Events

The RSPB Central London Local Group welcomes both members and non-members to all our events.

Our indoor meetings bring you a variety of professional speakers who give illustrated talks on birding, conservation and general natural history. Come along and learn about new destinations, add to your understanding of how the natural world works, keep up to date with Group news and have a chance to book coach trips.
These evening meetings are held at 6.45pm in St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, SW1X 0BD (nearest tube stations: Knightsbridge, Sloane Square or South Kensington).
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available from 6.15pm and the meeting usually finishes about 8.30pm.
There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSPB members & RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & students (NUS). . On the two social evenings there is a small extra charge to cover refreshments. If you are a regular, you may purchase a season ticket covering all evening meetings (excluding refreshments) for £28 (RSPB members).

We have two types of field trips, one where you meet at the designated station/reserve and coach trips. These trips give you a chance to go to places you might not otherwise get to see and share the experience with like minded people giving you the chance to gain knowledge and spot more birds! Usually a field trip involves a gentle walk of no more than three or four miles. Remember to bring your binoculars and layers of warm and waterproof clothing, stout waterproof footwear and a packed lunch for whole day excursions.
Coach trips start from near the riverside entrance of Embankment underground station. Embankment is on the District, Circle, Bakerloo and Northern lines and just a short walk from Charing Cross Mainline Station. Coaches leave promptly at the advertised time (usually 8.00am) and return in the early evening the same day.
Booking is advisable for coach trips and the charge is £20 for paid-up Central London Local RSPB Group members or £22 for non Group members. Booking opens in July for trips up to the end of February and January for trips from March onwards. Some reserves charge admission and you will need your RSBP membership card for entrance to any RSBP reserves.
To book or for information please contact the Booking Secretary, James Aylward on 07974 351548, email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com or book at an indoor meeting.

Our indoor meetings and field trips are listed below.

October 2019

Sat
12

Coach trip to RSPB Pagham Harbour, West Sussex

Location: Coach trip outings leave from bus stop 40B on the Embankment, which is adjacent to Embankment Tube. Leave the tube by the riverside exit, turn left along the pavement. The coach stop is about 50 metres along, just past the public toilets. The coach leaves promptly at 8am - aim to arrive at 7:45am to allow time to board.

Pagham Harbour is a glorious and peaceful nature reserve, one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex coast. This sheltered inlet is an internationally important wetland site for wildlife. Watch black-tailed godwits and little egrets by day, then linger when skies are clear for an amazing sunset.

Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve is one of the best places for wildlife in the UK, covering approximately 600 hectares and has LNR, SSSI, SAM, MCZ, RAMSAR and SPA status. The reserve also has a rich historical heritage and hides a number of visual hints to its fascinating past, including medieval forts and Selsey Tram embankment.

Roughly half of the reserve is intertidal saltmarsh and mudflats, with the remainder of the reserve consisting of farmland, copses, lagoons, reedbeds and shingle beaches.

- Saltmarsh and mudflats: The intertidal area supports a vast number of invertebrates including ragworms, snails, shrimps and crabs which in turn form the staple diet of many wading birds that are attracted to the site in their droves. Specialist plants able to cope with the tidal influx also provide food for ducks, geese and finches.

- Grassland and farmland: Farmland consisting mainly of permanent grass provides valuable feeding for waders at high tide and grazing for winter ducks and geese. Hedgerow and scrub offer cover, food and nest sites, while set-aside is used by ground-nesters.

- Shingle and vegetated shingle: Breeding shorebirds, in particular little terns and ringed plovers, make shallow scrapes on the shingle spits and islands. Vegetated shingle also provides a home for yellow-horned poppy, sea kale and nationally scarce childing pink, which can only be found on two sites along the whole of the south coast.

Reedbed and lagoons: A mix of reedbed and fresh, salt and saline lagoons attracts a variety of birds, animals and insects.

Bird species we hope to see at Pagham include:

- Black-tailed godwit:these elegant, long-billed waders can be seen here in spring, autumn and winter. Look out for their striking black and white wingbars as they take flight.

- Brent goose: flocks of brent geese come to feed on the fields and saltmarsh in winter. They can be seen in good numbers here from October and linger well into the spring to make sure their Arctic breeding grounds have thawed out.

- Little egret: these dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year here. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

- Pintail: these ducks flock here in autumn and winter. Look out for the elegant males and their long tails.

Facillities: Visitor Centre, café, shop, toilets, hides. Free entry (donation requested from non-RSPB members).

