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.

April 2020

Sun
19

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Dawn Chorus walk in Brockwell Park, Lambeth

Location: We'll meet at the main gate to Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, London, on the corner of Dulwich and Norwood Roads.

Buses: 3, 196, 68, 468 and 37 all stop nearby. If coming by car you'll probably have to park in a side street nearby.

Join us for an early start in this delightful South London Park for a guided walk, in association with the Friends of Brockwell Park. We will walk round part of the park to see what birds are about and listen to their songs and calls. We expect to hear Song and Mistle thrushes, Blackbirds, Robins, Blackcap, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Great tits and Blue tits - to name a few. Other possibilities include Great spotted woodpecker, Nuthatch and Chiffchaff. We'll also see several species of water birds at the ponds.

We have been given special permission to enter the park before it opens to the public, so there should be a very peaceful atmosphere. We will start the walk at 6am sharp and we expect it to last for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (A nearby bakery/coffee shop opens at 8am if anyone fancies a well-earned coffee!).

N.B. Arrive BY 6.00 at the latest as we'll have to lock the gate again when we start the walk.

Toilets in the park won't be open, but there's a toilet in Herne Hill railway station (Platform 1) and the cafe (from 8am).

The walk will be led by Czech Conroy and Graeme Hutchinson

Time: 6 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07951 929337

Sun
19

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a Guided Dawn Chorus Walk in Abney Park Cemetery, Hackney

Location: Abney Park Cemetery. We'll meet at the Stoke Newington CHURCH Street entrance of the cemetery

Transport: Stoke Newington and Seven Sisters stations; 76,149, 243 buses

Likely Species are: blackbird, song and mistle thrushes, robin, blackcap, chiffchaff, green and great spotted woodpeckers, tits, goldcrest, chaffinch, goldfinch, stock dove. Tawny owl and sparrowhawk are also possible.

Good news! If 5.45 am is a bit early for you we'll be repeating the walk at 9am.

The walks will be led by Andrew Peel.

Facilities: there is a toilet at the start (and finish)

NOTE. You need to book in advance (£5/£10) with Abney Park Trust: abneypark.org (tel: 0207 275 7557)

Time: 05.45 and 09.00

Price: £5/10

Booking essential

Sat
25

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Go Wild with Song at Knepp and Pulborough, Sussex (guided birding coach trip)

Location: The Knepp Estate and RSPB's Pulborough Brooks reserve, both in Sussex

The Knepp Estate in Sussex is a pioneering rewilding project. A dairy farm until 2001, it is being allowed to 'revert back to nature' with minimal management, yielding spectacular results for wildlife. Rapidly disappearing species such as Nightingale and Turtle Dove are thriving, there is a burgeoning White Stork reintroduction, and impressive moth and butterfly populations including Purple Emperors.

Then, at lunchtime, to nearby RSPB Pulborough Brooks: it has woodland, water meadows and heath. Songbirds are again top of the bill, with Nightingales, Skylarks, Willow and Garden Warblers; also Yellow Wagtail, Bullfinch, Woodpeckers, Wildfowl, Lapwing and Redshank, Kingfisher, Hobby, Peregrine and Buzzard. Migrating Common Redstarts and Flycatchers are possible.

Facilities: Both places have loos and cafes; Pulborough has hides and a visitor centre.

Entry charges: Knepp - Free (we will be using public footpaths to visit the site). Pulborough Brooks - Free for RSPB members, £6 non-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.

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.

Time: 07.45 am

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

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

Sun
26

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a Dawn Chorus Walk in Alexandra Road Park

Location: Alexandra Road Park, near Swiss Cottage
Postcode: NW8 0SF (Google map)

Alexandra Road Park runs through a modern housing estate.

On this walk, which will be led by Andrew Peel, we are likely to hear and/or see the following species:

blackbird, song thrush, wren, robin, blue, great and long tailed tits, goldfinch, chaffinch, woodpigeon, carrion crow, and magpie.

This walk starts at 5.30am and will last about 1 hour. Participants will have access to toilets and a cup of tea in the estate's community centre after the walk.

