Diary date: 2019 Autumn Meeting

The famous windmill at Cley. Photo courtesy  Palmiped

The famous windmill at Cley. Photo courtesy Palmiped

The OBC Autumn Meeting, incorporating the 35th AGM, will be held on Saturday 21st September 2019 in Cley Village Hall, Norfolk, UK.

 

The address for the village hall is The Fairstead, Cley next the Sea, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7RJ. If coming by car, please try and share lifts. There is lots of parking at the village hall. By public transport, the nearest railway station is Sheringham from where the Coast Hopper bus will take you to Cley.

Programme
10.30 Doors open
We’ll be serving tea, coffee and homemade cakes

11.00 Welcome and opening remarks
John Gregory, Chair of OBC

11.15 An update on the political situation in China and what this means for conservation
Terry Townshend
Terry is ‘our man in Beijing’. He’ll give a current perspective on China. Many of you will have seen his amazing footage from the Valley of the Cats earlier this year

11.45 Annual General Meeting
This is where you get to tell us how we are doing as a Council for your Club. Please come prepared to ask questions. The 35th Annual General Meeting Agenda.

12.15 Lunch (featuring Dick Filby’s famous curry!)
For many years Dick and his curry were a key feature of the OBC AGM. By popular demand we’ve managed to lure him back to prepare a culinary sensation—please ensure that you diet for a few days beforehand!

During lunch there will be an opportunity to buy books from Wildsounds.

1.15 The Mongolia Cuckoo project – further science and engagement in East Asia
Chris Hewson
OBC is helping to fund a radio-tagging project for cuckoos in Mongolia. Many of you will remember the trials and tribulations of Flappy McFlapperton – he managed to get all the way to Africa. Chris will give us all a brief update on this follow up project. Chris is a BTO project officer.

1.45 Birding in little known Inner Mongolia
Terry Townshend
Terry likes to go off-track! He will take us to some areas where birders do not often go but where wildlife is flourishing.

2.15. OBC Prize Draw
We raise funds each year through our raffle—thanks to everyone for their support! We’ll be asking our speakers to draw the winning tickets

2.25 Afternoon tea break

2.45 What’s hot in SE Asia – an overview of conservation efforts
Ding Li Yong
Ding Li will be elected to the OBC Council at this meeting. We are proud to welcome him as our first ever Council Member from the region. Ding Li works for BirdLife International and is based in Singapore.

3.15 Asian Songbird Crisis – an overview of the issue and the conservation efforts to resolve it
Professor Stu Marsden
Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, Stu is a long-time member of the OBC, recipient of several small grants and is now driving work on the songbird crisis. He will update us on the latest situation and concerted efforts to improve the situation.

3.45 Extreme Birding – the Seram Thrush Trek
Ashley Banwell
Ashley is an intrepid world birder but what you might not know is that he is also a leading authority on Hawfinches and Willow Tits and is doing inspirational work locally in Norfolk. Ashley recently hoodwinked the OBC Chairman into accompanying him on a never to be forgotten trip to see the little known Seram Thrush and recently described Seram Masked Owl…

4.15 Closing remarks by the Chair and day raffle draw

4.30 Meeting closes

See you there!
Minutes of the 34th AGM, held in September 2018. 35th AGM agenda

OBC AGM to be held in Cley, Norfolk

Cley Mill © Andrew Dunn /  CC 2.0

Cley Mill © Andrew Dunn / CC 2.0

Advance notice that the Oriental Bird Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 21st September 2019 in Cley Village Hall, Norfolk, UK.

As ever, there will be a packed agenda of top quality speakers during the day – details to follow. For the time being, be sure to make a note in your diary.

At that time of year, autumn migration is in full swing, and given favourable winds, we can reasonably expect birds from the Asian region to be reaching the UK’s shores.

So why not make it a full weekend and include some birding in fabulous Norfolk at this prime time of year? We hope to see as many of you there as possible!

OBC and BirdLife sign agreement to collaborate on conservation

Signing of the OBC-BirdLife MoU

Signing of the OBC-BirdLife MoU

The Oriental Bird Club and BirdLife International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on bird and habitat conservation, awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives across the Oriental region.

The MoU was formally signed by OBC Chairman Mike Edgecombe and Patricia Zurita, Chief Executive of the BirdLife International Partnership, and during the British Birdwatching Fair in August 2018.

Under the agreement, OBC and BirdLife will work to support each others bird conservation initiatives, including support for fundraising and research opportunities, and in particular for work on flyways initiatives.