We are a RSPB members group who run coach trips to good birding sites most months. All are welcome to join us, from expert birders to complete beginners - if you are new to birding one of our more experienced members will show you whatever is around and provide explanations where necessary. Don't worry if you don't own a pair of binoculars - we can lend you a pair for the day if you let us know in advance. Dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Paid up Central London Local Group members £20.00, non-members £22.00.

Booking essential. For further information contact James Aylward on 07974 351548, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com.

Time: 7.45 am

Price: £22 (Central London Local Group members £20)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

Sat
26

Come on a day trip to the RSPB's brilliant Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve

Location: RSPB's Rainham Marshes reserve, Purfleet, Essex
Postcode: RM19 1SZ (Google map)

Rainham Marshes protects 411 hectares of ancient, low-lying grazing marsh in the Thames Estuary. Its complex of wet grassland and ditches, together with grassland and scrub, supports many breeding and wintering birds. Wildlife also includes scarce wetland plants and insects, and a key population of the nationally declining water vole. We are likely to see at least 40 species, including Marsh harrier, Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew, Snipe, Wigeon, Teal, Tufted duck, Shoveler and Cetti's warbler.

Meet at Fenchurch Street Station at 9.30 am to get the train to Purfleet. (Check train times nearer the day.) From there it is a pleasant 15 minute walk along the river. Or, feel free to meet us in the Reserve's Visitor Centre at 10:30am.

There is a visitor centre with shop, café and toilets. Anyone coming by car or bike can meet us in the centre's cafe area at 10:30am (please let us know if you intend to meet us at the Centre, so we know to look out for you!)

We'll probably have lunch in one of the hides, so you may like to bring a packed lunch. We expect to finish at the reserve at about 14.30, depending on the weather etc.

Click here for reserve information www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/rainham-marshes/

Leader: James Aylward

Cost: Reserve Entry £6 for non-RSPB members.

Time: Meet at Fenchurch Street at 9.30 am or in reserve cafe at 10.30 am

Price: For non-members of RSPB there's a £6 entrance fee

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

November 2019

Sat
2

Coach trip to Abberton Reservoir, Essex

Location: Coach trip outings leave from bus stop 40B on the Embankment, which is adjacent to Embankment Tube. Leave the tube by the riverside exit, turn left along the pavement. The coach stop is about 50 metres along, just past the public toilets. The coach leaves promptly at 8am - aim to arrive at 7:45am to allow time to board.

Managed by Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT), the huge expanse of Essex & Suffolk Water's Abberton Reservoir is one of Europe's top wetland sites. It is of international importance as a safe haven for wild ducks, swans and other water birds, whether resident, passing through on migration or over-wintering. It lies close to east-coast migration routes and, with its surrounding envelope of pasture and tree plantations, is a welcome sight to tired birds. Up to 40,000 ducks, swans and geese visit each year. The top seven species are Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot and Black-headed Gull and they cannot fail to impress. Added to this there can be hundreds of Shoveler, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Pintail and Great Crested Grebe.

Visitor Centre, shop, toilets, hides. Non-EWT members £2 (donation).

We are a RSPB members group who run coach trips to good birding sites most months. All are welcome to join us, from expert birders to complete beginners - if you are new to birding one of our more experienced members will show you whatever is around and provide explanations where necessary. Don't worry if you don't own a pair of binoculars - we can lend you a pair for the day if you let us know in advance. Dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Paid up Central London Local Group members £20.00, non-members £22.00.

Booking essential. For further information contact James Aylward on 07974 351548, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com.

Time: 7.45 am

Price: £22 (Central London Local Group members £20)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

Sat
9

Come on a Birdwatching Trip to Oare Marshes, Kent

Location: Oare Marshes bird reserve

Oare Marshes is one of the best bird reserves in Kent. It's located near Faversham, and consists of 89 hectares of grazing marsh with freshwater dykes, open water scrapes, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall. Species that we'll be looking out for include:

WADERS such as avocets, grey and golden plovers, black & bar-tailed godwits, and wood and curlew sandpipers;
WILDFOWL including brent geese, wigeon, pintail, and teal; and
OTHER BIRDS various other species such as rock pipit, Marsh harrier, peregrine falcon, bearded tit, and little owl.

You can meet up with others in the group either at London Victoria, at the ticket barrier, or at Faversham railway station, where we disembark. We'll catch the first train after 9.00 am (check times nearer the day). From Faversham train station we'll take the bus or shared taxis to the Oare marshes reserve, which is 3 miles away.

