Important OSME dates for your diary

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The first month of 2015 has already passed and this year is turning out to be a busy one for OSME. The first deadline for applications for the Conservation and Research Fund has passed and there will be two more this year, on the 31st May and 30th September. We are hoping that 2015 will be a record breaking year regarding the amount of money that we provide for conservation and research projects throughout the OSME region. We're particularly excited to be supporting a project with the BirdLife Middle East office, which will be revealed very soon.

We are delighted to announce that our Summer Meeting and AGM will once again be held at the BTO Head Office, The Nunnery in Thetford. OSME are grateful for the continued support of the BTO (http://www.bto.org) in providing us the use of the excellent facilities, not just for the Summer Meeting, but also for our Council meeting that is held on the following day. This year's Summer Meeting will be held on Saturday the 4th July, and the theme of the talks will be "addressing illegal bird killing across the OSME region." The list of speakers is currently being finalised and the full programme will be available soon.  

Probably the most important event in the birdwatcher's calendar is the British Birdwatching Fair (http://www.birdfair.org.uk/) held every year at Rutland Water. This year the Birdfair will be held on the 21st - 23rd August, and of course OSME will have a stand at the event. This is a great opportunity to catch up with lots of OSME members and of course to meet some new ones too! If you are planning a visit to the Birdfair then please do come and say hello and pick up your copy of Sandgrouse.

Finally, OSME Council is particularly excited to announce that we will be holding a joint meeting with the British Ornithologists' Club and the Natural History Museum on the 21st November, to be held in the Flett Theatre, Natural History Museum, South Kensington. We will be finalising the list of speakers in the coming months and further details will be available by June.

We're looking forward to an exciting 2015 for birds and their conservation throughout the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. Thanks for your continued support, and we look forward to welcoming you to one of the events mentioned above.

Rob Sheldon,

Chairman, OSME