Clee Hill Bird Group

The Clee Hill bird group was established in February 2012 by Leo Smith with the initial aim of surveying the local area for lapwing, curlew and other target bird species. Such surveys have been completed each year since (see full reports below), and the group will be repeating the same survey again each year in the foreseeable future. The bird group will also develop other activities and events as members wish.

Curlew and Lapwing Surveying

Curlew in flight

Lapwing and Curlew are declining rapidly, in the Clee Hill area and elsewhere. The Bird Group set out to find out how many are left here. We also looked for another 19 target species. Most of these birds are easy to recognise, so volunteers needed interest and enthusiasm rather than expertise. They were asked to visit an Ordnance Survey map square three times between the end of March and mid June, for around three hours each visit. Survey maps and instructions were provided, and some joined us on an outdoor practical training session before the start.

Lapwing and Curlew survey 2012

The survey went very well, in spite of the weather. Altogether, 20 people participated, and contributed over 200 hours to survey work. All except two of the 20 survey squares were covered. Two feedback meetings were held, to present and discuss the results, and iron out any difficulties. An estimated 6-7 breeding pairs of Curlew, 3 pairs of Lapwing, and all except 4 of the other target species were found. The results are very important: they will help the conservation of these birds, so members are making a valuable contribution to local wildlife.

  • A full detailed report on this survey compiled by Leo Smith is available in pdf format here.
  • A shorter version of the report is included within the Clee Hill Community Wildlife Group 2012 Annual Report.

Lapwing and Curlew survey 2013-2015

The survey has been repeated each year since, with good levels of participation by local people, and increasing knowledge of the population and distribution of the main target species. The 2016 Report shows that no Lapwing were found in the area, and the Curlew population has declined by 4 pairs (31%) since 2012. This result needs checking, so the Lapwing and Curlew Survey will be repeated in 2017.

  • Full detailed reports on the 2013, 2014 and 2015 surveys compiled by Leo Smith are available here: 

2013 Report         2014 Report         2015 Report         2016 Report



Arrangements, and plans for other activities, will be made at the next Group meeting at the Recreation Rooms, Clee Hill High St (next to the supermarket) at 7.30pm on Monday 27 March 2017.

Everyone interested in birds is welcome at all meetings and events. A programme will be published after the meeting, and posted on this website.

Anyone who wishes to take part should contact Leo Smith. We need more helpers so please get involved if you can.

Barn Owls


Barn Owl

For more information on helping local barn owls and getting involved in a nest box scheme please view this document. Please let us know about any local sightings of barn owls; contact Chris Bargman: 01299 270514, email:



Page updated: 25/02/2017 by AJA(LS)