There are toilets at Faversham, but not at the reserve. Bring your lunch.

There's no fee - you'll just have to cover your transport costs

Leader: Andrew Peel

Time: 9am (London Victoria station) to 5pm

Price: Only your transport costs

E-mail: andrewpeel50@yahoo.co.uk

December 2019

Sat
7

Coach trip to RSPB Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk

Location: Coach trip outings leave from bus stop 40B on the Embankment, which is adjacent to Embankment Tube. Leave the tube by the riverside exit, turn left along the pavement. The coach stop is about 50 metres along, just past the public toilets. The coach leaves promptly at 8am - aim to arrive at 7:45am to allow time to board.

Located on the north coast of Norfolk, between the villages of Titchwell and Thornham, Titchwell Marsh is blessed with diverse habitats that include reedbeds, saltmarsh and freshwater lagoons where avocets, bearded tits and marsh harriers nest. There's also a wide sandy beach here, which offers extensive views across The Wash.

Titchwell is renowned for its wading birds, wildfowl and geese. These gather in significant numbers from mid autumn onwards. During autumn, marsh harriers can be seen soaring low over reedbeds as the light falls. Avocets, the RSPB emblem bird, can be seen on the fresh marsh all year round.

In summer, the reedbeds are home to breeding bitterns, bearded tits and harriers. Freshmarsh lagoons are a motorway service station for migrating wading birds and wildfowl. Land, once farmed, has been reclaimed by the sea to form saltmarsh which is home to little egrets, water pipits and Chinese water deer.

Once part of Norfolk's sea defences, it is now home to resident and migrant seabirds and a plethora of marine life.

An easy walk leads from the car park through woodland glades to the Visitor Centre and Cafe. From here, the West Bank path opens up to wild landscapes of saltmarsh, reedbeds and freshwater lagoons fed by a natural spring and on to Titchwell's vast and undeveloped beach. The East Trail lends itself to quiet contemplation with outlooks across quiet pools full of wildlife. Secluded seating set amidst vistas of wildflowers and yellow gorse affords views of raptors scoping reedbeds and marsh for prey.

Remnants of a prehistoric age and a time when the Norfolk coast formed part of Britain's sea defences can be seen sporadically across the reserve and form the boundary of Titchwell's seascape.

We are a RSPB members group who run coach trips to good birding sites most months. All are welcome to join us, from expert birders to complete beginners - if you are new to birding one of our more experienced members will show you whatever is around and provide explanations where necessary. Don't worry if you don't own a pair of binoculars - we can lend you a pair for the day if you let us know in advance. Dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Paid up Central London Local Group members £20.00, non-members £22.00.

Booking essential. For further information contact James Aylward on 07974 351548, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com.

Time: 7.45 am

Price: £22 (Central London Local Group members £20)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

January 2020

Sat
25

Coach trip to Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve, Hampshire

Location: Coach trip outings leave from bus stop 40B on the Embankment, which is adjacent to Embankment Tube. Leave the tube by the riverside exit, turn left along the pavement. The coach stop is about 50 metres along, just past the public toilets. The coach leaves promptly at 8am - aim to arrive at 7:45am to allow time to board.

Hook with Warsash Local Nature Reserve is a varied coastal habitats of shingle, grassland, wetland and woodland at the mouth of the River Hamble. The Reserve covers 500 acres divided by the village of Warsash.

To the north is the east bank of the River Hamble and to the south is a shingle shore and intertidal flats that run along the edge of Southampton Water. Inland there are grazing pastures interspersed with tree lines, woodland and wetland habitats. Some of these habitats are rare and declining in the region. The foreshore and intertidal areas provide a winter feeding ground for many species of wading birds and wildfowl.

Hook Spit is used by roosting turnstones. These shingle zones are most interesting for their plant species such as sea kale, sea beet and yellow-horned poppy. The areas of grassland and scrub on Hook Links support a variety of breeding birds including linnets, meadow pipits and skylarks.

At Hook Lake are all stages of natural succession from open water to mature woodland. In spring and summer, the reedbeds support pairs of breeding reed warblers and reed buntings and some Cetti's warblers. As reedbed gives way to alder carr and then to mature oak and beech so almost all the typical woodland birds are found.

There is a possibility of seeing rare grebes, Brent geese, wigeon, teal, pintail, red-breasted merganser, golden plover, black-tailed godwit, greenshank, kingfisher, peregrine, rock pipit, Dartford warbler, and with some luck bearded tit.

