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About Us

Established in 1946 to help and encourage members serving in the RN, RM and WRNS, in the observation and study of birds at sea, the RNBWS has widened its membership to include all those interested in bird watching and who share a common background – the sea itself. Membership (including many from overseas averages 250, including offshore oil industry, passengers on cruise liners and yachtsmen. Reports received cover most sea areas of the world.

About seven tenths of the world’s surface is covered with salt water, which provides the environment for nearly 300 species of seabirds, and across which many more species of land bird travel during their annual migrations. These frequently take refuge on board ships, especially during bad weather,. The problems of their identification and analysis of their seasonal distribution and migration routes,  are challenges providing a fascinating hobby for the seafarer, and such observations can be of unique importance to the serious ornithologist and conservationist.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, OM

Vice-Admiral Sir David Dobson, KBE

Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster E-mail

Vice Chairmen
Stephen Chapman MN E-mail

General Secretary
Warrant Officer Steve Copsey Royal Navy E-mail

Honorary Treasurer
Warrant Officer Tony Tindale Royal Navy E-mail

David Dobson E-mail

Committee Members
Lieutenant Steve Jones RN

Web Master & Field Trips Officer
CPO (RNR) Mark Cutts E-mail


 Established in 1946 to help and encourage the study of
birds amongst members with special reference to bird watching at sea.

The Society administers a fund left by the late Captain David Simpson, MN for a scholarship in his name.  A budget for research grants and conservation work is set each year at the annual meeting.  Researchers are encouraged to apply for grant funding in support of scientific seabird studies with clear aims and objectives.

Contact the General Secretary E-mail for details.


Where no e-mail exists Officers and Representatives may be contacted via the Secretary, Cdr Stuart Lawrence RN, 86 TitchfieldRoad, Stubbington, Fareham, Hants UK PO14 2JE

Hon Member and Adviser RNBWS: Dr Russell Wynn, Research Fellow, Southampton Oceanographic Centre email

Seabird Records: Capt Stephen Chapman MN e-mail

Landbird Records: Lt Chris Patrick Royal Navy e-mail



ARABIAN GULF: Commander Chris Moorey RN

AUSTRALIA: Capt Neil Cheshire MN

BRAZIL:  Caio J Carlos

CYPRUS: Mr Colin Richardson

FALKLANDS: Mr Ian Strange
also  Allan Henry – Website: Birding in the Falkland Islands Blog

GIBRALTAR:  Dr Keith Bensusan – Website: GONHS

HONG KONG:  Mr Geoff Welch

INDIA:  Mr Praveen J.

ITALY: Mr Mark Walters

MADEIRA : Dr Francis Zino

ROMANIA: Mr Gabriel Banica

SEYCHELLES: Mr Adrian Skerrett or

UK-DARTMOUTH: Dr Richard Porter

UK-HUMBER Area: Mr Bill Curtis

UK-PORTLAND: Mr Martin Cade – Website: Portland Bird Observatory


USA: Dr Robert G Wolk

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