The text of the MoU can be found here.

Forthcoming book auction

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Dominic Winter will be selling books from Martin Woodcock’s collection on 12th December. It includes scarce titles on Asian and African birds, and much else, including a number of extra-illustrated “one-offs,” some with original watercolur vignettes by Martin.

The catalogue will be online on the Dominic Winter website on 30th November and the hard copy catalogue will be available from 3rd December.

Diary date: 2018 Autumn Meeting

The OBC Autumn Meeting, incorporating the 34th AGM, will be held in the Wilkinson Room, St John the Evangelist, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN on Saturday 22nd September 2018. Doors open at 10:30 and the meeting starts at 11:00. All are welcome – please bring your friends. Snacks, cakes and hot and cold drinks will be available all day.

Speakers include: John Geeson on Birding Highlights of the Tibetan Plateau H S Sathya Chandra Sagar on Impacts of bird trapping in post-logged forest in lowland Sumatra James Robinson on Fighting to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Dr Nigel Collar on Unidentified flying objects in Asia Pete Morris on Japan – Birding through the Seasons

Download the meeting agenda here...and see you there! Minutes of the 33rd AGM, held in September 2017.

BirdingASIA 29

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OBC Members should already have received the latest edition of BirdingASIA 29. Another issue packed full of the latest news from the region, including articles on latest taxonomic updates, species new to Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, new breeding records, latest sightings and much much more…

As an OBC member you will receive two issues of BirdingASIA per year plus our scientific journal Forktail – all for a bargain membership fee. So don’t delay, join today!

Flappy's journeys end

Flappy: close up taken when the bird was fitted with a satellite tag

Flappy: close up taken when the bird was fitted with a satellite tag

On 17th May 2018, the last satellite transmission was received from Flappy – the Oriental Bird Club sponsored Common Cuckoo of the nominate subspecies – 100 km north of Mandaly and 30 km east of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. It seems certain Flappy perished sometime on the night of 14-15th May, during the return leg of her migration from wintering quarters in Mozambique to where she had spent the previous two summers, in northern Mongolia, close to the border with Russia.

The first cuckoo to be fitted with a satellite transmitter as part of the Beijing Cuckoo Project in May 2016 in Beijing, China, during the two years before her demise, the bird crossed 61 international borders involving 16 countries: China, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Oman, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia and DRC.

The insights into cuckoo migration have been profound: few predicted the cuckoos passing through China in spring would summer as far north, let alone winter in southern Africa. The truly remarkable journeys made by Flappy were followed by a large online audience and a number of high profile media articles. Her exploits helped link two great continents and thanks to OBC sponsorship, helped raise the profile of the Club too.

Full details of the remarkable travels of Flappy and the other cuckoos – which took in East Asia, parts of South-east Asia and South Asia, then across the Arabian Sea and along the coast of the Arabian peninsular and into the Horn of Africa, down through East Africa to southern Africa – can be found on the The Beijing Cuckoo Project website.

The Beijing Cuckoo Project aims to engage Chinese audiences about the wonders of bird migration with a view to promoting conservation and helping to strengthen the links between Chinese and international bird conservation organisations.

The main scientific goal was to discover the unknown migration route and winter quarters for Common Cuckoos breeding in East Asia. In 2017, there are plans to tag further birds to learn more about the remarkable migrations.

The Beijing Cuckoo Project is a collaboration between the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (BWRRC), China Birdwatching Society (CBS), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Birding Beijing.

BWRRC logo

BWRRC logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

master_logo_portrait

master_logo_portrait

Alongside OBC, other supporters of the project are the Zoological Society of London and the British Birds Charitable Foundation and BirdLife International.

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

high_res_obc_logo

high_res_obc_logo

logo-british-birds

logo-british-birds

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px

BirdingASIA 28

BA28-cover.jpg

OBC Members should already have received the latest edition of BirdingASIA 28. Another issue packed full of the latest news from the region, including articles on latest taxonomic updates, species new to Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, new breeding records, latest sightings and much much more…

As an OBC member you will receive two issues of BirdingASIA per year plus our scientific journal Forktail – all for a bargain membership fee. So don’t delay, join today!

Shrike photos sought

Chinese Grey Shrike  ©  James Eaton/Birdtour Asia

Chinese Grey Shrike © James Eaton/Birdtour Asia

Norbert Lefranc and Tim Worfolk are preparing a  revised edition of 'Shrikes: a Guide to the Shrikes of the World' for Bloomsbury Publishing.

