The BOS Systematic List is a record of all the bird species that have been observed in the BOS area, currently standing at 273 species as of May 2017. This list is published in the book Birds of the Heart of England by Trevor Easterbrook. The list excludes sub-species, escapes and unverified records. The species are listed in the current BOU order.

255 species have been recorded in the BOS area since its formation in 1952 and for each of these species, 2 attributes have been assigned based on the status of the bird:

  • Density Status – the frequency the species occurs in the BOS area, based on the last 10 years of surveys and records
  • Occurrence Status – when the species occurs within the BOS area. 

The status terminology was adopted by the BOS in the 1960s and have been consistently applied since that time. A full explanation of the codes can be found here: Status Categories

The Code value is the BTO 2 letter id and is the code used in the BOS recording system as a short-hand to identify the bird. The BOS uses the English common name for species identification, as specified by the BTO.

For each species a Record Type is assigned, denoting the type of records that members should submit on a monthly basis. The codes are as follows:

A All records
A* All records with description required for the BOS acceptance committee
A** All records with description required for submission to the BBRC
B Breeding records
C Counts of above flock size specified (the number after C). The number alongside each species is a guide-line only and in a 10km square where a species may be scarce, it is at the observer’s discretion when birds are reported.
D Arrival and Departure dates
R Roosts
W Winter: November to February records

Systematic List last revised October 2017

A more detailed version of this list, including in which decades the species has been seen, can be found in this document: BOS Systematic List.