We will meet at the 3D model on Abbey Road front, NW8 OSF

Swiss Cottage is the nearest tube station

Time: 5.30am

Price: It's free

May 2020

Sat
2

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a Guided Dawn Chorus walk in East Bank nature reserve, Hackney

Location: East Bank Nature Reserve, Dunsmure Road, Hackney
Postcode: N16 5HT (Google map)

We're likely to hear and/or see the following species on this 1-hour walk:

Blackbird, song thrush, woodpigeon, collared dove, blackcap, tits, great spotted woodpecker, chaffinch, goldfinch.

There should be lots of birds singing, proclaiming their territories or trying to attract a mate, creating a special atmosphere at this otherwise quiet time of the day. Your guide, Andrew Peel, will identify all the species for you.

We'll meet at the corner of Dunsmure Road and West Bank N16 5HT
Transport: Stamford Hill and Seven Sisters stations; 253 & 254 buses

Time: 5.15am

Price: It's free

Sun
3

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a Guided Dawn Chorus Walk in Gladstone Park, Kilburn

Location: Gladstone Park, Kilburn, London. We'll meet in the park at the old house footprint by the Stables Café.

Likely Species include:
green and great spotted woodpeckers, thrushes, blackcap, woodpigeon and stock dove, goldfinch, chaffinch, goldcrest, and waterfowl.

The walk will be guided by Andrew Peel, and should last about 1 1/2 hours.

Facilities: toilets at start

Transport: Dollis Hill station

Time: 5.30am

Price: It's free

Thu
14

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. AGM, Summer party & talk 'London's Bats'

Location: St. Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street
Postcode: SW1X 0BD (Google map)

London has 17 of the 18 species of bat in the UK. How to identify them, their ecology and where to see them, with reference to the scope of the London Bat Survey. (Speaker TBC). The talk will be followed by our Summer Party.

PLEASE NOTE:
Before the talk, we shall be holding our AGM at 6.45pm. Both non-members and members are very welcome to attend this 15-minute event and hear brief presentations on what our RSPB Local Group has done during the last year. Entrance to the AGM is free. Usual entrance fees apply for the talk (see below). You are equally welcome to come just for the talk and party!

PRACTICAL INFO:
Talk starts at 6.45pm. (Doors open 6.15 pm.)
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Admission: Everyone welcome. No need to book - simply pay on the door:
RSPB Central London Local Group members £4;
Non-members £5;
Students (NUS) & under-18s free.

Access for those with mobility issues:
There is a lift to all floors, a ramp at the side entrance door and a toilet accessible to all.

HOW TO FIND US:
Easy to get to (near Harrods).

Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 4 mins' walk; Sloane Sq (District & Circle Lines) 15 mins.

Bus: 9, 10, 52 (Knightsbridge); 14, 74, 414, C1 (Brompton Rd); 19, 22, 137, 452, C1 (Sloane St).

Parking: Some in street around the church: free after 18:30h. (We are outside the congestion charge zone.)

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: RSPB Central London Local Group members £4; Non-members £5. There will be an additional charge of £1 per person for the post-talk refreshments.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

Sat
30

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a coach trip for a guided day's birding at Minsmere Nature Reserve, Suffolk

Location: Minsmere RSPB reserve, Suffolk

Minsmere RSPB reserve on the Suffolk coast is arguably the best nature reserve in the country. Minsmere has reedbeds, lagoons, scrapes, woodland, heath and sand dunes.

At this time of year we will look out for the resident bittern, marsh harrier, bearded and marsh tits. As well as nightingale, sedge and reed warblers, avocet, stone curlew, garganey, kittiwake, little gull, hobby, common, little and sandwich terns plus red deer and otters.

NB: We plan to spend an extra hour at Minsmere to allow everyone more time to enjoy this magical place. We will leave at 5pm for our return to London.

Facilities: Visitor Centre, café, shop, toilets, hides.

Entry Fee: RSPB members Free; Non-RSPB members £9.

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.

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.

Time: 7.45 am

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

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

June 2020

Sat
6

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a Birding Trip in Burgess Park, an Avian Oasis of Inner London

Location: We shall meet outside the Park Life cafe, near Chumleigh Gardens and Albany Road. The cafe has a toilet, and there are also toilets elsewhere in the park.

The cafe is close to the Albany Road car park, which has 25 free parking spaces (4 hour maximum stay); and to a bike park at Chumleigh Gardens.

