells us of his poignant return to the Falkland Islands, 37 years after the conflict, at the request of one of his former adversaries, in Crash Sites and Caracaras


The Adjutant 2018, Volume 39

In this volume we celebrate the recognition of the AOS Ascension Seabird Conservation Project at the Sanctuary Awards.

In another globetrotting year, Roger Dickey takes us Ringing Within the Arctic Circle whilst Carl Powell takes us ringing in the warmer climes of Gibraltar. Richard Seargent and Nicholas Beswick take us down under; Matt Rea shares with us the first part of his experiences whilst being posted for A Year in India and Tony Kaduck tells of Tim Hortons and sewage lagoons in Canada.

Closer to home, Andrew Bray and Nicholas Beswick tell of their adventures in Turkey and Andalusian Spain respectively.  Meanwhile, back in Blighty, Andrew Bray tells of this year's AGM at Brawdy, Lynne Millard the annual year-end trip to Slimbridge and Mark Elsoffer provides us a review of the year at Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve.  Finally, we cannot forget Carl Powell's fine set of Sea Birds photographs; there will be a test later!


The Adjutant 2017, Volume 38

In this volume Andrew Bray reports on Population Census of White Terns on Ascension Island, looking at the data collected during visits by Army Ornithological Society teams over the period 2005-2012. 

Andrew Bray takes us on a tour of Eastern Poland (with photographs from Mark Fisher).  Keith Cherry takes us towards the ‘dark side’ on a search for the Kentish Glory Moth in Scotland and also the search for endemics in Sri Lanka.  Nicholas Beswick recounts Spring in Andalucia and Rodney Walker details the birding highlights of an, allegedly, non-birding holiday in South Africa.


The Adjutant 2016, Volume 37

In this volume Roger Dickey provides the latest update on the Ascension Island Sooty Terns in Expedition Report 29.  Roger Dickey reports on the tri-service ringing expedition to the island of Skokholm off the Pembrokeshire coast.  Andrew Bray provides the highlights from the year’s trips to France, the Greek island of Lesbos and, closer to home, the annual migration to Portland.

Individual members’ worldwide reports continue, this year from Bermuda, New York and Zimbabwe.

Hugo Fletcher introduces us to the French Little Owl and Mark Leitch provides the pictures in a great selection of UK Birds.


The Adjutant 2015, Volume 36

In this volume Roger Dickey and Rich Mooney provide the latest updates on the Ascension Island Sooty Terns and Roger Dickey describes what it’s like to ring high up on The Rock as part of the Joint Service Ringing expedition on Gibraltar.

Nicholas Beswick describes Red Grouse monitoring in South Wales and Bob McCurley provides an update after last year’s introductory article on Barry Budden.

Individual members continue to report from near and far including: Herefordshire, the Greek island of Kefalonia, South Africa, Ghana, Japan and Hadrian’s Wall.

Andy Rose takes us on a trip to The Dark Side of Cyprus looking at the continued illegal trapping of birds whilst Kev Campbell provides the pictures; a selection of the birding highlights from the AGM weekend at Lydd.


The Adjutant 2014, Volume 35

In this volume Roger Dickey provides the update on the Ascension Island Sooty Terns in Integrated Population Monitoring Programme Expedition Report 27.

Mark Easterbrook provides a roundup of the highs and lows of his meticulously planned and executed expedition to Cyprus whilst Benjamin White tells of the hunt for Highland specialities from Rothiemurchus.  Roger Dickey and Tony Crease provide insights into the ringing of Nightingales at Merryfield and Auks at Cape Wrath respectively.

Bob McCurley gives us the highlights of the annual Nature Day held at Barry Buddon, Peter Hubert introduces us to the Costa Brava and the Costa Daurada, the coastal areas to the North and South respectively of Barcelona, whilst Nicholas Beswick gives us New South Wales and Ray Marsh Marloth Park and Kruger National Park.  Anne Nason introduces us to Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.

And, finally, Bird in Hand presents a set of pictures giving a ringers’ eye view of an interesting selection of species.


The Adjutant 2013, Volume 34

In this volume Andrew Bray provides an update on the Ascension Island Sooty Terns in Integrated Population Monitoring Programme Expedition Report 26.

Tim Cowley and Andrew Bray regale the highlights of the April expedition to Morocco whilst Andrew Rose describes his expedition’s ‘incursion’ into eastern Germany and birding in the former DDR.

Individual members' reports, as ever, cover widespread locations and subjects including: Ethiopia, Hwange National Park and Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia (A Tale of Two Cities).

And, finally, Josh Marshall shares his experiences on his first season as a surveyor for the BTO’s Nest Record Scheme.


The Adjutant 2012, Volume 33

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?").


The Adjutant 2011, Volume 32

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.



The Adjutant 2010, Volume 31

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).



The Adjutant 2009, Volume 30

​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.




The Adjutant 2008, Volume 29

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!



Bulletin 2007

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.



Bulletin 2006

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 Osprey 2006, Issue 6

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.



Bulletin 2005

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!”



Bulletin 2004

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.



Bulletin 2003

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.