The Berkshire Ornithological Club collects sightings from a range of sources and maintains a database of all records received. As well as being the basis for The Birds of Berkshire Annual Reports, the Berkshire Bird Record Database is used to support regional and national conservation work by, for example, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre. The database also enables us to advise local authorities and others on planning issues that may affect birds and supports the Club’s own conservation activities. Recording is central to field ornithology and conservation – please submit your observations!
The County Recorder, appointed jointly by the BOC and NDOC, is the focus for collection, management and dissemination of records. A note of the duties of the Recorder can be downloaded here. In 2020, Marek Walford was appointed to the role, following the untimely death on Richard Burness.
As well as submitting individual records, members take part in systematic bird surveying, notably the major national surveys carried out by the British trust for Ornithology, such as the Breeding Bird Survey and the Wetland Bird Survey. From time to time the Recorder may ask for additional information on target species to understand more about their status in Berkshire.
The Club publishes The Birds of Berkshire Annual Report, with its distinctive covers by Robert Gillmor. It includes accounts of all species recorded in the year, a photograph section, research articles and reports.
The BOC sponsored the Birds of Berkshire Atlas Group, which produced The Birds of Berkshire Atlas and Avifauna, published in 2013, based on field work in 2007-11. It is a full revision of the avifauna based on fieldwork twenty years earlier and provides accounts of the 328 species recorded in Berkshire to 2013.
The Club published a guide, Where to Watch Birds in Berkshire, in 2019 and, in 2022, a review of the changes in the county’s habitat and breeding birds over the 75 years since its formation as the Reading Ornithological Club in 1947: Berkshire’s Birdscapes.
Many Club members also provide bird-watching trip reports, which can be helpful in planning your own holidays. Trip reports for inclusion on this site should be sent to the Secretary.