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 2019

Sun
17

Field trip to Moore Nature Reserve

Location: Moore Nature Reserve, near Warrington. Grid reference SJ578857. Landranger map OS108.

Postcode: WA4 6XE (Google map)

Just off the A56 Warrington to Runcorn road and running alongside the Manchester Ship Canal is a little village called Moore. In 1991, on the outskirts of the village, a 200-acre nature reserve was created between the Ship Canal and the River Mersey. Moore Nature Reserve was at one time farmland and later a sand quarry.

There are five lakes, a reed bed and extensive woodlands on the site, and eight birdwatching hides all linked together by a series of paths. It is home to all three species of woodpecker and lesser spotted woodpecker is seen in most years. The lakes have produced black-necked grebes and in winter, it is one of the best north-west sites for bittern. Also in winter smew and species of 'white-winged' gull have also bee found.

Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Free at Moore but take your membership card with you in case we go to to Burton Mere Werlands as there is an entry charge without it.

Telephone: 07849 172288

Mon
18

Indoor event - a talk by Keith Offord, titled: Gateway to the Sahara

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall. Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

Keith Offord needs no introduction as he has visited the Group on many occasions to give one of his polished and informative talks in a very articulate way.

Morocco is so close to Europe and yet so far, both in terms of culture and wildlife. It is a country rich in diversity, from the high alpine crags of the Atlas mountains to the edges of the Sahara desert.

Internationally important wetlands can be found along the coastline and it is hardly surprising that Morocco boasts a fascinating range of birds and other wildlife. Eight species of wheatear, eleven species of lark, cream-coloured coursers, bald ibis and black-crowned tchagra are just a few of the species we will be enjoying on this journey from the highest to the lowest altitudes in Southern Morocco.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members.

Telephone: 07966 198472

April 2019

Mon
15

Indoor meeting - a talk by Paul Kenyon, titled: Discovering Doņana—the birds of the most important wetlands in SW Spain

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall, Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire, SK6 6BA
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

We welcome Paul Kenyon to give an illustrated talk about the Doņana National Park in Andalusia, Southern Spain. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site containing a variety of ecosystems that shelter a wide range of wildlife including many endangered species. Also, many species use it as a stepping stone to Northern Europe.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members. Children free.

Telephone: 07966 198472

Sun
28

Field trip to Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's RSPB Reserves

Location: Fairburn Ings RSPB Reserve, West Yorkshire. See OS Landranger map 105; grid reference SE451277.
Postcode: WF10 2BH (Google map)

The three main trails take you through a variety of habitats allowing stunning views of birds such as willow tits and tree sparrows in the woodland, and lapwings, snipe and redshanks in the wet grassland. In winter Fairburn hosts an array of swans, ducks and geese on the main lake, so there is something to see whatever the season.

St Aidan's is just a stone's throw from the centre of Leeds, and is a stunning place to explore. Have your camera at the ready to take advantage of the amazing views and wonderful wildlife spectacles on offer. The Group has been before and members have happy memories.

St Aidan's was an opencast mine for many years and it has now been restored to this wonderful nature park for everyone to enjoy. Four trails lead you through woodland glades, alongside whispering reedbeds, around lakes and ponds, and onto a hill with stunning panoramic views.

Time: 8.00 am prompt at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Free parking for RSPB members but take your membership card. Charge applies for non-members.

Telephone: 07879 646856

May 2019

Sun
19

Field trip to Lake Vyrnwy RSPB Reserve

Location: Lake Vyrnwy RSPB Reserve. See OS Landranger map 125; grid reference SJ016129
Postcode: SY10 0LZ (Google map)

To get to RSPB Lake Vyrnwy, you cross the famous Victorian stone wall dam, the first of its kind in the world, and still pretty breathtaking today. Birdlife is in abundance all year round, but particularly in spring, migrants such as pied flycatchers, redstarts and wood warblers arrive and common sandpipers, dippers and grey wagtails are to be seen around the pool below the dam. Also, you can watch many species at the feeding station, hear nightjars, and see golden-ringed dragonflies in the forest clearings. We may see ravens and peregrines soar over our heads.

