The BOS covers a diverse range of habitats, from low level floodlands of the river Cherwell to the heights of Edge Hill and the Cotswolds. It also spans three major river systems of England - the Thames, Severn and Great Ouse. For a map of the area, see BOS area map.

As part of our fieldwork, we publish a detailed map showing the locations of recommended bird watching sites - see BOS Sites. The names of the sites are given in the BOS Guide for Observers.

Note that the BOS area will be affected by the construction of HS2 - see this article for details: HS2 Route Across the BOS.

The table below lists the top 10 sites ranked by the number of species observed, for the years 2007-2016. Many of these sites are reserves managed by the BOS and most are associated with water. Our reserves are listed here: BOS Reserves.

  Grid Number of Species Site Name
1 SP4542 148 Grimsbury Reservoir
2 SP4953 145 Boddington Reservoir
3 SP3942 143 Balscote Quarry
4 SP4451 139 Wormleighton Reservoir
5 SP5721 119 Bicester Wetland Reserve
6 SP4643 112 Upper Cherwell Valley
7 SP3226 96 Glyme Farm
8 SP4541 95 Spiceball Country Park
9 SP4249 94 Farnborough Park
10 SP3558 91 Chesterton Pools

 

The picture below shows the species density for each 1km square of the BOS area for the years 1982-2019 - the shading of the square reflects the number of species recorded. The figures in each square show the number of species recorded at that location. The numbers on the outside are the OS 1km grid references for the 100km square SP, shown as Eastings and Northings, just as they are on Ordnance Survey maps. The map shows there are many other good locations to observe birds, including the whole of the Cherwell valley.

Species Density 1982 2016

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 ...

Thermal Birding with Ben Dolan

West Midlands Ringing Group pioneered thermal technology for bird surveys, winning the BTO Marsh Ward in 2021 for innovative technology.  The WMRG believe necessity drives innovation and this resulted in the revolutionary development of thermal imaging technology within ornithology.   Read more ...

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