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 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

Thu
12

Christmas party, members' photo show and talk: 'Bees and wasps - Extraordinary connected lives' by Andy Sands

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

Andy is a multi-award-winning professional wildlife photographer, naturalist and birder. With 263 bee and over 9,000 wasp species in the UK, Andy will immerse you in closer look through macro-photgraphy at a fascinating world of predators and prey and complex relationships that occur on a tiny scale.

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.

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 Christmas refreshments.

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

January 2020

Thu
9

'Lead ammunition and wildlife conservation' by Dr Rob Sheldon

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

The evidence for the devastating toxicity of widespread lead in the environment from lead ammunition and the question of why the UK is lagging behind in tackling this problem. Rob has recently written a book on the subject.

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

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

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

Thu
13

'From stone curlews to skylarks' by Richard Winspear, RSPB

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

From a national low of 170 pairs in the 1980s, hear how the stone curlew of the lesser-known Wessex population in particular is bouncing back. Also, an update on farmland bird conservation at the RSPB's Hope Farm Project.

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

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

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

March 2020

Thu
12

'The Biking Birder' by Gary Prescott

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

Gary has cycled to every RSPB UK reserve twice and is the British, European and World Green Birding champion. He will show some of the incredible wildlife, mostly birds, that he saw, some of his amazing experiences, and some tales from all his Biking Birder adventures, be they in the UK or in Peru!

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

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

April 2020

Thu
2

'Birds without borders: the challenge of migration' by Peter Holden

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

Amazing new facts about their journeys, with a look at migration strategies of other animals and insects for a more complete overview of the subject. The evening will include a short BirdLife International film demonstrating global travel and conservation issues.

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

E-mail: rspb.centrallondongroup@gmail.com

May 2020

Thu
14

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