There are five nature trails ranging from 2 to 5― miles for all abilities. You can circumnavigate the 12-mile lakeside road, visit the spectacular waterfall in the Rhiwargor valley or enjoy a ramble through ancient woodland and mountains.

The RSPB Visitor Centre at Lake Vyrnwy is open all year round. It has a well-stocked shop, three bird hides, and a cinema with daily showings of a film featuring the history of Lake Vyrnwy reserve. There are also cafes, toilets and a craft centre nearby. Parking and entry is free.

Whatever we do, I am sure we will have a great day!

Note: the start time at Marple Library is 7.00am.


Time: 7.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Entry is free.

Telephone: 07937 27733

Mon
20

Indoor meeting - a talk by Jeff Blincow, titled: Birdwatching in Yunnan, China

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall, Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

Jeff Blincow returns to talk about his three-week winter trip to Yunnan. In birding terms, Yunnan is not very well known, so Jeff employed a Chinese guide to help with the extensive trip and find the birds and other wildlife.

Many birds are familiar as they turn up in the UK, for example, dusky warbler, White's thrush and red-flanked bluetail, but many others like rusty-fronted barwing and scimitar babblers are unique to Asia. There will also be many lowland birds illustrated in his talk, for example pheasants, babblers, bulbuls, barbets, flycatchers, laughing-thrushes, minlas, sibias, leafbirds, sunbirds and thrushes. As with all of Jeff's talks, it will be interesting, educational and not all about birds. There will be a variety of
other species thrown in, trees, fungi, dragonflies and, by visiting a local museum, even dinosaurs!



Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members.

Telephone: 07966 198472

June 2019

Sun
30

Field trip to Anglesey

Location: See OS Landranger map 114; grid reference SJ818213
Postcode: LL65 1YH (Google map)

After leaving Marple, the leader will give instructions on the first meeting place on Anglesey.

Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Free but there may be parking charges in some areas.

Telephone: 07973 727733

August 2019

Sun
18

Field trip to Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve and Alkborough Flats

Location: Location: Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve. See OS Landranger map 112; grid reference SE843232

Postcode: DN14 8HL (Google map)

After leaving Marple we will be meeting at the Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve at aprox. 10 am.

Then we shall be visiting Alkborough Flats, which is on the opposite side of the River Trent from Blacktoft. There are extensive reed beds, pools and scrapes at Alkborough where we hope to catch up with bearded tit amongst many more.

Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Members free. There is a charge for non-members at Blacktoft. There is no charge at Alkborough Flats.

Telephone: 0161 486 9216

September 2019

Sun
15

Field trip to Pennington Flash

Location: Pennington Flash Country Park, Leigh, Lancashirel. See OS Landranger map 109. Grid reference SJ645987
Postcode: WN7 3UG (Google map)

Meet in Marple at 8.00 am.

Pennington Country Park is a 170 acre site six miles south of Leigh. The main entrance to the Park is from the A572, St Helen's Road, near the junction with the Leigh by-pass.

There is a network of paths that take you to each of the eight hides. The main flash and the shingle spit can produce many interesting species. The Frank Horrocks hide overlooks the spit where there may be fine views of waders, ducks and kingfisher. The route then follows the paths clockwise round the lakes, pools and scrapes to access the hides and screens.

Between the Country Park and Leigh is the Bridgewater Canal. From the CP there are steps that lead up to the canal to Ramsdale's Ruck where there are long views to Rivington Pike, Winter Hill, the Pennines and a view over the entire Country Park.

Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple.

Price: There is a charge for car parking.

Telephone: 07880 995115

Mon
16

Indoor event - a talk by Peter Holden, titled: Birds: their hidden world

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall, Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

Peter Holden was for many years the national leader of the RSPB's Young Ornithologists Club and its successor Wildlife Explorers. Many of our children were introduced to birding and wildlife through one of these organisations.

