50th Anniversary Dinner held at Bristol Zoo, 23 February

A fine tribute to a wonderful club, I arrived early to help set up the table flowers with Phyl Dykes, a long standing member and one of the many unsung heroines of the BOC. The roosting calls of the adjacent Flamingos in the lagoon outside presented a perfect backdrop to the venue. A quick chat with Dr Mark Avery provided a taster of the brilliant and witty talk that followed later. There was news from Chairman Ken that not only had the Avon Gorge Peregrines mated, but former Chairman Ed and Liz were also successfully raising young, future club member Freddie Drewitt. A memorable meal followed with fine wine and good company. A fabulous evening: may the BOC in the words of Mr Spock “Live long and prosper”. Rob Miles

The evening was animal themed, not only birds but carpet, walls, doors and animal models including a large crocodile! We were greeted with a quiz which continued through the evening and proved challenging! Oliver Smart awarded a stunning model of a Pied-billed Grebe (the club’s logo) to Rich Scantlebury for best bird photo, a peregrine falcon in flight. As we sat for the excellent dinner, Judy Copeland received a big bunch of flowers for her unstinting time as membership secretary (46 years not out!). These were presented to her by Dr. Mark Avery, who then gave an excellent speech after the meal. He reminded us that he was a Bristolian born and bred, and a previous member of the BOC. A job with the RSPB (including 13 years as its Conservation Director) laid the ground for a subsequent career as a freelance journalist, author and conservation activist, particularly against driven grouse shooting, which is the subject of his book “Inglorious”. He helped to set up the Hen Harrier action group. We were enthralled by his enthusiastic and humorous talk. The evening was a very successful and enjoyable occasion, and a fitting finale to the celebrations! Sue and Andy Black