Prior to the foundation of the BOS, bird recording in the local area was carried out by individual naturalists. A key figure is O.V. Aplin, who, in conjunction with family members, compiled the first systematic list of birds of the area now covered by the BOS. Key historic publications used by the BOS are listed here. These publications are still important since they provide evidence on the abundance and distribution of species at that time. We can use this information to help understand the changes in the populations of the species within our area.

Lord Lilford (Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford) published the Notes on the Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood in 1895. Lilford was a contemporary of O.V. Aplin and the president of the British Ornithologists' Union. This well illustrated book, in two volumes, is a systematic list of 227 species recorded in or near to Northamptonshire. It provides the evidence of sightings within the county and beyond, along with more general information on the species. Read more ...

This book, published by Oliver V. Aplin in 1889, presents the first definitive list of the birds of Oxfordshire. Aplin was a resident of Bloxham, just outside of Banbury, so there is a significant amount of content relating to the BOS coverage area.The bulk of the book is given over to a species-by-species account of all of the birds that were regarded has having occured within the county along with their current status. Read more ...

This book by the Aplin family was the first definitive list of all of the bird species recorded in the area around Banbury. It was published by the Banburyshire Natural History Society in 1882.O.V. Aplin would subsequently go on to produce an expanded version called the The Birds of Oxfordshire. 180 species of birds are listed in systematic order, 176 of which are accepted by the BOS. For each species a short status is provided along with evidence of where the species was observed. Sadly, many of the records derived from shooting and capturing the birds. A re-typed version of the original publication can be viewed and downloaded from this link: A List of Birds of the Banbury District.

The Birds of Oxfordshire and its Neighbourhood was compiled by the Reverends Andrew and Henry Matthews and published as a series of articles in the Zoologist from 1849-1850. The information is derived from their own observations in the vicinity of Weston-on-the-Green, where they lived, and also from correspondents in Abingdon, Fringford and Chipping Norton.

The Matthews attest to enumerating 232 birds in their list, out of 346-7 on the British List at that time. O.V. Aplin listed 242 species. Not all of the species listed by the Matthews are now accepted. Read more ...

Alfred Beesley published his mammoth volume on the history of Banbury in 1842. In the rear of the book is a list of the birds of the area, along with mammals and plants. This systematic list is one of the first published in the area and is of ornithological interest for the status comments and for the local names in use at the time. Read more ...

Updated 26th March 2020

Due to the current Covid 19 outbreak, the BOS has cancelled the April and May indoor meetings. If the current travel & social distancing restrictions remain in place or increase, we will also have to cancel the outdoor meetings scheduled for June through August. Read more ...

This meeting has been postponed due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We will reschedule this meeting when social gathering restrictions have been lifted.

Ecology and conservation of the Sociable Lapwing. -  Rob Sheldon

Please note this is 1 week earlier than usual because of Easter

The Sociable Lapwing has suffered huge declines in range and population and is now listed as critically endangered.  RSPB is working with a number of partners on the breeding grounds in Kazakhstan and on the migration routes and wintering areas in the Middle East and Africa to work out why this enigmatic and beautiful species has declined. Read more ...

COVID-19 Update 25th March 2020: This survey will not go ahead this year due to government travel restrictions.

A survey of breeding birds, conducted using 3 visits over 3 months to a random 1km square. Read more ...

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