The nearest tube station is Elephant and Castle, about 1.5 miles away, from where you can take a bus. You can take a bus either to the Old Kent Road entrance (buses 53, 63, 78,168, 172, 363, 453); or to the Camberwell Road entrance (12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 468). Our meeting point is roughly mid-way between these two entrances.
Two buses (42, 343) go to the Albany Road entrance, close to the meeting point.

Postcode: SE5 0RJ (Google map)

Burgess Park is the largest park within the London Borough of Southwark. It is a green oasis in this part of inner London, not so far from elephant and Castle. During the last decade or so the borough has improved the habitats and biodiversity of the park, making it an attractive place for nature and nature lovers alike.

The park contains a mosaic of locally important habitats. There are areas of rough grass, wildflower 'meadows', hedges and patches of bushes, scrub and trees; and a lake and some small ponds with reeds. At this time of the year five species of birds should have returned from Africa to breed in the park or neighbouring area - House Martins, Swifts, Blackcaps, Reed warblers and Whitethroats - so we'll be listening and looking out for them.

Other birds include House sparrow, Starling, Greenfinch, and typical garden species like the Robin and Blue tit. The lake has several different species of waterbirds, including three species of geese - Canada, Egyptian and Greylag. Altogether, we expect to see or hear at least 30 species of birds.
Burgess Park is also a haven for numerous species of butterflies and dragonflies/damselflies, and we hope to see some of the earlier emerging species.

This walk will be guided by Dave Clark and Czech Conroy, and is likely to last 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Time: 9.30 am

Price: It's free

Telephone: 07951 929337

Sat
27

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Come on a guided birding trip to see Rutland Water's ospreys (coach trip)

Location: Rutland Water

Our June coach trip takes us to Rutland Water. This internationally famous nature reserve is managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated as a European Special Protection Area and internationally recognised as a globally important wetland RAMSAR site.

The reserve occupies shore line and shallow water lagoons along 9 miles of the western end of Rutland Water and covers a total area of 1000 acres. It was created in the 1970s with the construction of the reservoir. There are over 30 bird watching hides and nature trails from two visitor centres with experts to help you with identification.

The Reserve is also home to the successful Rutland Osprey Project which in 2001 celebrated the first Osprey chick to fledge in Central England for 150 years. Currently several pairs of Ospreys breed in and around Rutland Water and are regularly seen fishing over the reservoir from April - September.

We shall be visiting the south shore this time where after congregating in the visitor centre we shall expect to see breeding ospreys and hope to find red kites, buzzards, hobbies owls as well. On the water we can expect to see a wide variety of waterfowl including teal, ringed and little ringed plover, snipe and lapwing. The area is also a favoured spot for passerines including marsh tit, several warblers and the sadly declining tree sparrow.

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.

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.

Time: 7.45 am

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

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

July 2020

Sat
25

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Guided birding trip to Thursley Common Nature Reserve (coach trip)

Location: Thursley Common, Surrey

Thursley National Nature Reserve is one of the largest remaining fragments of a once much larger area of heathland in Surrey. The 325 hectares of Thursley NNR holds extensive areas of open dry heathland, peat bogs, pine and deciduous woodlands. These are home to a thriving and varied amount of wildlife, much of which is rare and confined to heathlands. A wide variety of insect feeding birds can be found on the reserve. These include Dartford warbler, stonechat, woodlark, tree pipit, cuckoo, common redstart, whitethroat, hobby and buzzard. Over 20 species of dragonfly and damselfly live around the open ponds and ditches of the reserve.

No facilities, but WC before and after.

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.

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.

Time: 7.45 am

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

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com

August 2020

Sat
22

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Guided day's birding at Wicken Fen (coach trip)

Location: Wicken Fen nature reserve

Wicken Fen is the National Trust's oldest reserve. One of Europe's most important wetlands, it supports an abundance of wildlife. There are more than 9000 species, including a spectacular array of plants, birds and dragonflies. We can hope to see hobby, marsh harrier, cuckoo, warblers including grasshopper and Cetti's, bearded and marsh tits, spotted flycatcher, yellowhammer and possible turtle dove. This is an excellent place for dragonflies, butterflies and wildflowers. Water voles are also a possibility.

You will find a cafe, shop and toilets at the visitors centre and hides out on the reserve.

There is an entrance fee for non-National Trust members of £9.

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.

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.

Time: 7.45 am

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

Booking essential

Telephone: 07974 351548

E-mail: cllgcoachbookings@gmail.com