News archive

December 2016

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Male goldeneye

Come on a coach trip to Hickling Broad and Stubb Mill for a great day's birding!

In winter large numbers of marsh harriers roost in the reedbed north east of Stubb Mill; merlin and hen harrier are also regular. Barn owl is almost guaranteed and you may see kingfisher if you are lucky. Interesting mammals include the introduced Chinese water deer, red deer and hard-to-see otters.

Target species are marsh harrier, bittern, crane, smew and goldeneye plus redpoll and both marsh and bearded tits. We'll spend the last hour or so at the watchpoint at Stubb Mill looking for roosting raptors; marsh and hen harriers, Merlin and barn owl are all possible here, as are pink-footed geese and woodcock.

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. The visitor centre is currently closed for refurbishment, but toilets are available.

There is an entry fee of £4.50 for non-Norfolk Wildlife Trust members.

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.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

LAPWINGS AND REDSHANKS - For our seasonal talk, Dr Jennifer Smart from the RSPB will describe the lives and habitats of these beautiful birds.

LAPWINGS AND REDSHANKS - For our seasonal talk, Dr Jennifer Smart from the RSPB will describe the lives and habitats of these beautiful birds.

Our speaker is Dr Jennifer Smart, Senior Conservation Scientist at the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science.

Jen's career has been focused on the ecology of breeding waders and developing conservation solutions to reverse their severe population declines. Increasingly this involves understanding and managing the impacts of predation and finding ways to influence landscape-scale management of wet grasslands.
Her talk will focus on the RSPB's research on lapwings and redshanks: what we know about their survival at different life stages (nests, chicks and adults); and what we can do to improve survival and reverse their severe population declines.

RSPB members & RSPB Central London Local Group members £4 Non-members £5 Students (NUS) and under-18s free.
Tea, coffee & biscuits available as usual before the talk Doors open 6.15 pm Everyone welcome No need to book

THE TALK WILL BE FOLLOWED BY OUR CHRISTMAS PARTY. There will be an extra £1 per person charge for the food.


- ✹ Czech Conroy will have his 2017 calendar available - this year some of his best photos of Birds of Africa. The price is £6, with £1 going to the RSPB.
- ✹ Come and stock up with RSPB pin badges as small gifts for friends and relatives, or as Christmas tree, stocking, table and cracker gifts.
- ✹ Christmas raffle - prizes include a coach-trip voucher for one of our coach trips (of your choice).


We are introducing a new idea for our Christmas meeting in the form of a bring-and-buy cake stall to add a new fun and festive dimension to the evening - and to raise some money for the RSPB. We invite you to tie on your apron and bake something to bring along (whole cakes, cupcakes, tea loaves, mince pies, brownies, biscuits, scones, etc, etc - the choice is yours). All money raised from their sale will go to the RSPB.
- ✹ Please bring your cake wrapped in a new plastic food bag, either of the press-seal type or with a wire twist-tie closure so that people who buy the cakes can take them home easily. If you make an iced cake, please make sure that the topping is suitable for a cake that will be sealed and transported in a plastic bag!! If you make small items, please put as many in one bag as you intend to be sold as one lot. Label your contribution with your chosen price (we'll have sticky labels available if you prefer to do this on arrival.)
- ✹ When you arrive at St Columba's, put your wrapped cake on the cake-selling table.
- ✹ The cake stall will be open for business after the talk. So.... have fun and get baking!

How to find us: Easy to get to (near Harrods). St Columba's Church Hall, Pont Street, SW1X 0BD

Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 6 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, (outside the congestion zone; free after 18.30h).

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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Short-eared owl sitting on the ground

Day trip to Two Tree Island near Southend

Join us as our leader, Andrew Peel, takes us around this reserve which was reclaimed from the sea in the 18th century when a seawall was built around the saltmarsh. He is hoping to show us winter waders, owls and Brent geese and with a bit of luck you might see a field vole as you go around.

Bring along your lunch to enjoy in one of the hides while scanning the horizon.

There are toilets near the start.

No need to book, meet at 10 am at Leigh-on-Sea station. (Trains from Fenchurch Street Station)

Price: Cost of train fare