The Common Swift (Apus apus pekinensis) is a much-loved bird in China and has been synonymous with the Chinese capital since 1417 when it began to breed in the city’s gatehouses. For centuries these aerial masters would arrive each April and depart at the end of July but to where remained a mystery.
It has certainly been a busy and productive past 12 months for OSME. Over the last year we have seen the amount of money we have been able to provide projects through our Conservation Fund increase again, with another record breaking year. In 2016 we provided £14,000 to 7 projects, including our largest ever award to a single project of £5,000.
Amidst the strife and turmoil that we hear about daily in the Middle East, there are always glimmers of hope. The fate of wildlife is often forgotten amongst the horrors of war and the dreadful human tragedies, but the latest BirdLife Magazine shows there are inspiring stories.
The conservation work that OSME can support across the Middle East, The Caucasus and Central Asia is heavily reliant on the number of members that support us. The majority of funds raised from membership subscriptions is spent on the publication of our well-respected journal Sandgrouse and our Conservation & Research Fund.
More than 20 000 individuals of the Endangered White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) were recently recorded whilst on migration at the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn lake system in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan. This number of birds exceeds all the previous historical records and is greater than the existing global population estimate.
I recently blogged about how amazing Batumi can be for migrating raptors – The Serengeti of the Skies. Unfortunately, there is a less amazing side to Batumi, and it involves the illegal killing of birds. In 2015, OSME were pleased to support a project by the Batumi Raptor Count that aimed to assess the species (mainly raptors) and the numbers being killed. More than 200 individuals were observed being killed from the monitoring point at Sakhalvasho, and during standardised body counts, the remains of 445 were located.
Visitors can now buy books direct from NHBS, using the link below. OSME will receive a percentage from each sale. Thanks for supporting OSME.
OSME Email Group
OSMEBirdNet is an email discussion group covering birds and bird news in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Join now and join in with this friendly and informative email group. To join send an empty email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
OSME Region Map
The map above shows the region and countries covered by OSME
Sandgrouse is published by OSME contains papers and short notes on the ornithology of the OSME region, provides bird and conservation news from the region and a comprehensive round up of bird sightings in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.