West Midland Bird Club

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West Midland Bird Club
Founded 1 November 1929 (1929-11-01)
Founder Horace Alexander
Type Registered charity
Focus Ornithology
Area served
Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire & West Midlands, England
Key people
Bill Oddie (President)
Website westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk
Formerly called
Birmingham Bird Club

The West Midland Bird Club is the UK's largest regional ornithological society. It has been serving birdwatchers and ornithologists in the four English counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and (since its separation from the aforesaid counties in 1974) the Metropolitan West Midlands, with lectures, field trips, research, a bulletin and an annual report, since 1929. It is a registered charity in England and Wales, number 213311.[1]

There are branches in Birmingham, Kidderminster, Stafford, Solihull and Tamworth.

It manages the Belvide Reservoir nature reserve in Staffordshire, the Harborne Reserve in Birmingham, and the Ladywalk Reserve in North Warwickshire, as well as running an access-permit scheme for Blithfield Reservoir and Gailey Reservoir in Staffordshire. The Club sponsors bird feeding stations at Cannock Chase (Staffordshire) and Draycote Water (Warwickshire).

Bill Oddie has been the Club's president since 1999.


The Club was founded as the Birmingham Bird Club, by W. E. Groves and friends on 1 November 1929.[2] The name changed to Birmingham and District Bird Club in 1945, to The Birmingham and West Midland Bird Club in 1947, and the current name was adopted in 1959.[2]

It co-founded and still helps to manage the Bardsey Bird and Field Observatory and was instrumental in securing Brandon Marsh as a nature reserve.[3]

A successful West Midland Bird Distribution Survey, published privately in 1951,[4] led to the club publishing the world's first bird atlas,[5] the Atlas of breeding birds of the West Midlands, in 1970.[6]

Until 2010, the Club operated an information centre at Kingsbury Water Park (Warwickshire).


Bill Oddie has been the Club's president since 1999. His first published article on birds appeared in the Club's 1962 Annual Report.[7] He is first credited in the 1956 report, in which reports of his bird observations are tagged with his initials "WEO".[8]

He discussed his membership of the Club in one of his first forays in the world of television natural history, as the subject of a Nature Watch Special: Bill Oddie - Bird Watcher, in which he was interviewed by Julian Pettifer, at Bartley Reservoir and the Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve.[8]

Notable members[edit]

Past and present



  1. ^ Charity Commission. West Midland Bird Club, registered charity no. 213311. 
  2. ^ a b "Chronology". West Midland Bird Club. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, its Beginnings". Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Archived from the original on 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  4. ^ Norris, C A (1951). West Midland Bird Distribution Survey. West Midland Bird Club. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012.  (published for private circulation)
  5. ^ Donald, Paul F.; Fuller, Robert J. (1998). "Ornithological atlas data: a review of uses and limitations". Bird Study. 45: 129–145. doi:10.1080/00063659809461086. 
  6. ^ Lord, John; Munns, Dennis Johnstone; Beck, T. K; Richards, A. J (1970). Atlas of breeding birds of the West Midlands. London: Published for the West Midland Bird Club (by) Collins,. pp. 3–276p(chiefly illus, form, maps) ; 20cm. ISBN 0-00-211040-7. Archived from the original on 26 July 2002. 
  7. ^ Oddie, W.E. (July 1963). "Birds in the Bartley Reservoir Area, 1931-1962 (Part I)". The West Midland Bird Report, 1962. Birmingham: West Midland Bird Club. 29. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  8. ^ a b "Nature Watch Special: Bill Oddie - Bird Watcher". 1985-07-30. ITV Central.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  9. ^ Norris, C.A. (September 1960). "The Breeding Distribution of Thirty Bird Species in 1952". Bird Study. 7 (3): 129–184. doi:10.1080/00063656009475969. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 

External links[edit]