Code Species Scientific Name Record Type Status
MS Mute Swan Cygnus olor B/C10 Fairly numerous resident with widespread distribution
BS Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus A Rare winter visitor with restricted distribution
WS Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus A Rare winter visitor with restricted distribution
BE Bean Goose Anser fabalis A* pre 1952 only
PG Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus A* Rare winter visitor
WG White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons A* Very occasional winter visitor
GJ Greylag Goose Anser anser A Rare resident
SJ Snow Goose Anser caerulescens A* Vagrant/Escape
CG Canada Goose Branta canadensis B/C50 Numerous resident with widespread distribution
BY Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis A* Rare winter visitor
BG Brent Goose Branta bernicla A* Rare winter visitor
EG Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca A* Rare casual visitor
UD Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea A** Rare casual visitor
SU Shelduck Tadorna tadorna A Occasional regular visitor with restricted distribution
MN Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata A Rare resident with restricted distribution
WN Wigeon Anas penelope A Very frequent winter visitor with local distribution
GA Gadwall Anas strepera A Frequent winter visitor and rare resident with local distribution
T Teal Anas crecca A Very frequent winter visitor with widespread distribution
TA Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis A* Rare vagrant
MA Mallard Anas platyrhynchos C50 Numerous resident with extensive distribution
PT Pintail Anas acuta A Occasional winter visitor with restricted distribution
GY Garganey Anas querquedula A* Rare passage migrant
SV Shoveler Anas clypeata A Frequent winter visitor with local distribution
RQ Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina A Rare winter visitor
PO Pochard Aythya ferina A Fairly frequent winter visitor with widespread distribution
FD Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca A** Very occasional casual visitor
TU Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula A Fairly numerous resident and frequent winter visitor with widespread distribution
SP Scaup Aythya marila A* Rare winter visitor
AY Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis A* Rare vagrant
E Eider Somateria mollissima A* Rare vagrant
LN Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis A* Rare vagrant
CX Common Scoter Melanitta nigra A* Rare casual visitor
GN Goldeneye Bucephala clangula A Very occasional winter visitor with local distribution
SY Smew Mergellus albellus A* Rare winter visitor
RM Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator A* Rare winter visitor with restricted distribution
GD Goosander Mergus merganser A Frequent winter visitor with local distribution
RY Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis A* Rare casual visitor
BK Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix A* pre 1952 only
RL Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa A Numerous resident
P Grey Partridge Perdix perdix A Not Scarce resident
Q Quail Coturnix coturnix A Scarce summer visitor
PH Pheasant Phasianus colchicus C50  Abundant resident
RH Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata A* Rare winter visitor
BV Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica A* Rare winter visitor
ND Great Northern Diver Gavia immer A* Rare winter visitor
F Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis A* Rare vagrant
MX Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus A* Rare vagrant
TM Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus A* pre 1952 only
TL Leach's Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa A* Rare vagrant
GX Gannet Morus bassanus A* Rare vagrant
CA Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo A Frequent regular visitor
SA Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis A* Rare casual visitor
BI Bittern Botaurus stellaris A* Rare casual visitor
LL Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus A** pre 1952 only
NT Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax A* pre 1952 only
EC Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis A* Rare vagrant
ET Little Egret Egretta garzetta A Fairly frequent regular visitor
HW Great White Egret Ardea alba A* Casual visitor
H Grey Heron Ardea cinerea A Not Scarce resident
UR Purple Heron Ardea purpurea A* Rare vagrant
OR White Stork Ciconia ciconia A* Rare vagrant
IB Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus A Rare vagrant
NB Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia A* Rare vagrant
LG Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis A Fairly numerous resident with widespread distribution
GG Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus A Fairly numerous resident with local distribution
RX Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena A* Rare winter visitor and Passage migrant
SZ Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus A* Rare winter visitor
BN Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis A* Rare winter visitor and Passage migrant
HZ Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus A* Rare summer visitor
KT Red Kite Milvus milvus A Fairly numerous resident
MR Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus A* Rare passage migrant
HH Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus A* Very occasional casual visitor
MO Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus A* Rare casual visitor
GI Goshawk Accipiter gentilis A* Rare resident
SH Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus A Fairly numerous resident
BZ Buzzard Buteo buteo A Numerous resident
RF Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus A* Rare casual visitor
OP Osprey Pandion haliaetus A Occasional passage migrant
K Kestrel Falco tinnunculus A Fairly numerous resident
FV Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus A* Rare passage migrant
ML Merlin Falco columbarius A Occasional winter visitor
HY Hobby Falco subbuteo A Fairly numerous summer visitor
PE Peregrine Falco peregrinus A Scarce resident
WA Water Rail Rallus aquaticus A Not Scarce resident
AK Spotted Crake Porzana porzana A* Rare passage migrant
CE Corncrake Crex crex A* Rare passage migrant
MH Moorhen Gallinula chloropus C10 Fairly numerous resident
CO Coot Fulica atra C15 Fairly numerous resident
AN Crane Grus grus A Rare vagrant
OC Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus A Occasional passage migrant
IT Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus A* Rare vagrant
AV Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta A Rare casual visitor
TN Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus A* pre 1952 only
LP Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius A Scarce summer visitor with restricted distribution and Fairly frequent Passage migrant
RP Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula A Occasional passage migrant
DO Dotterel Charadrius morinellus A* Rare passage migrant
GP Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria A Frequent winter visitor
GV Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola A* Very occasional passage migrant and winter visitor
IP Sociable Plover Vanellus gregarius A** Rare vagrant
L Lapwing Vanellus vanellus A Not scarce resident and Winter Visitor
