Who We Are

The Shropshire Ornithological Society (SOS) was formed in 1955 with the aims of encouraging the study and protection of birds in Shropshire and elsewhere,  organising a wide range of activities and producing publications to this end, and co-operating with other bodies with similar aims.  This website serves the needs of the branch of the Society in Church Stretton.  All members of the SOS (and non-members) are welcome to take part in branch activities as well as the main activities of the Society.

Breaking News

SWT/SOS Save Our Curlews Campaign. For more information on this important project, follow this link.


Indoor meetings are held from October to March (excluding December) on the fourth Monday of the month. The venue is The Methodist Church Hall, Watling Street, Church Stretton [MAP] and meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. The postcode for the hall location is SY6 7BG. Admission is free to members: non members are very welcome (admission £2, including refreshments).

Indoor Meeting Programme

Speakers for the 2018-19 season have been finalised and a start has been made on the 2019-20 season. Why not put these dates in your calendar now to avoid missing these instructive and entertaining presentations?


January 28, 2019. AGM followed by “From Alaska to Argentina: Wildlife through the Americas” (Mark Sisson)

  • The Americas represent two huge and adjoining continents with an array of natural environments and a resultant diversity of wildlife. Professional wildlife photographer Mark Sisson’s new talk will take you on a representative journey through some of them including the coasts of Alaska, the rainforests of Costa Rica, the beaches of north Patagonia and the mountains of southern Chile: bears, birds, bats and beaches await!

February 25, 2019.”Cuan Wildlife Rescue” (Anna Nicholas and Megan Morris-Jones)

  • Our speakers will explore the history of Cuan Wildlife Rescue, how it has been transformed over twenty-five years, and some case histories of certain species admitted to and treated at Cuan.

March 25th, 2019. “Singing in the Brain: the Science of Birdsong” (Rupert Marshall)

  • What do birds sing, how do they sing it, and why? From cheerful robins singing through the winter to summer migrants arriving late in spring, the world of birds delights us with a tremendous range of abilities and repertoires. But why do they sing so early in the morning? How do they sing such intricate songs?  Using pictures, recordings and short videos I explain the simple principles which underly the evolution of song, from the simplest of tweets to the most complex of whistles and warbles.

October 28th, 2019. “Nature Conservation and the National Trust in South Shropshire” (Pete Carty, National Trust)

  • Details to be announced.

November 25th, 2019. “Meres and Mosses” (Ben Waddams)

  • This talk will focus on the natural history of the Meres and Mosses, with more than a few nods to its birdlife. Ben has been exploring this region for many years and was even lucky enough to discover a new species there. His aim is to take people on a journey through this interconnected landscape and introduce them to some lesser-known species. The talk will be illustrated with a few energetic videos (!), photos and Mark’s artwork.

January 27th, 2020. “In Search of the Flower Kissers” (Michael Leach)

  • Hummingbirds. Aztecs called them rays of sun and in Brazil they are known as flower kissers. There are more than 300 living species, from tiny bee hummingbirds [that weigh less than a paper clip], to the giant Patagonian. Everything about hummers is extreme; their astonishing colours, 1000 beat a minute heart rate, fearless aggression and, above all, breathtaking flying abilities. They are the only bird that can fly backwards. This talk looks at one of the world’s most iconic birds.

SOS (Church Stretton) Email List

We would like to compile a list of email addresses of SOS members in the Church Stretton area and those who attend our meetings (whether members or not) in order to send out event reminders and to warn you of cancellations and changes.  If you would like to be included on this list, please send your name in an email and identify the list you wish to be added to as the “SOS Church Stretton email list”. Your address will be used only for publicising SOS and related events and will not be provided to any outside parties under any circumstances.

Making your Bird Sightings Count

There are several opportunities locally to contribute to bird surveys that will enhance our knowledge of bird life in south-central Shropshire and contribute to conservation efforts.

Community Wildlife Groups.  There are eight Community Wildlife Groups in southern Shropshire, which cover most of the Shropshire Hills. All are doing bird surveys, and would welcome the involvement of other birdwatchers.  For information, see the Shropshire Community Wildlife Group website.

Records Needed of Threatened Species.  Leo Smith is interested in all breeding season records of Lapwing, Curlew, Dipper, Barn Owl and Red Kite.  Check here for information on sending him your observations.

Contact Us

You can contact us using the following email address links.

Useful Links

All external links on this website open in a new window or tab.

Page updated 23 January 2019 by AJA