The book will include photos and the authors are seeking images of as many species, subspecies and recognisable plumages as possible. Photos should be uncropped, preferably in RAW or TIFF format, however for rarely photographed species a high quality JPEG may be acceptable.

All published photos will be individually credited. Unfortunately the budget is insufficient to allow payment, but contributing photographers will receive a copy of the book. Please contact Tim Worfolk timworfolk@blueyonder.co.uk if you think you can help.

2017 Autumn Meeting

2017 Autumn MeetingThe OBC Autumn Meeting, incorporating the 33rd AGM, will be held in the Wilkinson Room, St John the Evangelist, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN on Saturday 23rd September 2017.

Doors open at 10:30  and the meeting starts at 11:00. All are welcome – please bring your friends. Snacks, cakes and hot and cold drinks will be available all day.

The Annual General Meeting, at which only OBC members may vote, will be held at 12:10 pm.

Programme

10:30 Doors open – hot drinks & cakes available 11:00 Opening remarks by the Chairman 11:15 Species conservation beyond borders: the need for collaboration Rob Sheldon, Chairman of OSME 12:10 Annual General Meeting 12:40 Lunch break – refreshments and sales 13:40 In search of the Grey Ghost – Snow Leopards and birds of Ladakh. Andy Mears 14:30 The Asian songbird crisis Brian Sykes 15:15 Winners! OBC Prize Draw 2017 15:30 Break – refreshments & sales 15:50 Is the Pochard Baering up? Updating Baer’s Pochard conservation Debbie Pain, Director of Conservation, WWT 16:40 Beidaihe: migration on the East Asian Flyway Mark Andrews 17:20 Closing remarks by the Chairman and day raffle draw 17:30 Meeting closes

Day raffle in aid of the OBC Conservation Fund

Minutes of 32nd OBC AGM

OBC Annual Report & Accounts 2016

Getting there: Parking in side streets around the venue is very limited and we recommend that you travel by rail where possible or use the ‘Park and Ride’ service, see: http://www.cambridgeparkandride.info/babrahamroad.shtml Walking time from Cambridge Station forecourt is about 15-20 minutes. Walk up Station Road to the junction with Hills Road and turn left. The venue is on the left hand side of Hills Road, about 400m after it crosses the railway, directly opposite Homerton College. There is a frequent bus service from Drummer Street bus station via the railway station forecourt, and along Hills Road. For a map, type the postcode CB2 8RN into www.streetmap.co.uk.

BirdingAsia 27 published

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OBC Members already, or should shortly receive the latest edition of BirdingASIA 27. Another issue packed full of the latest news from the region, including articles on recent taxonomic changes proposed for Asian birds, breeding birds of Wallacea, the Asian songbird crisis, Rote Island Indonesia, Virachey National Park Cambodia and much much more...

As an OBC member you will receive two issues of BirdingASIA per year plus our scientific journal Forktail - all for a bargain membership fee. So don't delay, join today!

Flappy flies home

Flappy: close up taken when the bird was fitted with a satellite tag

Flappy: close up taken when the bird was fitted with a satellite tag

On 3rd June 2017, Flappy - the Oriental Bird Club sponsored Common Cuckoo - completed the round trip back from Mozambique, where she wintered, to her summer home in Olon Balj Basin National Park in northern Mongolia. Remarkably, the latest satellite signals reveal she is within 2-3 km of where she spent summer 2016. Flappy is one of several cuckoos satellite tagged as part of the Beijing Cuckoo Project in May 2016 in Beijing, China.

Only two of the original five tagged cuckoos - Flappy and another bird, Meng - still have active transmissions - the tags either having failed or the birds carrying them perished. Both Flappy and Meng wintered in southern Africa having moved from their summering areas in Mongolia and China respectively. Flappy is a female of the nominate subspecies, while Meng is a male of the slightly smaller race bakeri.

Full details of the remarkable travels of these birds - which took in East Asia, parts of South-east Asia and South Asia, then across the Arabian Sea and along the coast of the Arabian peninsular and into the Horn of Africa, down through East Africa to southern Africa - can be found on the The Beijing Cuckoo Project website.

The Beijing Cuckoo Project aims to engage Chinese audiences about the wonders of bird migration with a view to promoting conservation and helping to strengthen the links between Chinese and international bird conservation organisations.

The main scientific goal was to discover the unknown migration route and winter quarters for Common Cuckoos breeding in East Asia. In 2017, there are plans to tag further birds to learn more about the remarkable migrations.

The Beijing Cuckoo Project is a collaboration between the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (BWRRC), China Birdwatching Society (CBS), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Birding Beijing.

