Events

Unless otherwise specified, you do not need to be a member of the RSPB (or the local group) to join us on our events, and birdwatching experience is not necessary. If you have any questions please call the contact number shown with the event details.

March 2018

Thu
8

Working with Little Terns in the UK - a species recovery project

Location: NOTE - CHANGE FROM USUAL VENUE (inc. postcode)

Tonight's meeting will take place in Writtle University College's MAIN CAMPUS BUILDING, Lordship Road, Writtle. The lecture theatre is just a few steps beyond the reception area on the ground floor.

Free parking behind the theatre. Visitors need the college road that goes down the left side, then behind, the main campus building. Leave Lordship Road via either the college road that leads straight to the main building entrance, or the next exit if driving towards Writtle. Both lead to the same car park which is adjacent to the lecture theatre.

Access is at ground level. All welcome.

Postcode: CM1 3RR (Google map)

Sue Rendell-Read, Project Manager EU LIFE + Little Tern Recovery Project, and Jerry Lanfear, both from the RSPB, will present this informative and highly recommended talk.

Little terns - our smallest breeding tern - were once common along all our shores, nesting on open beaches and feeding by plunge-diving into the sea just offshore. Coasts would be alive with their chatter as they passed overhead bringing small fish to feed their young chicks. Over time there are fewer colonies and birds, with the recent population decline from 2000 to 2015 recorded as -18%. The LIFE Little Tern Project aims to start the recovery of the UK population by trialling management measures and setting out a long-term conservation plan. As part of the recovery work 10 organisations across more than 20 sites are working together to better understand and share how we can increase the number of breeding pairs, improve hatching success and protect more chicks through to fledging.

The life of the little tern, and the many threats it faces, will be explained through the efforts of staff and volunteers involved nationally, and Jerry will update us on the conservation work that's going on in Essex.

Time: 8.00pm - 9.50pm (with interval)

Price: £3.50

Telephone: 01245 471576

E-mail: suem@idnet.com

Sun
18

Walk - FINGRINGHOE WICK (EWT)

Location: South Green Road, Fingringhoe, Colchester CO5 7DN Bring EWT membership cards for free entry on to the reserve (£2 for non-members). Grid reference: TM 048 193

If bad weather is forecast, please ring Stuart on 17 March (no later than 21.00) or on the day (between 8.00 and 9.00) to check whether the walk is going ahead.

Postcode: CO5 7DN (Google map)

Stuart Anderson has kindly offered to lead this walk.

We will meet in the visitor centre which has toilets and refreshments available before setting off on our walk lasting approximately 2˝ hours. This was Essex Wildlife Trust's first nature reserve and visitor centre, set in a spectacular position overlooking the Colne Estuary and is one of Stuart's favourite places.

The original reserve was a former sand and gravel quarry where aggregate was processed before being loaded onto barges and transported into London for the construction industry. More recently, following a public appeal, EWT acquired additional land that has been developed into an intertidal area by breaching the flood wall. The Margaret Hide offers superb all round views of the intertidal area where we hope to see various waders, ducks, raptors and perhaps a kingfisher.

Through the woodland and scrub we may see and/or hear early returning spring migrants.

The reserve is open until 5pm if you wish to explore further. As always, stout shoes/boots and warm clothing are recommended.

Time: 10.00am

Price: No charge for the walk but £2 reserve entry donation for non EWT members

Telephone: 01245 261102 07443 411934

E-mail: sja1950@sky.com

April 2018

Thu
12

Operation Turtle Dove

Location: Northumberland Theatre, Writtle University College, Lordship Road, Writtle (Across the road from the main college building, to the right of the Wilkins Tea Room & Shop).
See Lordship Campus (building no.2) via:-
http://writtle.ac.uk/pdfs/5/Writtle%20University%20College%20Campus%20Maps.pdf

Ample free parking adjacent to the theatre.

Access is at ground level. All welcome.

Postcode: CM1 3RP (Google map)

Emma Stobart, the RSPB's Turtle Dove Conservation Advisor for Essex, will be presenting this talk.

Turtle doves were once abundant summer visitors to our countryside but over the last half century we have seen a dramatic decline in their numbers. These iconic birds face many challenges, both in the UK and across their flyway. Join us to learn about the work that the RSPB is doing through Operation Turtle Dove, in the UK and with partners in other countries, to try and reverse this decline and combat the challenges that these beautiful birds face.

Time: 8.00pm - 9.50pm with interval (preceded by a short AGM at 7.30pm)

Price: £3.50

Telephone: 01245 471576

E-mail: suem@idnet.com

May 2018

Sat
5

Walk - HATFIELD FOREST (National Trust)

Location: Meet in the main Shell House car park.

Arriving from the west: From M11 exit 8 roundabout, take B1256 towards Takeley.

Travelling from Chelmsford: Drive north through Broomfield and take first exit at the roundabout towards Barnston and Great Dunmow (i.e. go on the old A120). Just before Great Dunmow, join A120 west bound and leave at next junction for Takeley (B1256). Go straight across at the Four Ashes traffic light crossroads and after about a mile turn left opposite the Green Man pub; follow signs to Hatfield Forest. Do not go in first entrance which is for the Estate Office. Turn right into the forest and show a membership card at the kiosk. Drive about 3/4 mile to the main lake area/Shell House car park which is at the end of the tarmac road.
Postcode: CM22 6NE (Google map)

Winifred and David Simmonds have kindly offered to lead another walk round this lovely site. Depending on ground and weather conditions, the aim will be to walk for about 2 hours, then there'll be the option of lunch in the outdoor café.

There is a good selection of birds in the forest, but as with anywhere they can be elusive. However, even if we see few birds it should be an enjoyable walk by a lake, through managed woodland, over wood pasture and across grass plains, with several historic features. At this time of year, we can look forward to seeing the millions of blooming buttercups. We also hope to hear and/or see a cuckoo.

We hope the weather will be dry and the paths free of mud. Please wear shoes/boots suitable for walking in woods and along grassy plains, and outer garments as appropriate if the weather forecast indicates their need.

Time: 10.30am

Price: £6.00 per car for parking (Free for National Trust members showing 1 membership card per car)

E-mail: djsimmonds@aol.com

September 2018

Thu
13

The Hudson Legacy

Location: Northumberland Theatre, Writtle University College, Lordship Road, Writtle (Across the road from the main college building, to the right of the Wilkins Tea Room & Shop).
See Lordship Campus (building no.2) via:-
http://writtle.ac.uk/pdfs/5/Writtle%20University%20College%20Campus%20Maps.pdf

Ample free parking adjacent to the theatre.

Access is at ground level. All welcome.

Postcode: CM1 3RP (Google map)

Conor Jameson from the RSPB will present this fascinating talk about the lasting impact of William Henry Hudson - Victorian author, campaigner and RSPB pioneer.

A portrait of Hudson hangs above the fireplace at the RSPB's UK headquarters in Sandy. As the centenary of Hudson's death approaches (2022), Conor explores the history of this intriguing figure, his contribution to conservation and the RSPB's cause, and his lasting effect, the benefits of which can still be felt today.

See this review of Conor's talk from another local group:-
"Thank you very much for a wonderful talk... It was absolutely fascinating and everyone without exception...said that they learned many new things. Your talk created excitement and a lot of curiosity among the audience. I heard nothing but positive comments...and you had lots of great photos... It was a very successful evening."

We welcome everyone to this talk, and look forward to receiving similar feedback.

Time: 8.00pm - 9.50pm (with interval)

Price: £3.50

Telephone: 01245 471576

E-mail: suem@idnet.com

November 2018

Thu
8

All About Swifts

Location: Northumberland Theatre, Writtle University College, Lordship Road, Writtle (Across the road from the main college building, to the right of the Wilkins Tea Room & Shop).
See Lordship Campus (building no.2) via:-
http://writtle.ac.uk/pdfs/5/Writtle%20University%20College%20Campus%20Maps.pdf

Ample free parking adjacent to the theatre.

Access is at ground level. All welcome.

Postcode: CM1 3RP (Google map)

Dick Newell of Swift Conservation will present this talk.

Details to follow.

Time: 8.00pm - 9.50pm (with interval)

Price: £3.50

Telephone: 01245 471576

E-mail: suem@idnet.com