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.
“Birds of Shropshire by Habitat and Season”. This beginners- and improving-level birdwatching course, co-sponsored by this SOS branch and the National Trust (Cardingmill Valley & Shropshire Hills), is again being offered, starting in October 2019. For further information and instructions on taking part, please visit the course website.
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., although doors generally open around 7:00. 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
Meeting topics for the 2019-20 have now been finalised and a start made on the 2020-21 season. Why not put these dates in your calendar now to avoid missing these instructive and entertaining presentations?
28 October, 2019. “Nature Conservation and the National Trust in South Shropshire” (Peter Carty, National Trust).
- Join us for our first meeting of the new season and learn about conservation with a local twist.
25 November, 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.
27 January, 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.
24 February, 2020. “Wilderland, Wildlife and Wonder from the Shropshire Borders” (Andrew Fusek Peters)
- Andrew will share an entertaining evening of his long term safari in the Shropshire uplands and valleys, sharing incredible stories of hares suckling leverets, spotted flycatchers nesting above his electric meter, robins bring up young in the winter heather where he parks his car, dragonflies roosting on the Mynd under the Milky Way. His picture regularly grace the national papers and last year he was highly commended in British Wildlife Photographer of the Year; he was also awarded 3rd in Category and Commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year. He will also share some of his birding stories, from the ultra rare leucistic white kite to Great White Egrets in a blizzard and the curlews having a little bath at sunset. More information? Visitwww.andrewfusekpeters.com
23 March, 2020. “Crane Spotting” (Ashley Grove)
- Lake Hornborga in Sweden plays host to one of Europe’s most spectacular wildlife watching experiences each spring. Over 25,000 Common Cranes stop here to refuel on route to their breeding grounds further North, joining hundreds of ducks, geese and Whooper Swans in the area. Time your visit well and you can also see all five of Europe’s Grebes here, White-tailed Eagles, Capercaillie, beavers and much more. Wildlife photographer and tour leader Ashley Grove will give us some geography and history on this wildlife rich area, all illustrated with stunning images from his experiences in Sweden.
26 October, 2020. “Fungi: the Questions You Never Dared Ask” (John Hughes, Shropshire Wildlife Trust)
23 November, 2020. To be announced.
25 January, 2021. “Another Year Birding in Shropshire” (Jim Almond)
22 February, 2021. “Discovering the Western Isles” (Nick Martin)
22 March, 2021. “‘Curlew Country – a talk about the UK Lowland Recovery Project” (Amanda Perkins).
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.
You can contact us using the following email address links.
All external links on this website open in a new window or tab.
- Shropshire Ornithological Society
- RSPB, Shropshire Local Group
- RSPB, South Shropshire Local Group
- Shropshire Wildlife Trust
- Shropshire Wildlife Trust (Strettons Branch)
- Shropshire Community Wildlife Groups