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 ...

This new paper, published on World Curlew Day on 21 April 2022, describes the current and historical status of the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in an area of 1200 square kilometres centred on Banbury.   Click here to link to the paper Read more ...

Details for this meeting will be pubished here and in the newsletter closer to the time.

 

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