AGM: Art and Craft Competition and Post AGM Walk


Following a request from some members, the Committee intends to reintroduce the art competition for this year’s AGM but to widen the scope to make it an

Art and Craft Competition.

Entries are invited of any form of art or craft with an ornithological theme.   It must be your own work and it must be capable of being judged at the AGM – no 2 ton bronze sculptures please.   Full competition rules will be distributed along with the AGM calling notice in the Autumn newsletter mailing when we’ve written them.


It has been a tradition to organize a birding outing on the Sunday following the AGM.   However, with a dearth of Stations willing to let us hold the AGM on their site, RAF High Wycombe has been the only practical venue for a number of years, and the post-AGM walk has been attended by fewer people each year.   We are not aware of any other good birding spots in a 10 mile radius of RAF High Wycombe.   What do you think?   Do you know of an alternative place to walk reasonably close to RAF High Wycombe, or has the time come to discontinue the post-AGM walk?   Please let us know your thoughts here or at

Islay Mist 2018



In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Those of us a tad older might instead think of Islay in Spring.   If the idea of divers Divers, wads of Waders and calling Corncrakes appeals, we are planning the next Islay Mist for 12 to 19 May 18.   If you are interested please drop a line to Team Knight on


As another incentive, the good news is that work has started on the 9th distillery on the island.   The bad news is that they’ve only just broken ground so it will be a while before production starts.   Only 8 to choose from!

Somerset Levels

The first ‘organised’ visit by RAFOS to the Somerset Levels took place from Friday 31 Mar 2017 through Sunday 2nd Apr. Although a bit early in the Spring the weather was kind to us, there was a good range of birds present and the 12 RAFOS members had a very enjoyable time.

An account of the visit is expected to appear in the Autumn 2017 Newsletter.

The Big Base Birdwatch

This event has been introduced to RAFOS by Scott Drinkel to record a snapshot of birds and other wildlife that are using the RAF estate. It is running from 26th May to 4th June 2017 and is open to all who would like to participate.

Further details and a recording form are available under the Big Base Birdwatch banner.

Old RAFOS Journals

I have commenced the scanning and uploading to this site of the old Journals starting at No. 1 of March 1966 up to No. 4 of November 1967 currently. I expect this to continue for the next few months up to Journal No. 28 to make them more readily accessible to members should they wish to browse, etc.

In parallel the uploading of scanned old Newsletters will also continue.

In respect of this I thank Dave Bodley for the loan of such publications to supplement my own holdings which largely overcomes the trouble and expense of extracting them from the library.

Somerset Levels – a new location for a RAFOS field trip

Pete Evans writes:


As some of you are probably aware, a proposal was discussed at the Nov 2016 AGM to set up a weekend event on the Somerset Levels. A few like minded members have put their heads together and formulated an outline plan as follows:

The event will take place over the weekend of Friday 31st March – Sunday 2nd April 2017. The venue will centre around the Avalon Marshes Centre which is about 5 miles to the west of Glastonbury just south of Westhay. There are several reserves in the area, the best known probably being Ham Wall.

Attendance may be for one, two or three days, it’s your call. For those intending to stay for two or three days, accommodation is available at the Premier Inn on the outskirts of Glastonbury, just off the A39. Also, there are a number of smaller inns and hotels in the area.

As some may be arriving on Saturday or Sunday morning we require a focal point to meet and greet. I am proposing that we gather at 10.00 at the Avalon Marshes visitor centre which has ample parking and from there we can form into groups and decide who wants to go where. On the evenings of Friday and Saturday I suggest we dine in the Brewer’s Fayre, which is adjacent to the Premier Inn.

So that I have a rough idea of numbers, would you let me know if you would be interested in coming along.

Pete Evans”