Welcome to the Amersham Birdwatching Club Website
                      Welcome to the Amersham Birdwatching Club Website





A former Chairman, Cliff Robinson  who passed away in March 2015, did some  drawings of well known birds. Here are two to enjoy 

Meeting Report  Friday 17 Nov   Puffin Tales  ( Fratercula arctica )


 A thoroughly entertaining and informative evening with Dr Annete Fayet from Oxford University telling us of the many studies she has carried out on the movement of Puffins in the UK and Ireland area. We fould that they travel from our shores to  as far as North East Canada and down to the Mediterannean.  The results of many radio tracking and tagging experiments were illustrated with numerous graphs and comparisons of what our colourful friends get up to.  Her enthusiasm was infectious and the many illustrations and anecdotes kept us captivated.  More studies are to come and she promised to return with the latest news at a later date.... Not to be missed.  


Meeting Report Friday 21st October


The Farne Island Birds


A wonderful evening enjoying the sights in the area round the Farne isles with beautiful views of the local castles and views of Puffins and the many other sea birds living on the different islands. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Meeting Report:   Friday 19th February 2016 


Parus in the Spring..........and other Seasons




Ben Sheldon, the Luc Hoffman Professor Of  field ornithology Oxford University, gave an illustrated talk entitled "Wytham Woods 50 years on" 

Ben Sheldon captured our attention in no uncertain fashion with his enthusiastic presentation on the current and past studies of  Great Tit behaviour in the woods at Wytham, an area of approx  390ha ( c 500 premiership football pitches or about 270 Lords Cricket grounds if that's easier to visualise) situated to the West of Oxford. 
Wytham has a wealth of long term biological data, with bird data dating back for over sixty years, badger data for over thirty years and climate change data for the last eighteen years. Although the majority of the research activity is Oxford based, any organisation can utilise the site.
The woods were bequeathed to Oxford University in 1942 by the Ffennel family, after the death of their only daughter, Hazel. The University agreed to maintain the natural beauty of the Woods, to allow their continued use for education and research, and that the woods be enjoyed by the inhabitants of Oxford. Walking permits are available to anyone who wishes to apply.       http://www.wytham.ox.ac.uk/downloads/2016_permit_application_form.pdf
Many different studies are being carried out both at Wytham and at other places on bird behaviour , family size , climate effects , inter relationships etc etc and we were introduced to a few of them in greater depth. He  focussed on  the  studies which have been carried out showing that birds learn new foraging techniques by observing others in their social network, 'copycat' behaviour that can sustain foraging 'traditions' that last years, according to a study of how innovations spread and persist in wild Great Tits (Parus major).
The BBSRC-funded study involved experiments with eight local populations of great tits in Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire. In five of the populations two male birds were trained to slide a puzzle box door either to the left or to the right. In three control groups two males were captured but not trained. The birds were then released back into their original populations to act as 'innovators', together with puzzle boxes that revealed a tasty mealworm reward when opened from either side. Electronic tags on the birds recorded how the two box-opening methods spread in each of the local populations through social network links.  (For a fuller account of this go to http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/fundamental-bioscience/2014/141204-pr-birds-conform-to-local-traditions/)
Prof Sheldon has also recorded a short talk (10mins podcast) on the work at Wytham, which can be listened to at 
Other sites of interest linked to the talk and the topics are:-
(This site contains lots of good links to other sites )






Titchwell Hide

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