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News Items
New Year Bird Race 2017
Sunday, 19 February 2017


Number of teams:  
Splash Pointers 108 species
Runners Up:  
@Sussex Birding 102 species
Total number of species seen:  
Seen by all teams:
14 species
Seen by only one team:
15 species
Total raised to date:
£2243.35 (Still some more to come and Gift Aid not yet added)

Very many thanks to all those who participated and sponsored the teams.  The amount raised is the highest in recent years, and will be used for conservation purposes.  A more detailed report will be in the Spring Newsletter.

Val Bentley (Chairman, Membership & Publicity Committee)

Books for sale
Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Society has been left some books by a member who recently passed away. We would like to sell these and use any money received for conservation purposes. These are listed below, with suggested prices

If you are interested in any of these please contact Val Bentley on 01273 494723 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Studies in Bird Migration Vols I & II
William Eagle Clark £100
A Hand-list of British Birds
(has some handwritten additions)
Hartert, Jourdain, Ticehurst & Witherby £10-15
Bristow and the Hastings Rarities Affair
Harrison £30
Ornithological Rambles in Sussex
(3rd edition ?1855)
Knox £25-30
Seventy Years of Birdwatching
H G Alexander £15
A History of Sussex Birds Vols 1-3
Walpole Bond £120
A Guide to the Birds of Sussex
Des Forges & Harber £20

Operation Wallacea
Saturday, 18 February 2017

Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research programmes across 15 research sites worldwide. The network is currently recruiting ornithologists available for between 4-8 weeks within the months of June and early August 2017. Possible locations include: Peru, Fiji, Dominica and Ecuador. Information on all the sites is available on Operation Wallacea's website.

The position will involve carrying out ornithological surveys as part of a large scale monitoring programme. Applicants should have experience of working in the field, biological undergraduate degree level or higher (or other relevant experience), point count, bird mist netting and handling experience.

In return, successful applicants receive full accommodation and food on site, potential current and future research opportunities, networking and skills development, flight bursaries for more experienced scientists, and of course the opportunity to contribute towards long-term conservation efforts.

If you would like to apply for the position of ornithologist, please fill in the online application form at and send a CV or resume to Dr Danielle Gilroy at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

BTO Breeding Bird Survey: new squares available
Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Now is the ideal time to sign up to take part in the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and to come along to an informal practice session along with other volunteers. Sussex has also just been allocated some new BBS squares.

This national monitoring scheme is administered by the BTO and jointly funded by the BTO, JNCC and RSPB. It has been running since 1994 and its primary aim is to provide population trends for common and widespread bird species in the UK. Population trends for Sussex are also produced and published in the Sussex Bird Report.

Survey plots are randomly-selected 1-km squares of the National Grid, and the same squares are surveyed each year. Volunteers visit their squares three times each year during the breeding season, once to record simple habitat data, and twice to walk a fixed route, recording birds seen and heard. There are more than 150 BBS squares across Sussex, covering every type of habitat, and new volunteers are always needed.

Volunteers must be able to recognise common and widespread birds, but previous experience of survey work is not necessary. Help and support from experienced volunteers can be arranged if required, and some informal group practice sessions are planned for late March and early April 2017, to which new volunteers will be invited.

The BBS squares (asterisks indicate priority squares that have been surveyed before) in Sussex which currently need volunteers for the 2017 breeding season (updated 26/2/2017) are:

SU7802 Cobnor Point
SU8027 near Rake*
SU8029 near Liss Forest*
SU8624 Tote Hill near Midhurst
SU8926 Henley Common
SU9017 Heyshott*
SU9113 East Dean*
SU9127 near Fernhurst*
SU9225 near Lickfold
SZ7996 East Wittering*
TQ0124 near Kirdford*
TQ0502 Rustington
TQ2022 Cowfold*
TQ2405 Southwick
TQ2828 near Staplefield*
TQ2836 central Crawley
TQ2916 Hurstpierpoint*
TQ3516 near Plumpton Green
TQ3618 near Wivelsfield Green
TQ3922 near North Chailey
TQ4806 near Firle*
TQ4817 near Isfield*
TQ5211 near Golden Cross*
TQ5502 near Jevington*
TQ5514 near Chiddingly
TQ5707 Abbot's Wood
TQ5901 Willingdon
TQ6727 near Stonegate*
TQ6927 nr Etchingham*
TQ7028 near Hurst Green
TQ7214 near Catsfield*
TQ7714 near Battle*
TQ8413 near Three Oaks
TQ8613 Guestling Green

For further information, please contact Helen Crabtree, 01444 441687, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The following squares are available just over the Surrey border:

TQ0232 Oxoncroft Copse
TQ0539 Cranleigh
TQ0735 Massers Wood near Cranleigh
TQ0837 near Cranleigh
TQ0937 The Windbreak near Ewhurst
TQ3647 near Godstone


To volunteer to survey one of these squares, please contact Penny Williams at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

NT Bird Survey Work at Sheffield Park
Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The National Trust at Sheffield Park would like to carry out some bird survey work and is looking for one or more volunteers to provide some basic training in identification of common birds and in survey techniques. SOS members with experience of breeding birds survey (BBS) work would be well-suited to this. The National Trust hope to give training to 8-10 people. If you are willing to help, please contact Laura Steuart This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for further details.

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