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.

December 2018

Sat
1

Coach trip to Dungeness, Kent (RSPB Reserve + ARC Pits + Bird Observatory)

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.

This headland on the south coast of Kent is formed largely of a shingle beach in the form of a cuspate foreland. On this trip we will visit the Bird Observatory as well as the ARC Pits and main RSPB reserve.

On this action packed trip we will visit the Dungeness Bird Observatory, ARC Pits and the RSPB reserve. To maximise the short daylight hours there will be no stop on route (NB WC on coach and at destination).

The Observatory's recording area is the south-eastern corner of the Dungeness shingle promontory which juts out into the English Channel at the western limits of the Straits of Dover. Historically, bird migration studies formed the focus of the work of the observatory but in recent years interests have extended to include Lepidoptera, Odonata and Orthoptera along with on going recording of the flora of the area.

Birdwatching at Dungeness can be excellent at any time and the Observatory remains open for most of the year. Dungeness is an important migration point, acting as a staging post for both British and Continental landbird migrants, and its position also makes it well situated for the observation of seabird passage.

The RSPB reserve itself is set back from the sea, boasting mile after mile of open shingle, fresh water pits, wet grassland and stunning wildflower meadows.

Species we hope to see include: Marsh harrier, peregrine, bittern, bearded tit all resident; gannet, scoter, guillemot, scarcer gulls, smew, slavonian grebe, chiffchaff, firecrest; dartford warbler possible.

Observatory: café and toilets. www.dungenessbirdobs.org.uk

RSPB: Visitor Centre, shop, toilets, hides. Non-RSPB members £5. www.rspb.org.uk/dungeness

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.

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

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

Thu
13

'OTMOOR: a wetland rediscovered' - A talk by David Wilding, Site Manager of the RSPB Otmoor nature reserve

Location: St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, London

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 around the church: free after 18:30h. (We are outside the congestion charge zone.)
Postcode: SW1X 0BD (Google map)

This is a great chance to learn about the amazing Otmoor story, one of Oxfordshire's greatest conservation success stories.

David has worked on Otmoor for 14 years and, before that, for the North Cascades National Park Service, the New Forest and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

Discover how the RSPB has transformed boring arable fields into an incredible wetland oasis in the heart of England. Former wheat fields are now home to an impressive range of wetland species including bittern, marsh harrier and drumming snipe.

Here are just a few of the astonishing things that have happened to bring the Otmoor reserve to life:
ˇ 150,000 reeds have been planted on Otmoor to create a 22-hectare reedbed.
ˇ Bittern and marsh harrier have bred on Otmoor, the first breeders in Oxfordshire for over 200 years.
ˇ Over 12,000 wildfowl and waders regularly visit the moor over the winter months.
ˇ During the spring over 200 redshank, lapwing, snipe and curlew breed on Otmoor.
ˇ Otmoor is the last remaining site in Oxfordshire which holds breeding turtle dove.
ˇ 10 species of warbler can be heard singing in the spring.

AND AFTER THE TALK: stay on for our Christmas party, finger food and drinks, and enjoy an informal show of photos on display around the hall by Central London Local Group members.

Also, our group member and wildlife photographer Czech Conroy will have copies of his wildlife photographic calendar 2019 for sale: twelve beautiful images of African mammals. The calendar costs a modest £6 for the big A3 format and £1 per calendar will go to the RSPB.


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

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members. Please note, there will be an additional charge of £1 per person for the post-talk Christmas refreshments.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

January 2019

Thu
10

'Masters of the Flyway' by Mark James Pearson

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

The story of a competitive bird-spotting race in the desert to raise funds to combat migrant-bird-killing in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Doors open 6.15 pm.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Talk starts at 6.45pm.

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.

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

Sat
26

Coach trip to Cley Marshes Nature Reserve, 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.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) Cley Marshes is NWT's oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held 'in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary'. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK. The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition.

The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reedbed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit.

A new eco-friendly visitor centre opened in 2007 containing a café, shop, viewing areas (including viewing from a camera on the reserve). We have since added to this with the fantastic Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, a courtyard and viewing deck. The view from the visitor centre across the Marsh to the sea is breathtaking.

