News archive

September 2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Saturday 17th October, Coach trip to Hook with Warsash

Saturday 17th October, Coach trip to Hook with Warsash

This reserve covers 500 acres at the mouth of the river Hamble, in Hampshire, with a shoreline almost 3 miles long. There are a variety of habitats of which some are regionally rare and declining, including scrapes, reedbed, coastal grazing marsh, scrub, saltmarsh, inter-tidal mud, stable shingle ridge and woodland. Birds include dark-bellied Brent goose, little egret, wigeon, lapwing and little owl. The visit is timed to coincide with the high tide wader roost where we may see greenshank, plovers, ruff and black-tailed godwit. We will also hope to see raptors, kingfisher, grebes and Dartford warblers. There are toilets and there is a pub in the village. There is no admission charge.
For reserve information Click Here.
Booking essential. Contact Derik Palmer on 07768 121 435, or email
Paid up Central London Local Group members £18.00, non-members £20.00.
Meet outside Embankment Underground Station. Coach leaves at 8am.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Sunday 11th October, day trip to Beddington Farmlands.

Sunday 11th October, day trip to Beddington Farmlands.

This event is not listed in our printed programme. Beddington Farmlands is one of London's premier birding locations, with at least 150 species seen there every year. It is a 400 acre site in the borough of Sutton, in the core of the wider Wandle Valley Regional Park. There is no public access to the site, but we have arranged this special visit in conjunction with Beddington Farmlands Bird Group.

In the first half of October passerines should be migrating over the reserve, and we may see meadow pipits, skylarks, rock pipits, reed buntings, chaffinches, bramblings and stonechats. The first fieldfares and redwings may also be in evidence. In addition, there will be substantial numbers of wetland species, including grey herons, lapwings, little grebes and tufted ducks; and perhaps the first shoveler and teal of the winter. Meet at 9.40 at Hackbridge Station (direct trains from Victoria or Blackfriars).

The trains to Hackbridge will only be running part of the route the day, and there will be a replacement bus covering the rest of the route. Recommended routes by train from Central London are:

OPTION 1: London Blackfriars - depart 8.28, arrive at Tulse Hill 8.45. Take replacement bus from Tulse Hill at 9.00, arriving Hackbridge station at 9.35.

OPTION 2: London Victoria - depart 8.49, arrive at Streatham Common 9.08. Take replacement bus from Streatham Common at 9.15, arriving Hackbridge at 9.35.

There is parking in Hackbridge Station car park costing £1.00. Bring lunch. Stout footwear recommended or wellies after heavy rain. Leader Czech Conroy. For reserve information go to:

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thursday 8th October, 'Hedgehogs' by Dr Pat Morris

Thursday 8th October, 'Hedgehogs' by Dr Pat Morris

Come and join us to hear Britain's leading expert on hedgehogs talk about their natural history, focusing on results of research projects that investigate the questions that most people most often ask about them.

Pat's talk will describe the natural history of hedgehogs, addressing such questions as;
How far do they travel?
How long do they live?
Are they territorial?
What do they eat; are slug pellets a threat?
Is it a good thing to put out food for them?
Are they in decline?
Do 'rescued' hedgehogs survive after release from hospital? Even baby ones?

Dr Pat Morris is President of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. He has also led studies of bats, water voles, red squirrels and edible dormice. He is a holder of The Mammal Society's Silver Medal, a key scientific advisor to the People's Trust for Endangered Species and a Member of the Linnean Society of London. He was made an MBE in this year's New Year's Honours List for Services to the Natural and Historic Environment.

The latest edition of his best-selling book, 'Hedgehogs' (Whittet Books £15), will be available for purchase at a discount at our talk.

Venue: St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, Knightsbridge SW1X 0BD

RSPB members £4 Non-members £5 Under 16s free. Everyone welcome No need to book

Tea, coffee & biscuits available before the talk Doors open 6.15 pm. Talk starts 6.45pm.

How to find us: Easy to get to (near Harrods)

Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 5-8 mins' walk; Sloane Sq (District & Circle Lines) 15 mins.

Bus: 9, 10, 52 (Knightsbridge); 14, 74, 414, C1 (Brompton Rd, passing western end of Beauchamp Place); 19, 22, 137, 452, C1 (Sloane St, passing eastern end of Pont St).

Parking: some around the church (free after 18.30h); we are outside the congestion charge zone.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Saturday 26th September. Day trip to Oare Marshes.

Saturday 26th September. Day trip to Oare Marshes.

This lovely nature reserve is in North Kent opposite the Isle of Sheppy. Of international importance for migratory, overwintering and breeding wetland birds, the reserve consists of grazing marsh (one of a few left in Kent) with freshwater dykes, open water scrapes, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall. We will look out for passage waders including little stint, plus yellow wagtail, and whinchat, kingfisher, bearded tit, and marsh harrier.

We will take the 09.07 train from Victoria. Please note that due to engineering works we will not arrive at Faversham until 11.22. There is a bus replacement service between Meopham and Rainham (Kent), a recurring problem with this trip. You will require a return ticket from Victoria to Faversham. Bring lunch. Toilets at Faversham. Leader: Andrew Peel. No need to book, just turn up.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Please support BirdLife's appeal to tackle the illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean.

Please support BirdLife's appeal to tackle the illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean.

In a comprehensive new scientific study in 26 countries throughout the region, BirdLife has discovered that despite legal protection, illegal bird killing is taking place at quite extraordinary and unsustainable levels. While many turn a blind eye, more than 25 million birds are being illegally killed here every year. In some countries such as Cyprus, Egypt and Lebanon, more than two million birds are illegally trapped or shot annually.

BirdLife has identified three individual blackspots - the Famagusta area in Cyprus, the Manzala area in Egypt and the Akkar area in Lebanon - where, staggeringly, more than half a million birds are being illegally slaughtered each year. Populations of 40 different migratory passerines that were once more abundant in Europe are declining and some are now in free-fall. Many have already disappeared from much of their former range. European Turtle-doves have declined by 30% throughout Europe since the millennium and in some countries by as much as 90% in the same period. Yet more than one million are still illegally killed each year.

Our birds are begging for a safer flyway. Help stop the illegal slaughter, to restore nature's natural rhythm and let migrating birds fly freely once more. To tackle these threats, direct conservation efforts need to be stepped up at the blackspots BirdLife has identified, coupled with effective and well-coordinated local, national and regional advocacy.

You can help BirdLife make the flyway much safer. One of their regular supporters has offered to match any donations they receive. For every £50 you give to the appeal, BirdLife can now secure £25 more.

You can donate by making a cheque payable to 'BirdLife International' and posting it to: BirdLife's Illegal Killing Campaign, BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge, CB3 0NA UNITED KINGDOM.

To donate online go to: