BOC Book

Birding in the Bristol Region: A Celebration (published February 2017)

The BOC has celebrated its 50th anniversary by publishing a 96 page book, professionally printed and featuring many colour photographs. It includes:
  • an account of how the Club was founded
  • '50 Birds of Avon' - a page for each one, chosen by a cross-section of the membership 
  • '50 Years of change' - a survey of the changes to local bird populations over the past half century

The book costs £12.00 inc p&p. It can be obtained from:-

  • The London Camera Exchange at Chew Picnic Site 1 by the dam 
  • William Earp, 4 Pitchcombe Gardens, Coombe Dingle, Bristol, BS9 2RH. Please make cheques payable to 'BOC' 
  • The book is free to new members. £18 to join the club
Mark Avery's review of the book can be read here -

A note from the editor, William Earp

The Committee first started discussing how to mark our 50th Anniversary around two years ago. My feeling then was that we might do something in addition to the obvious and essential ways, such as a Dinner, of marking the occasion. Much of this project was originally conceived to appear on the Club’s website (in the hope of generating some extra footfall there) but my fellow Committee members soon felt that we could be more ambitious in our aim and also offer something more tangible and permanent.
I wanted very much to get a cross-section of contributors reflecting every level of expertise amongst the membership, and it is gratifying to have done so. ‘50 Birds of Avon’, in particular, is a communal, heart-warming effort. It has been a privilege to encounter such enthusiasm, knowledge and willingness to share experiences, in many cases acquired over a lifetime. It’s also been inspiring to have had so much help from several veterans of the local birding scene: Robin Prytherch and Richard Bland in particular have lent distinction to the result.
A word about the photographs: it’s been wonderful to have been able to include so many from contributors to ‘50 Birds of Avon’ but inevitably there were a lot of gaps to be filled and a suitable cover to be found. These days we are used to seeing many jaw-dropping images, but the first time I saw Pete Blanchard’s cover image of one of the Avon Gorge Peregrines, it stopped me in my tracks. Pete has also allowed us the use of some other photos from his exceptional portfolio and I urge you to take a look at his website.
Gary Thoburn’s work will also be known to many. If you visit his website at you will see an astonishing display of photos from Gary’s travels all over the world, beautifully presented and documented. Loyal members Rob Miles and Alan Gilbert have also played an essential supporting role by filling the remaining spaces. We are indebted to all four of them.
Our printers, Norwich-based Swallowprint, are one of the market leaders in this field they also print British Birds. They have been crucial in enabling us to realise our ideas for this book.
Assembling this material has made me aware that our Club has a distinguished history. We draw our members from a relatively small area; even when it existed, Avon was not a large county. Bird News itself is a remarkable effort. We believe we may be possibly the only bird club in the land to have been able to maintain a continuous monthly bulletin. This is a moment to feel proud of what has been achieved so far.

NB. The Pied-billed Grebe became a symbol for the BOC as the first UK bird was found at Blagdon in 1963