OOS Bibliography

Annual Report

Although the Society was not formed until 1921 the first Annual Report covered the period from 1915 to 1922 thanks to the records of O.V. Aplin. The early reports had a plain cover until 1946 when a Stone Curlew was added. Two wood blocks of Stone Curlew were produced for the Society by Charles Tunnicliffe. The Stone Curlew motive was used until 1991 as a logo as well as for the Annual Report cover. The wood blocks are now deposited in the Alexander Library and were shown in an exhibition by the Charles Tunnicliffe Society.

Black and white drawings of various birds replaced the Stone Curlew and in 1995 a coloured painting of a Long Tailed Skua was used. 1997 saw the introduction of black and white photographs and in 2011 colour photographs for the cover were introduced.

Black and white vignettes were used in the Annual Report from quite early times. The 1945 Report, under the editorship of Bernard Tucker, features a full page black and white photograph of a Hobby and young taken by H.N.Southern. This was at a time when Bernard Tucker was fighting Witherby’s to include photograph in British Birds. Perhaps the success of this photograph helped to influence Witherby’s. The 1946 Report also features a full page photograph by H.N.Southern, this time of Mallard and a drake Pintail at Boarstall Decoy. Further photographs were included until 1950 when a full page Photograph of Bernard Tucker was included with his obituary. In 1998 black and white photographs were used for the first time and in 2002 a centre spread of colour photographs was added.

Originally the Annual Report covered Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire with members sending their observations directly to the editor. Later the Middle Thames Natural History Society, Reading Ornithological Society, and Newbury and District Field Club became the conduits for records from their respective areas, and later still the Banbury Ornithological Society. In 1955 Buckinghamshire was by agreement omitted from the Annual Report. With the local government reorganisation of 1974 north-west Berkshire was transferred to Oxfordshire and much of the River Thames, which had been the county boundary and a reason for Berkshire remaining in the Annual Report, was negated. From 1974 the Annual Report covered just the new County of Oxfordshire, which now comprised of Vice county 23 and part of vc22.

Today the Annual Report continues to follow quite closely the format of the earliest reports which must be a tribute to the careful thinking of Bernard Tucker, Francis Jourdain and the early members.

Newsletter and Bulletin

Not all of the Society undergraduate members read zoology, and it was three students, Andrew Manley (geography), Adrian Parr (chemistry) and David Goodall (medicine) that started the newsletter in 1970.

At first it was a cyclostyled foolscap-sized publication produced three or four times a year. It contained reports, articles and interesting sighting of birds. By the end of 1990 it had become a monthly publication with the exception of August, when it was replaced with the present day bulletin. The bulletin is A5 in size and is now printed with many photographs.

The Society’s publications mirror the changes in printing from typesetting through to the latest computer-based methods. The advent of digital cameras and compact telescopes has led to the availability of excellent colour pictures taken by members, an advance on the plate, film and slide camera of old. The computerisation of records has led to the rapid transference of data, and the Banbury Ornithological Society has been a leader in this.

Other Publications

In 1947 the Society published A Revised List of the Birds of Oxfordshire by W.B. Alexander and a companion volume An Annotated list of the Birds of Berkshire in 1952, also by W.B. Alexander.

Planning started in 1984 for the production of an atlas of Oxfordshire birds with Andrew Heryett acting as co-ordinator. After a period of intensive fieldwork recording on a tetrad basis The Birds of Oxfordshire, edited by J.W. Brucker, Dr A.G. Gosler and A. Heryett was published by Pisces Publications in 1992. The atlas includes tetrad distribution maps and species accounts.

Oxford Ornithological Society 80th AnniversaryAnniversary by John Brucker, sub-titled ‘The Oldest Birdwatching Club in Britain’, was written to be presented to those members of OOS who attended the 80th Anniversary celebration at Farmoor in September 2001. The booklet contained a short history of the OOS and précis biographies of some of the birding luminaries who were OOS founders and members.

100 Years of the Oxford Ornithological Society (published in 2023) was the publication that marked the centenary of the Society. It was produced with specially commissioned articles and was combined with the 2021 Annual Report.

In recent years, thanks to the initiative of David Hawkins and John Brucker, a series of patchwork reports have been published by the society each describing the birds of an area of ornithological interest. To date the following have been produced:

  • The Birds of Witney Lakes 1994-1996 by Simon O’Sullivan, published by Simon with profits from sales to the OOS
  • The Birds of North Leigh Common by David Hawkins 2003
  • The Birds of Shotover by Toni Whitehead, Ivan Wright and Andrew Gosler, was published in 2003 by the OOS on behalf of Shotover Wildlife.
  • The Birds of Shipton Quarry by John Brucker 2004
  • The Birds of Green Lane and Sanson’s Lane by Robert Pomfret 2004
  • The Birds of Shellingford Pit by M and G Taylor 2005
  • The Birds of Chilswell Valley by Clive Briffett 2007
  • The Birds of Burford Priory and Surrounds by Bro. Anthony Hare 2009
  • The Birds of Rushy Common By John Melling 2017
  • The Birds of Standlake Common by John Melling 2017
  • The Birds of Dix Pit by John Melling 2017
  • The Birds of Cassington Gravel Pits by Terry Godfrey
  • The Birds of Port Meadow by Adam Hartley
  • The Birds of Farmoor Reservoir by Ewan Urquhart
  • The Birds of Otmoor by Peter Barker

Although not published by the Society a number of books and articles about the Birds of Oxfordshire exist, notably, Natural History of Oxfordshire by Robert Plot 1677, Birds of Oxfordshire by O.V. Aplin 1889, Birds of the Oxford District by F.R.C. Jourdain in The Natural History of the Oxford District, presented to the British Association 1926. Birds of Berkshire and Oxfordshire by Dr Mary Radford was published by Longmans in 1966.