KN Knot Calidris canutus A* Rare passage migrant
SS Sanderling Calidris alba A* Rare passage migrant
PZ Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla A** Rare vagrant
LX Little Stint Calidris minuta A* Very occasional passage migrant
TK Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii A* Rare passage migrant
PP Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos A* Rare passage migrant
CV Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea A* Very occasional passage migrant
PS Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima A* Rare vagrant
DN Dunlin Calidris alpina A Fairly frequent regular visitor
RU Ruff Calidris pugnax A Very occasional passage migrant and very occasional winter visitor
JS Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus A Fairly frequent winter visitor
SN Snipe Gallinago gallinago A Frequent winter visitor and rare resident with restricted breeding distribution
DS Great Snipe Gallinago media A** pre 1952 only
WK Woodcock Scolopax rusticola A Fairly frequent winter visitor and scarce resident with restricted breeding distribution
BW Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa A Occasional passage migrant
BA Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica A* Very occasional passage migrant
WM Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus A* Very occasional passage migrant
CU Curlew Numenius arquata A Fairly frequent regular visitor and not scarce summer visitor with local breeding distribution
UP Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda A** pre 1952 only
CS Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos A Frequent passage migrant and Casual Visitor
GE Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus A Frequent passage migrant and Winter Visitor
DR Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus A* Rare passage migrant
GK Greenshank Tringa nebularia A Occasional passage migrant and very occasional winter visitor
LY Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes A** Rare vagrant
OD Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola A* Rare passage migrant
RK Redshank Tringa totanus A Occasional regular visitor
TT Turnstone Arenaria interpres A Rare passage migrant
NK Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus A* Rare passage migrant
PL Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius A* Rare passage migrant
AC Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus A* Rare vagrant
NX Great Skua Stercorarius skua A* Rare vagrant
AB Sabine's Gull Xema sabini A* Rare vagrant
KI Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla A Very occasional vagrant
BH Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus C100 Very frequent regular visitor
ON Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia A* Rare vagrant
LU Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus A* Very occasional passage migrant
MU Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus A Occasional winter visitor
CM Common Gull Larus canus C20 Very frequent regular visitor
IN Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis A* Rare vagrant
LB Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus C50 Very frequent regular visitor
HG Herring Gull Larus argentatus C5 Very frequent regular visitor
YG Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis A Fairly frequent regular visitor
YC Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans A* Scarce casual visitor
IG Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides A* Rare vagrant
GZ Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus A* Rare vagrant
GB Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus A Occasional regular visitor
AF Little Tern Sternula albifrons A* Rare passage migrant
TG Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica A* pre 1952 only
BJ Black Tern Chlidonias niger A* Very occasional passage migrant
TE Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis A* Rare passage migrant
CN Common Tern Sterna hirundo A Fairly frequent passage migrant
RS Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii A* pre 1952 only
AE Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea A Very occasional passage migrant
GU Guillemot Uria aalge A* pre 1952 only
RA Razorbill Alca torda A* pre 1952 only
LK Little auk Alle alle A* Rare vagrant
PU Puffin Fratercula arctica A* Rare vagrant
PALSA Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus A* pre 1952 only
SD Stock Dove Columba oenas B/C25 Numerous resident
WP Woodpigeon Columba palumbus C500 Abundant resident
CD Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto C10 Numerous resident
TD Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur A Rare summer visitor
RUTDO Rufous Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis A* Rare vagrant
RI Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri A Very occasional casual visitor
CK Cuckoo Cuculus canorus A Scarce summer visitor
BO Barn Owl Tyto alba A Not Scarce resident becoming scarcer
LO Little Owl Athene noctua A Not Scarce resident
TO Tawny Owl Strix aluco A Fairly numerous resident
LE Long-eared Owl Asio otus A* Rare resident
SE Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus A Occasional winter visitor
NJ Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus A* Rare passage migrant
SI Swift Apus apus B/C10/D Numerous summer visitor
KF Kingfisher Alcedo atthis A Not Scarce resident
ROLLE Roller Coracias garrulus A* pre 1952 only
HP Hoopoe Upupa epops A Rare vagrant
WY Wryneck Jynx torquilla A* Rare passage migrant
G Green Woodpecker Picus viridis A Fairly numerous resident
GS Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major A Numerous resident with extensive distribution
LS Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dryobates minor A Scarce resident with widespread distribution
OL Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus A* Rare vagrant
ED Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio A* Rare passage migrant
SR Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor A* Very occasional winter visitor
MG Magpie Pica pica C10 Numerous resident with widespread distribution
J Jay Garrulus glandarius B/C5 Fairly numerous resident with widespread distribution
JD Jackdaw Corvus monedula C50 Abundant resident with widespread distribution
RO Rook Corvus frugilegus C150 Abundant resident with extensive distribution
C Carrion Crow Corvus corone C50 Abundant resident with extensive distribution
RN Raven Corvus corax A Fairly numerous resident
GC Goldcrest Regulus regulus C5 Numerous resident
FC Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla A* Rare casual visitor
BT Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus C15 Abundant resident with extensive distribution
GT Great Tit Parus major C15 Abundant resident with extensive distribution
CT Coal Tit Periparus ater B/C10 Numerous resident with widespread distribution
WT Willow Tit Poecile montana A Scarce resident
MT Marsh Tit Poecile palustris A Fairly numerous resident with widespread distribution
BR Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus A Rare vagrant
WL Woodlark Lullula arborea A* Rare casual visitor
S Skylark Alauda arvensis C5 Numerous resident
SM Sand Martin Riparia riparia A Scarce summer visitor and frequent Passage migrant
SL Swallow Hirundo rustica B/C20/D Numerous summer visitor
