News archive

February 2016

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Thursday 10th March 2016 at 6.45 pm 'A Very Fine Swan Indeed: Art, Science and The Unfeathered Bird', a talk by Katrina van Grouw.

Thursday 10th March 2016 at 6.45 pm 'A Very Fine Swan Indeed: Art, Science and The Unfeathered Bird', a talk by Katrina van Grouw.



Katrina van Grouw inhabits that no-man's land, slap bang between art and science. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, her formal education was in Printmaking and Natural History Illustration, but she's also a dedicated ornithologist, a former Natural History Museum curator, a qualified bird ringer, and an experienced preparator of natural history specimens. The book, The Unfeathered Bird, is a magnum opus 25 years in the making, and was originally intended as a manual for bird artists. It was only much later that it blossomed into something far more ambitious. A world away from textbooks and diagrams, this is a work equally intended for scientists and artists, indeed anyone with an appreciation of birds or an interest in their adaptations and behaviour.

It includes no fewer than 385 illustrations of 200 species, all made from actual specimens, many of which are shown in lifelike positions. Virtually all the complete skeletons were prepared and reconstructed at home from specimens donated from zoos, wildlife hospitals and conservation charities. She has covered most anatomically distinct bird groups and many species have never been illustrated before. Join Katrina as she explains her aims and inspirations, shares her insights about birds beneath their feathers, and relates how her home was turned upside down as more and more specimens joined the queue.

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

How to find us: Easy to get to (near Harrods)
Tube: Knightsbridge (6 mins' walk); Sloane Sq (15 mins' walk).
Bus: 9, 10, 52 (Knightsbridge); 14, 74, 414, C1 (Beauchamp Pl);
19, 22, 137, 452, C1 (Pont St).
Parking: some around the church, (free after 18.30h).

Download file for our poster

Click the link to see Katrina's website.

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Friday, 12 February 2016

Saturday 27th February, Day trip to the River Lee Country Park.

Saturday 27th February, Day trip to the River Lee Country Park.

Meet at 10.00am at Cheshunt Station. The River Lee Country Park covers an extensive area of wild habitat not far to the north of London and is a regular destination for our Group. There are hides from where we can expect to see a good selection of wildfowl, hopefully including smew, goldeneye and goosander, maybe some waders, and perhaps kingfisher, siskin, redpoll, water rail and winter thrushes. There is a chance of seeing wintering bittern for which the Park has become well-known. There have been recent sightings of bullfinch at Fisher's green car park, near the Bittern Information Point.

Bring lunch as there is no café, however there are toilets. No need to book, just turn up. Leader Graeme Hutchinson.

The 09.28 from Liverpool Street arrives at Cheshunt at 09.48 and calls at Tottenham Hale at 09.40. Cheshunt is also now on TFL Overground, zone 8. As I understand it, Freedom Passes are valid to Cheshunt on TFL Overground but an extension ticket is required on National Rail.

For more information about the park see: