East Lancashire Ornithologists’ Club

East Lancashire Ornithologists' Club

Although we have only just over 40 members, the club is very active and holds monthly indoor meetings (September to June) and field trips at which members and guests have the opportunity to meet other like-minded birders. Membership is open to any interested person and is free to students. Many members are enthusiastic volunteers for the various BTO Surveys.

Despite competing with some 50 much larger clubs and counties, our 2002 Annual Bird Report won First Prize in the most improved category in the BTO’s ‘Best Annual Bird Report’ competition. We are still incorporating new features and improvements and many sales are to non-members.

The club’s recording area contains some very diverse habitats including mill and market towns, river valleys, ancient woodlands, moorland, upland reservoirs, the iconic Pendle Hill and much of the Forest of Bowland AONB. Agriculture is mainly dairy and stock rearing in the valleys and sheep rearing on the uplands, with very little arable. Consequently the area does contain a wide variety of species.

Our most famous bird must be the Hen Harrier. The Forest of Bowland holds the vast majority of England’s breeding pairs which, unfortunately, is not saying a lot. Needless to say, the nesting sites are all well protected, but birds can be seen throughout the year.

Pendle Hill, being one of the most reliable sites in northern England to see Dotterel on spring migration, attracts birders from miles around in late April and early May. Our uplands are also home to such iconic species as Raven, Peregrine, Merlin and Ring Ouzel.

For more information about the club, its activities and officers, please visit our website www.eastlancsornithologists.org.uk Our website also features an online database where posted sightings are immediately visible to any visitors to the site. In addition to this, the system automatically sends an email informing those who register, whenever a sighting of a rare bird is posted. Observers can retrieve their own sightings at any time as an Excel file; the Club Recorder can download all sightings. It is a matter of some pride that all this was developed before the advent of BirdTrack. 

Are you a birdclub partner? Would you like to be featured here?

If so contact Ieuan Evans (ieuan.evans [at] bto.org)

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