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About Us

Blackburn Bird Club was formed in the spring of 1991 to promote interest in and the conservation of the birds of Blackburn and the surrounding area, and their habitats. The Club exists for members to learn about and enjoy watching birds. We provide an atmosphere for fellow bird lovers to come together to learn about birds and to share their knowledge.

 

The Club holds indoor meetings with excellent photographic presentations from October till April and field meetings to local birdwatching sites from October till May. The Club produces a Bird Report annually of the records of birds received for our area, members are encouraged to submit their records. A Garden Birdwatch is held every January. For more information on Club activities explore the site and check us out on Facebook. For more information on membership see our Benefits of Membership page. Also check out the Club's history below.

Brambling by Carol Brown.

History of Blackburn Bird Club

Blackburn Bird Club was founded in the spring of 1991 by the late Dan Crowley. Dan was Chairman of the Club from 1991 to 1999, his inspiration and enthusiasm was largely responsible for the Club's existence and success. The Chairman along with an elected committee set up the Club for members with an interest in birds, their habitats and their conservation. The committee run the Club for its members, committee contacts can be found on our Contact Us page.

The Club met for the first time on 13th May 1991 at St Silas' Church Hall on Preston New Road, Blackburn for the showing of an RSPB video 'The Secret Reeds' set at Leighton Moss, the Club set up a regular programme of indoor meetings where guest speakers would give a presentation on a bird related subject. From the beginning the Club set up field meetings for members to come and learn about birds. Weekends away were regularly organised, the first being to Dumfries in November 1991. Other early weekends away included to Holkham, Norfolk in November 1993 where in the snow members witnessed a Sparrowhawk chasing Snow Buntings in a snow storm! The Club also put on trips to Anglesey, and more recently World's End in north Wales in March 2015 and WWT Caerlaverock in November 2016.

Grey Heron in Corporation Park by Jonathan Fry.

The Club has a history of carrying out bird surveys and contributing to bird conservation, members have in the past taken part in surveys of nesting Rooks and Herons for the British Trust for Ornithology. In 1997 10 members conducted bird surveys as part of an atlas of breeding birds in Lancashire. Wetland Bird Surveys (WeBS), Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) and Heronries surveys are carried out by members of the Club every year. The Club has also run its own Garden Birdwatch since 1998. Some years ago the Club managed a small bird reserve in the Balderstone area, members planted wildflowers, put up nest boxes and set up a feeding station for local birds.

Barn Owl by Brian Rafferty.

From 1992 to 2001 the Club was involved in a Barn Owl nest scheme in the Balderstone area. Orphaned owl chicks were brought down from Muncaster Castle where the World Owl Trust ran a Barn Owl Breeding Programme. The orphaned owl chicks were placed in a box in a barn and fed every night on day old chicks, once the owls fledged they continued to be fed until they could fend for themselves. In total 25 owl chicks successfully fledged as part of the scheme, contributing to the health of the Barn Owl population in the area. Although Defra ended release schemes such as this in 2002 the Club put up a Barn Owl box on local farmland in 2010, in 2016 the box was occupied and the pair raised 2 chicks! Barn Owls are now regularly sighted within the area, thanks most certainly in part to this scheme and the efforts of the members involved. Due to the Clubs past involvement with Barn Owls in 2017 the Club took the decision to change its logo to a Barn Owl. This new logo was painted and designed by Simeon Fry. The painting is based on a Barn Owl photograph kindly provided with permission from Pauline Mellor-Greenhalgh. The new logo can be seen at the top and bottom of every page on this site.

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