BWRRC logo

BWRRC logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

master_logo_portrait

master_logo_portrait

Alongside OBC, other supporters of the project are the Zoological Society of London and the British Birds Charitable Foundation and BirdLife International.

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

high_res_obc_logo

high_res_obc_logo

logo-british-birds

logo-british-birds

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px

BirdingASIA 26 distributed

BirdingASIA26-cover.jpg

The December 2016 issue of BirdingASIA should have reached all members by now. As ever, the issue is packed full of information from the Oriental region, including an article on Breeding records of the Sunda Frogmouth Batrachostomus cornutus, which features on the cover.

Non-members can find out just what they're missing here, and they'd be more than welcome to join the Club online here.

Helmeted Hornbill records sought

Bee Choo Strange of the Hornbill Research Foundation is on an urgent mission to collate all records of Helmeted Hornbills Rhinoplax vigil within the species's geographic range in preparation for a report to delegates attending the Helmeted Hornbill Conservation Strategy and Action Plan workshop in Sarawak, Malaysia, in May 2017.

The Helmeted Hornbill was uplisted in the IUCN Red List from from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered in 2015 owing to severe hunting pressure for its casque and habitat loss. Hunting pressure is expected to increase across the species's range and urgent conservation action is required.

The Indonesian government recently called upon the international community to help  prevent illegal trade in the species - in particular bill casques - during last year's meeting of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

The forthcoming Sarawak workshop will include NGO representatives from range countries and aims to develop a conservation Action Plan for the Helmeted Hornbill.

Phase I (March - May 2017) involves collating Helmeted Hornbill records from the literature, databases, museums and most importantly, recent and near-recent records from birdwatchers.

If you have records of Helmeted Hornbills - particularly recent sightings - please enter your data by visiting the following location and following the instructions there.

Please note any information provided will be used for research purposes only and will not be disclosed publicly.

Helmeted Hornbill  Rhinoplax vigil  © Muhammad Alzahri

Helmeted Hornbill Rhinoplax vigil © Muhammad Alzahri

Three tagged cuckoos reach Africa

Routes from Asia to Africa followed by Flappy (red), Skybomb (gold) and Meng (blue).

Routes from Asia to Africa followed by Flappy (red), Skybomb (gold) and Meng (blue).

Flappy, the satellite-tagged Common Cuckoo sponsored by the Oriental Bird Club is currently in southern Mozambique, having crossed around 20 international borders on her migration south.

Flappy's journey south, and that of two other satellite-tagged cuckoos, Meng and Skybomb, is shown in the map above.

All three have moved from their breeding grounds in Asia to south-east Africa. Flappy is currently the furthest south, close to the Zimbabwe border in Mozambique, while Skybomb was last reported a few weeks ago just north of Flappy, also in Mozambique. The lack of a recent signal from Skybomb could be because of tag failure, if the bird is inhabiting dense forest where a signal is not possible, or because the bird has perished. Researchers will be keenly awaiting further signals. Meanwhile, further to the north is Meng, the only male of the trio and a different subspecies (bakeri) to the two tagged female canorus. This individual migrated somewhat later than the other two birds and is some way behind in southern Tanzania.

Regular and social media, particularly in China, have carried numerous articles about the travels of the birds, reaching potentially hundreds of thousands if not millions of readers, and all helping raise awareness of the remarkable migrations undertaken by some Asian species.

Birding Beijing reports that “Cuihu Urban Wetland Park in Beijing, the location where Flappy was tagged, is planning to erect an information board about cuckoos for the general public. It will include what we know about the life-cycle and migration and, all being well, will include a map showing the migration route of Flappy.”

The Beijing Cuckoo Project aims to engage Chinese audiences about the wonders of bird migration with a view to promoting conservation and helping to strengthen the links between Chinese and international bird conservation organisations.

The main scientific goal was to discover the unknown migration route and winter quarters for Common Cuckoos breeding in East Asia.

The Beijing Cuckoo Project is a collaboration between the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (BWRRC), China Birdwatching Society (CBS), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Birding Beijing.

BWRRC logo

BWRRC logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

(小)中国观鸟会logo

master_logo_portrait

master_logo_portrait

Alongside OBC, other supporters of the project are the Zoological Society of London and the British Birds Charitable Foundation and BirdLife International.

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

ZSL_LOGO_STACKED_CMYK

high_res_obc_logo

high_res_obc_logo

logo-british-birds

logo-british-birds

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px

logo-birdlife-colour-2000px