Birds: Resident guillemot, razorbill, water rail, marsh harrier, barn owl, bearded tit, bittern; brent geese, wigeon, pintail, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, golden plover, bar-tailed godwit, peregrine, merlin, hen harrier, rock pipit.

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

Entry Fee: Non-NWT members £5.

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.

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

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

February 2019

Thu
14

'Lead ammunition and wildlife conservation' by Dr Rob Sheldon

Location: St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, London

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

Postcode: SW1X 0BD (Google map)

Rob will speak on the evidence for the impact of lead ammunition on wildlife and look at why the UK is lagging behind in tackling this known problem? He raised a petition to Parliament on the issue, is the Minister for Lead Ammunition in the People's Manifesto for Wildlife and is currently writing a book on the subject.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Doors open 6.15 pm.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Talk starts at 6.45pm.

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

Sat
23

Coach trip to Keyhaven Marshes 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.

Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes Local Nature Reserve is an area of coastal grazing marsh. It lies between the town of Lymington and the coastal village of Keyhaven.

Hampshire County Council began purchasing the area in 1974 when it bought Normandy Farm. Pennington Marshes were bought in 1979 followed in 1984 by Keyhaven Marshes. This far-sighted policy was a response to the rapid rate of development and loss of habitat in previous decades.

Bringing this area into public ownership was the only way to protect it for future generations to enjoy. By 2006 the reserve extended from the mouth of the Lymington River almost to the village of Keyhaven and covered over 500 acres.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's involvement in the Lymington area started in 1961, its first year of existence. It entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, to warden an area at the end of Hurst Spit. In the same year 20 acres of salterns at Lymington became a private nature reserve. The Wildlife Trust's reserve started to expand in 1980 and now encompasses over 700 ha.

Today the combined area of the two reserves covers well over 1200 hectares. It incorporates mudflats, salt marshes, shingle banks, coastal grazing marshes, and saline lagoons. The reserve supports important populations of birds and rare and specialist plants and invertebrates.

For more information see www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryside/finder/lymingtonkeyhaven.

Birds: Brent geese, teal, wigeon, red-breasted merganser, golden plover, black & bar-tailed godwits, greenshank, kingfisher, bearded tit, rock pipit, Dartford warbler. Short-eared owl, peregrine, merlin, scarcer grebes, snow bunting possible.

Facilities: Pub and WC at Car Park.

Free entry.

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.

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

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

March 2019

Thu
14

Double Bill: 'Gardening for Wildlife' and 'Homes for Nightingales and Swifts' by Adrian Thomas

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

The RSPB's Adrian Thomas will update us on the campaign to save nightingales from council development plans at Lodge Hill, Kent, plus positive work for swifts by Barratt Homes.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Doors open 6.15 pm.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Talk starts at 6.45pm.

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.

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

April 2019

Thu
11

'The Wildlife of Upper Teesdale' by Andy Sands

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

Andy Sands is multi-award-winning professional wildlife photographer, hugely knowledgeable birder and naturalist, and Chiswick Cameras shop owner.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Doors open 6.15 pm.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Talk starts at 6.45pm.

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.

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

May 2019

Thu
9

AGM, Summer party & talk 'Drawn to Birds' by Les McCallum

Location: St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, London

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 around the church: free after 18:30h. (We are outside the congestion charge zone.)
Postcode: SW1X 0BD (Google map)

Following the Central London Local Group AGM, Les McCallum will provide some light-hearted birding entertainment, with anecdotes from birding on location during his 30 years as Art Director in the BBC Design Dept at Television House (Vicar of Dibley, Only Fools and Horses, Dr Who, Miss Marple, et al). The evening will finish with our Summer Party.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Doors open 6.15 pm.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available (50p): before the talk and during the interval.

Talk starts at 6.45pm.

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.

Time: 6.45 pm

Price: There is an entrance fee of £4 (RSBP Central London Local Group members) or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & NUS members. Please note, there will be an additional charge of £1 per person for the post-talk refreshments.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com