The product of annual surveys since 1952, this new book documents remarkable changes in the distribution of many birds through the use of clear colour maps, species accounts and a variety of illustrations.

Birds of the Heart of England

Edited by Trevor Easterbook on behalf of the Banbury Ornithological Society

Liverpool University Press, 2013

Drawing upon a remarkable sixty years of surveys, this fascinating and richly illustrated book provides an in-depth picture of birdlife in the very heart of the United Kingdom, the twelve 10km squares surrounding Banbury and including parts of Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, .

The Banbury Ornithological Society (BOS) area does not contain any large waterbodies or significantly important habitats but is a typical lowland agricultural area. Thus, most of the information collected relates to the commoner farmland and woodland species, with rather few records of scarce migrants and rarities. The Society initiated a number of surveys, the techniques of which are described in the book.

Drawing upon results of annual surveys since 1952, Birds of the Heart of England creates a snapshot of remarkable changes in the distribution of many birds through the use of clear colour maps, species accounts and a variety of illustrations. It is a must for anyone interested in bird watching within the Banbury area but its sheer depth of data will make it an important volume for ornithological groups across the UK.

The book contains introductory chapters explaining the survey methods, the BOS and describes the landscape of the area and some of the changes which have occurred in the past 60 years. The succinct species list, with excellent use of multi-coloured charts and tables illustrates population changes and monthly distribution of records, and 1-km distribution maps – often comparing different time periods showing some birds that have declined and others that have increased their areas.

A brief conclusion sets out the importance of continuing to collect such data, not least to provide information to inform planning decisions on both a small and a large scale, including the proposed high-speed rail line HS2, which may cut through the area. This is one of a series of excellent county publications produced recently by the non-profitmaking Liverpool University Press and is highly recommended for anyone interested in the systematic monitoring of birds in their home area. With Christmas on the horizon, this is an ideal stocking filler.


Birds of the Heart of England

Liverpool University Press, 2013

Hbk, 202pp many colour photographs, maps and tables

ISBN 978-1-84631-885-6 Subbuteo code M21845

£25.00 from bookshops

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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