HM House Martin Delichon urbicum B/C10/D Numerous summer visitor
CW Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti A* Very occasional casual visitor
LT Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus C15 Fairly numerous resident with extensive distribution
YB Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus A* Rare vagrant
WO Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix A* Rare passage migrant and rare summer visitor
CC Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita D/W Numerous summer visitor with a few birds over-wintering
ICC Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus A** Rare vagrant
WW Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus D Numerous summer visitor
BC Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla D/W Numerous summer visitor with some birds over-wintering
GW Garden Warbler Sylvia borin A Numerous summer visitor
RR Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria A* pre 1952 only
LW Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca A Fairly numerous summer visitor
WH Whitethroat Sylvia communis D Numerous summer visitor
DW Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata A* pre 1952 only
GH Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia A Scarce summer visitor
IC Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina A* pre 1952 only
AQ Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola A* Rare vagrant
SW Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus A Fairly numerous summer visitor
MW Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris A* Rare summer visitor
RW Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus A Fairly numerous summer visitor
WX Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus A Very occasional winter visitor
NH Nuthatch Sitta europaea A Fairly numerous resident
TC Treecreeper Certhia familiaris B Fairly numerous resident
WR Wren Troglodytes troglodytes R Abundant resident with extensive distribution
SG Starling Sturnus vulgaris R/C100 Numerous resident and very frequent winter visitor with extensive distribution
OE Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus A* Rare vagrant
DI Dipper Cinclus cinclus A Scarce casual visitor with restricted distribution
RZ Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus A Very occasional passage migrant
B Blackbird Turdus merula C20 Abundant resident with continental influx during the winter
FF Fieldfare Turdus pilaris C100/D Very frequent winter visitor with extensive distribution
ST Song Thrush Turdus philomelos C5 Numerous resident
RE Redwing Turdus iliacus C50/D Frequent winter visitor
M Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus C10 Fairly numerous resident
SF Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata A Not Scarce summer visitor with local distribution
R Robin Erithacus rubecula C10 Abundant resident with extensive distribution
N Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos A Rare summer visitor with local distribution
BU Bluethroat Luscinia svecica A* Rare vagrant
PF Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca A* Rare passage migrant
BX Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros A* Very occasional passage migrant and very occasional winter visitor
RT Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus A Fairly frequent passage migrant
WC Whinchat Saxicola rubetra A Occasional passage migrant
SC Stonechat Saxicola rubicola A Fairly frequent winter visitor
W Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe A Fairly frequent passage migrant
D Dunnock Prunella modularis C10 Abundant resident
HS House Sparrow Passer domesticus C10 Numerous resident
TS Tree Sparrow Passer montanus A Not Scarce resident
YW Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava A Not Scarce summer visitor
GL Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea A Not Scarce resident
PW Pied/White Wagtail Motacilla alba C20/R Fairly numerous resident and frequent winter vistor
TP Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis A* Very occasional passage migrant
MP Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis B/C10 Scarce resident with resricted distribution and frequent winter vistor with widespread distribution
RC Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus A* Rare winter visitor
WI Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta A* Rare winter visitor
CH Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs C30 Abundant resident with widespread distribution
BL Brambling Fringilla montifringilla A Fairly frequent winter visitor with widespread distribution
GR Greenfinch Chloris chloris C10 Numerous resident with widespread distribution
GO Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis C25 Numerous resident with extensive distribution
SK Siskin Spinus spinus A Frequent winter visitor and rare resident
LI Linnet Linaria cannabina C20 Numerous resident with extensive distribution
TW Twite Linaria flavirostris A* Rare vagrant
LR Lesser Redpoll Acanthis cabaret A Fairly frequent winter visitor with widespread distribution and rare resident
FR Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea A* Scarce winter visitor
CR Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra A Scarce resident
SQ Common Rosefinch Erythrina erythrina A* pre 1952 only
BF Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula B/C5 Fairly numerous resident
HF Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes A Scarce resident with local distribution
SB Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis A* Rare winter visitor
LA Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus A* Rare winter visitor
Y Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella C10 Numerous resident
CL Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus A* Rare casual visitor
LJ Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla A* Rare winter visitor
RB Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus A Fairly numerous resident
CB Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra A Not Scarce resident

Additional Species

The following observed species are not accepted as being native or are unverified, and therefore are excluded from the records: 

Bar-headed Goose

Black Swan

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

Ross’s Gull

Emperor Goose

South African Shelduck

Cinnamon Teal

Spot-billed Duck

White-faced Whistling Duck

Red-tailed Hawk

Saker Falcon

Chukar Partridge

Eagle Owl

Black-breasted Thrush

Purple Sunbird

Violet Turaco

Waxbill

Zebra Finch

We need your help to find Swifts and their traditional nest sites in Anglican churches.  50 years ago most of our local parish churches had nesting Swifts.  Chris Mason brings us up-to-date  . . . Read more ...

The Wytham Tit Project - Friederike Hillemann (Freddy) from the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology in Oxford

Since 1947, researchers from the University of Oxford have been monitoring populations and studying the ecology and social behaviour of - particularly - great tits, as well as blue tits, coal tits and marsh tits in Wytham Woods near Oxford. Read more ...

A survey where observers are each given a randomly selected 1km square and record species and numbers for a minimum period of 2 hours between 9am and noon. Read more ...

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