Birds of the heart of England : a sixty year study of birds in the Banbury area, covering North Oxfordshire, South Northamptonshire and South Warwickshire, 1952-2011

Birds of the heart of England : a sixty year study of birds in the Banbury area,
Trevor Easterbrook (on behalf of the Banbury Ornithological Society).
Publisher:  Liverpool University Press, Liverpool
Page Count:  212
ISBN Number:  978-1-84631-885-6

Banbury Ornithological Society (BOS) was founded in 1951, following a series of stimulating lectures by the late Bruce Campbell, then the first full-time secretary of the BTO. BOS subsequently punched well above its weight as a flagship local bird society, mixing innovative surveys and methods of data analysis with involvement in basic BTO surveys.

This timely, chunky, 200-page book and regional avifauna summarises the results from 60 years of study, 1952-2011. Trevor Easterbrook has been the driving force, with the volume dedicated to three late society stalwarts: L. Glyn Davis, Cliff Christie and Royston Scroggs.

The area covered spans twelve 10-km squares based upon Banbury, roughly from Daventry, Oxford, Burford to Warwick (in a clockwise direction), spanning sections of the three counties in the ‘Heart’ of England. The area covers a rich array of habitats, from mixed farmland and ancient woodland fragments to some of the most picturesque villages in England, including underlying Jurassic limestone, clays and sands, and as such represents an ideal barometer of change in bird populations: 269 species recorded since 1800. The species accounts cover occurrence by month and trends in status over time.

The eye-catching Great Spotted Woodpecker on the jacket cover beckons a good read for all local birders, a recommended source for conservationists in an area threatened by road, rail, air and housing development – an ideal template for other societies, visitors to this region.

David Glue