The village has a pub and there are toilets. There is no admission charge.

We are a RSPB members group who run coach trips to good birding sites most months. All are welcome to join us, from expert birders to complete beginners - if you are new to birding one of our more experienced members will show you whatever is around and provide explanations where necessary. Don't worry if you don't own a pair of binoculars - we can lend you a pair for the day if you let us know in advance. Dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Paid up Central London Local Group members £20.00, non-members £22.00.

Booking essential. For further information contact James Aylward on 07974 351548, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com.

Time: 7.45 am

Price: £22 (Central London Local Group members £20)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

February 2020

Sat
8

Day trip to Lee Valley Country Park to see winter wildfowl

Location: Lee Valley Country Park
Postcode: EN8 9AQ (Google map)

Come and join us on our day trip to Lee Valley Country Park. Our leader, Graeme Hutchinson, will take us around and show us what this wonderful country park can offer in the way of waders, wildfowl and possibly water rail and bittern. Over 200 bird species have been recorded here and of these 150 can be seen every year. Two charismatic mammals may also be found, the otter and water vole!

Bring along your binoculars and a packed lunch. There are hides where you can enjoy watching the birds while you take a break and refuel during the day. We will break for lunch at the Bittern Information Point. The whole trip will involve walking about 6 miles. Anyone who wants to return to Cheshunt from the lunch point will end up walking 4 miles.

There are toilets available. There is no entry fee to the country park.

Meet at 10am at Cheshunt Station, Windmill Lane ˇ Cheshunt EN8 9AQ

Take a train from Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale to Cheshunt railway station (check trains nearer the time in case of weekend engineering).

No need to book in advance.

Leader: Graeme Hutchinson

Time: 10am - 4pm

Price: The only cost will be your travel cost

Telephone: 07990 555090

Sat
22

Coach trip to WWT Welney, Norfolk

Location: Coach trip outings leave from bus stop 40B on the Embankment, which is adjacent to Embankment Tube. Leave the tube by the riverside exit, turn left along the pavement. The coach stop is about 50 metres along, just past the public toilets. The coach leaves promptly at 8am - aim to arrive at 7:45am to allow time to board.

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust's Welney Nature Reserve, takes in 1,000 acres of the northernmost part of the Ouse Washes - Britain's largest area of seasonally-flooded land and the setting for one of the most magical events in the UK's nature calendar - mass winter gatherings of many thousands of wild ducks, geese and swans. In particular, we hope to see: Bewick's swan, whooper swan, pochard, tufted duck, shoveler, gadwall, black-tailed godwit, lapwing and marsh harrier.

Visitor facilities are contained in buildings specially designed to make the lightest possible impact both on the stunning local landscape and the global environment. Exhibitions include one explaining how and why the Ouse Washes were created in the 17th century, and how WWT is managing water levels to benefit native and migrant wildlife.

WWT Welney has a variety of hides looking across the stunning Ouse Washes. The main observatory consists of a centrally-heated main area and two wing hides. These areas can be used to view our winter wild swan feeds with accompanying commentary. Within the centrally-heated section we have a hearing loop and this group of hides are suitable for disabled access.

A short distance from the main observatory the reedbed hide, which is also fully accessible, looks out over the southern end of the washes, the dragonfly ponds and reedbed area. In the opposite direction, the centre has two fully accessible hides with ramps and lower access windows - these are the Nelson-Lyle (previously the Buxton hide) and Lyle hides, which overlook the mid-section of the washes at WWT Welney.

About 10-15 minutes walk from the main observatory are the final two hides. These overlook the northern end of the reserve and are ideal for watching waders in the summer. The Allport hide is not accessible to all but the Friends hide situated at the end of the footpath is.

Facilities: Visitor Centre, café, shop, toilets, hides. Non-WWT members £7.

We are a RSPB members group who run coach trips to good birding sites most months. All are welcome to join us, from expert birders to complete beginners - if you are new to birding one of our more experienced members will show you whatever is around and provide explanations where necessary. Don't worry if you don't own a pair of binoculars - we can lend you a pair for the day if you let us know in advance. Dress for the weather with stout footwear, remembering that it may well be cooler at the coast or in the country than in central London, and bring a packed lunch.

Paid up Central London Local Group members £20.00, non-members £22.00.

Booking essential. For further information contact James Aylward on 07974 351548, or email cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com.

Time: 7.45 am

Price: £22 (Central London Local Group members £20)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com