News archive

February 2017

Sunday, 26 February 2017

NEW --Voucher for free entry to a talk!

NEW --Voucher for free entry to a talk!

We are giving away a voucher for free entry to a Bromley RSPB Local Group talk. Download it below as a pdf file, print it, fill it in and bring it along to a meeting.

Download file

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Birdwatching and Marathon Training -- Combining Interests!

Birdwatching and Marathon Training -- Combining Interests!

Bird Watching and Marathon Training

At first it would seem unlikely that these two activities could be combined. After all, bird watching usually involves a lot of patient waiting around, while training for a marathon involves moving at relatively high speed with little time to take in the surrounding bird life. However, for bird watchers there is also the matter of being in the right place at the right time for a good spot, which can happen whatever speed you are travelling. Running also means covering a lot of ground and going through more places than you might otherwise reach on one bird watching walk.

Last year I got a ballot place in the London Marathon and did all the training until about 10 days before the event, only to be struck down by a nasty coughing virus which resulted in putting my back out too. Luckily I was able to defer the place to the April 2017 race, and I have now started training again. Each week this means three short or medium length runs, and a long run at weekends which gradually increases in length over the 16 weeks of training. Whatever the weather!

Bromley has plenty of green areas and it didn't take me long to discover which ones are good for running through. From my house in 'Bromley Common Village' as we like to call it, a short run can take me to Richmal Crompton Fields, Hollydale Open Space, Farnborough Park, or up Oakley Road which has fields with horses, woodland, and a fishing pond on one side.

Richmal Crompton fields, alongside Scrubs Farm has skylarks singing in spring (the earliest one I heard was in mid January one year), whitethroats and blackcaps in the hedgerows and trees, and often green woodpeckers foraging on the ground. We get redwing and fieldfare stripping the holly berries in winter, mistle thrushes churring, and once the sound of a cuckoo in May though of course I couldn't spot it.

Hollydale Open Space has a couple of lakes, mostly with mallard, moorhen and coots and occasionally mandarin duck, but I have not yet been there at the right time to see the kingfisher that I'm told lives there. Egyptian Geese have been spotted on the fishing pond at Oakley Road, and if I run in the early morning I sometimes hear song thrushes in the tall trees there.

Medium length runs can take me to Jubilee Park, Darrick Wood, Norman Park, Hayes Common or Sparrow Wood. I am always on the lookout for the elusive bullfinches in Jubilee Park, but more often hear and see bands of noisy parakeets flying around.

Sparrow Wood is frequented by many dog walkers but occasionally a wren will dart across in front of me, or I will see a band of tits swing by.

Darrick Wood resounds with the drumming of nuthatches or great spotted woodpeckers in the Spring, though I can't usually see them. Norman Park had little owls nesting last year in the adjacent allotments.

For the long runs I can get into Petts Wood with carpets of bluebells in Spring, or go through Badgers Mount by the golf club. The other direction can lead to Addington and Selsdon, and as far as Warlingham on the longest run of 21 miles which takes place about 4 weeks before the marathon itself. On those runs there really has to be more concentration on pacing and stamina than bird watching though.

Hopefully this time things will go better and I'll be able to complete the London Marathon in 2017!


Jane Tyler, Bromley RSPB Local Group

The image shows a great spotted woodpecker

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Don't forget you can now follow your Bromley local group on Facebook!

Don't forget you can now follow your Bromley local group on Facebook!

For the latest news and events, plus photos of recent trips, follow us on Facebook:


www.facebook.com/RSPBBromley

Saturday, 4 February 2017

REMINDER -- Local Group Talk -- Three Members' Talks -- Wed. 8th February 2017

REMINDER -- Local Group Talk -- Three Members' Talks -- Wed. 8th February 2017

There will be three short talks during the evening, Val Bryant on Iceland, Bob Francis on Western Canada, and David Linstead on the Farne Islands. How do our talents compare with the professionals? Could we beat them at their own game? You judge.

Location: United Reform Church Chapel, Widmore Road, Bromley North BR1 1RY (next to the Boots exit from the Glades shopping centre.)
Postcode: BR1 1RY

Time: 7.30 pm prompt start

Price: RSPB Members £3.50 Non RSPB Members £4.50