News archive

May 2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Osprey in larch tree

Coach trip to Rutland Water (South Shore), Rutland

Osprey and breeding Osprey are the key species on our list today as Rutland Water is well known for its Osprey project. We know there are eggs, but will there be chicks for us to see?

We are also hoping to see kite, buzzard, hobby, barn owl, teal, garganey, little ringed plover, snipe, lapwing, turtle dove, all 3 woodpeckers, marsh and willow tits, grasshopper warbler and tree sparrow.

The reserve has a visitor's centre with loos, as well as hides. Please note that there will be a reserve entrance fee of £4.00

Price for the coach trip is £18 for paid-up Central London Local Group members and £20 for non Group members. Booking is essential. Call Derik on 07768 121 435 or email him at

Our coach departs from near the riverside entrance of Embankment underground station promptly at 08:00 and returns early in the evening the same day.

Embankment is on the District, Circle, Bakerloo and Northern lines and is a short walk from Charing Cross mainline station. Remember to check Transport for London for any weekend engineering works before you travel.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Looking for the Goshawk - Phantom of the Forest, Thursday 11th May

Looking for the Goshawk - Phantom of the Forest, Thursday 11th May

Award-winning author, conservationist and feature writer Conor Jameson will tell us about the natural history of this enigmatic bird of prey - how it lives, and where it lives in Britain. He will also explain why it might be missing from our lives here in the UK when it can be found in unexpected places abroad.

Conor will also describe why he wrote a book about this magnificent, but rarely seen, raptor. Looking for the Goshawk was published in 2013 and has been widely praised for its content and written style. It will be enjoyed by all those who admire birds of prey and support their protection.

Conor has written for The Guardian, and for BBC Wildlife, The Ecologist, Africa Geographic, NZ Wilderness, Birdwatch and Birdwatching magazines. In 2010 he won the BBC Wildlife Nature Writer of the Year award with his article Phantom about an encounter with a Goshawk in Berlin. He is also a columnist and feature writer for Birds magazine. His other books are Silent Spring Revisited (2012) and Shrewdunnit (2014).

Conor has worked in conservation for 20 years, in the UK and abroad. He was born in Uganda to Irish parents, brought up in Scotland, and now lives in England. He lives in a village close to the headquarters of The RSPB, where he works, and has a garden that Google Earth indicates may be reverting to woodland.

After the talk: Summer Party with party food and drinks
Please note that there will be an extra charge of £1 for the party refreshments this evening.

Before the talk: Our RSPB Central London Local Group AGM will take place 6.45-7.10pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. There will be very brief presentations of what our group has been doing over the last year and a description of the RSPB projects that the funds we have raised during the year will go towards.
The talk will start at 7.15 pm. It is our final talk before the summer break.

Price: There is an entrance fee for the talk of £4 (RSPB members & RSPB Central London Local Group members), or £5 (non-members). Free for under-18s & students (NUS). There will be a £1 extra charge for the party food & refreshments after the talk.

Everyone welcome No need to book You are most welcome to bring friends.
Doors open 6.15 pm. Tea, coffee & biscuits available as usual up to 6.45pm.

You can read Mark Avery's review of Conor's book at:

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Nightingale Walk, 6th May

Nightingale Walk, 6th May

Nightingales are famous for their rich and beautiful songs, but they are under threat from climate change and loss of habitat. We have organised a walk to hear and see them, and support the campaign to save the nightingale colony at Lodge Hill in Kent (90 pairs, 2% of the UK population), which is threatened by a housing development that would destroy 80% of their territories.

Details : Meet at 10am at Cheshunt Station ticket hall. You can get to Cheshunt Station from London by taking a train from Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale. Walk length: 4 miles total; Time : 4 hours. Toilets at station and Fishers Green. Bring a packed lunch (hide at Fishers Green). There is no need to book this walk.
The Leader of this walk will be Andrew Peel.

Andrew will also be leading dawn chorus walks in Alexandra Road Park on May 7th at 5.30am; dawn chorus walks for children in Abney Park Cemetery on the 21st May at 10am and 11.45am; and another at Abney Park Cemetery on May 28th at 5.30am. For more information contact Andrew Peel at

How can you support the Lodge Hill Nightingales campaign? - go to:

Friday, 5 May 2017

Saturday 20th May, Coach Trip to Rutland Water

Saturday 20th May, Coach Trip to Rutland Water

This trip will go to the Lyndon section in the south of the reserve. Here we will learn more about the Rutland Osprey Project and see the ospreys which nest there. Ospreys Maya and 33 arrived at Manton Bay in March and are now incubating 4 eggs. These are expected to hatch in the second or third week of May - just in time for our visit.

The visitor centre has exhibitions on the Osprey Project, climate change and phenology. Away from the centre, a self-guided trail leads visitors through a variety of habitats ranging from old and newly created woodland to ponds full of aquatic life and a series of birdwatching hides that overlook the water. A further hide overlooks a small pond in Gibbet Gorse wood and birdfeeders attract a range of woodland birds including great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and marsh tit. We also expect to see tree sparrow, summer warblers and common tern. Visitor centre with bookshop, drinks and toilets.. Admission to reserve £4.00.

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.

For reserve information and osprey webcam see: