News archive

March 2020

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Croydon Lockdown Bird Watch

In case you haven't heard, the RSPB closed all its reserves today until further notice. Many of you will have received an email about this from our Chief Executive Beccy Speight. In it she says:
"Nature is all around us. Perhaps, like me, you are able to look out of your window onto trees bursting into blossom, bright white against a clear blue sky, or maybe you can hear the melodic song of blackbirds as dusk approaches.
"Watching wildlife, whether from a window or a balcony or even online, can offer many of us hope, joy and a welcome distraction, and so we are keen to help you carry on connecting with the natural world."

As an attempt to lighten the dark days of lockdown, perhaps you would like a bit of a challenge. So I would like to launch 'The Croydon Lockdown Bird Watch'. Early thoughts for now and I may modify things as time goes on.
As Beccy alluded to, we should have more time to spend looking at the birds in our gardens. If you are up for it, I would like people to keep a note of the birds they see or hear in or from their garden/house (ok, so not birds actually IN your house I hope!) over the period of a week. As it includes birds seen from your garden, the distant dot that turns out to be a buzzard or red kite will count, as will the green woodpecker calling from a neighbour's garden. Then email me the lists at the end of the week and I will see which different species have been recorded and who has seen the most. No prizes, just doing your bit enjoying our birds.
I have prepared a modified form of our garden recording sheet for you to note down the birds. It covers the next five weeks. I will send out a new one if there has been sufficient interest and in anticipation that lockdown will continue.
We can start tomorrow and I look forward to receiving the first lists next week. Although just over four hours to go on my list, the Tawny Owl hooting outside this evening gives hope for what could turn up. And even if you don't take part in our challenge, you can still enjoy the birds.

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Thursday, 19 March 2020

RSPB Croydon Local Group meetings

The Group's indoor meetings at Whitgift Sports Club have been cancelled until further notice. This is to help reduce the spread of coronavirus covid-19. The website will be updated as soon as we have any further news about when the meetings may be resumed.
In the meantime, please keep safe and do as much as you can to restrict and contain this disease (and others that can be spread by close contact).

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Covid-19 Birding

Covid-19 Birding

At the time of writing this (and the situation is changing rapidly from day to day) you can still go out into our open spaces as long as you practice social distancing. So, while you can, why not get out to get some exercise and admire the wide array of birds on offer in Croydon? At the same time you could keep a note of what you see and help us to monitor the state of Croydon's birds. At this time of year you might come across some migrants freshly arrived for the summer or on their way further north. Skylarks are already singing at Farthing Downs and Riddlesdown and it won't be long before we will be regaled by willow warblers and whitethroats. And it would be great if you could see a wheatear or ring ousel on its way through.
Should we be put into total lockdown (and this could happen sooner rather than later in London) don't despair. There will be birds visiting or flying over your garden and even those who are self-isolating or in enforced lockdown will have no excuse for not doing our garden bird survey. You can download a recording form and find out more information in the news item about the survey on this website. Who knows, you may find your day brightened up by a visit from a Red-legged Partridge.

The choice is yours, but whatever you do, please keep yourself safe and adhere to government guidelines. A link to the RSPB's advice is included with this article.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Croydon Bird Survey

Croydon Bird Survey

The RSPB Croydon Local Group has run a survey of local birds since 1995. Anyone can take part and send us records from their garden or an open space in Croydon. To take part all you need do is to download the attached form and tick the appropriate box if a species is seen (or heard) in or from your garden during the month. Although we would appreciate further information about the maximum number of each species seen in your garden at any one time during the month you do not have to include this additional information, but a brief note about number and exact date for less common garden visitors would be most welcome.

Records from open spaces do not have to be collected on a regular basis or on special bird watching visits (although that would be most beneficial). Even if you only go somewhere once or twice a year, any information would be useful to us. The details can be recorded in the same way as for gardens. If you visit more than one site, please use a separate form for each one.
If you do decide to take part in the survey, the forms can be returned either directly to John Birkett, handed in at one of the group meetings or sent by e-mail.
Sightings can also be reported through the Croydon Birders website (see the Links page) or submitted by email, post or telephone. Any records of unusual species submitted to us, by whichever route, may be followed up for further details (possibly including a request for a description) as we share our records with the county bird recorders (for Surrey and London).
If you would like an electronic copy of the form please email johnbirkett@hotmail.co.uk

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Cancellation of outings

Cancellation of outings

Please note that in the light of the current coronavirus (covid-19) all planned Croydon RSPB Local Group outings have been cancelled until further notice. Please check this website for updates.
At present there is nothing to stop people from going out and birdwatching and indeed, although visitor centres, cafes and shops have been closed, all RSPB reserves are remaining open, but hides may be closed - more information is available on the RSPB's website. The main issue with our organised outings is that they rely on car sharing where (contrary to government guidelines) participants would be in close proximity in an enclosed space . We have not taken the decision lightly, but your safety remains paramount. Also, if drivers pull out, there may be no cars to take non-drivers anyway.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

2020 programme of events

Our programme of talks, weekend car outings and midweek outings can be downloaded from this page. Unfortunately this includes those events that have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. However, once we are fully up and running again, why not come along to one of our talks or join us on an outing to see what we get up to.
The Big Croydon Bird Watch in May might still go ahead as it could be done without using public transport or car sharing.

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