Peter talks about British birds and their amazing lives, the sort of information that most 'bird books' leave out! We look at their adaptation and aspects of reproduction; from the secretive time of acquiring a
territory and building a nest to their highly developed social behaviour and the roles of the different sexes. On the way we will consider the purpose of bird song, by listening to common examples, and we will explore the mystery of mechanical sound used by a few familiar species. Finally, we will consider, if left to their own devices, how long can these birds survive in the wild.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members.

Telephone: 0161 427 0881

October 2019

Sun
6

Field trip to Pugneys Country Park, West Yorkshire

Location: Pugneys Country Park; OS Landranger map 110; grid reference SE 330 171.
Postcode: WF2 7UA (Google map)

We meet in the Library car park in Marple at 8.00am.

Then we travel to Pugneys Country Park, which is situated to the west of Wakefield city centre, one mile from junction 39 of the M1.

It occupies 300 acres and within the park there are two lakes: a large 100 acre water sports lake and a smaller lake designated a Local Nature Reserve. There are paths to one side of this small lake that give views over the whole of the lake and some of the reedbed. There is also a low level hide that allows views over the water and into the reed bed.

There are paths that lead away from the main Country Park to the River Calder basin where there is opportunity to see species that do not necessarily appear on the Pugneys lakes.
.

Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple.

Price: Entry is free but there is a car park charge,

Telephone: 07971 636822

Mon
21

Indoor meeting - a talk by Ian Newton, titled: Iceland - a land of fire, ice, waterfalls and midges!

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall, Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire, SK6 6BA
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

Ian is a past chairman of York Ornithological Club, a position he held for about 20 years. He gained his ARPS accreditation in Nature, in 1998 when he still used fil, but he changed to digital capture in 2004.

Iceland is famous for its active geology, cascading waterfalls, lava fields and snow-capped volcanoes. Its wildlife includes rare breeding birds such as the harlequin duck, which loves fast-flowing rivers and surf, is normally found in North America, plus some of the best whale watching in Europe. Iceland has become a popular destination in recent years so to see why come along and hear Ian's talk.

This talk is about his trip to Iceland in 2014, and includes images of most of the special birds for which Iceland is renowned. However, it is the stunning scenery that really makes this such a popular, if expensive, destination.

Please note I am NOT Dr Ian Newton the author of the book on Sparrowhawks.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members. Children free.

Telephone: 07966 198472

November 2019

Sun
10

Field trip to Hilbre Island

Location: West Kirby. When the tide is right we will walk across the sands to Hilbre Island. See OS Landranger map 109; grid reference SJ202885

Postcode: CH48 0QA (Google map)

After leaving Marple we will travel to West Kirby. The two birding places of interest here are Red Rocks and Hilbre Island.

Red Rocks consist of two main habitats, south, towards West Kirby, are Red Rocks Marsh and sand dunes and to the north Hilbre Point overlooking Bird Rock, East Hoyle sand bank and Liverpool Bay. Hilbre Point (locally known as just 'Red Rocks') can be good for sea watching, particularly in summer and autumn. Red Rocks Marsh is a nature reserve part of which maintained by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It is a 28 acre site of brackish marsh and sand dunes open to the public. The marsh attracts a considerable variety of migrants on passage in spring and autumn.

The shore at Hoylake by the Life Boat Station is a high tide roost for waders during medium to neap high tides. Hundreds, if not thousands of oystercatchers, knot, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and redshank should be seen, peak numbers occur in mid-winter but good numbers of waders can also be seen in late summer when large flocks of gulls are also present. Flocks of knot as big as 30,000 are sometimes seen in winter, a magnificent sight. This spot is also good for sea watching at high tide. Further down towards the old baths and slipway beyond the flats become quite muddy and consequently are feeding areas for a good selection of waders, gulls and shelduck.

On the inland side of Hoylake are a group of marshy fields called the Langfields. This area, often flooded in winter, is always worth checking out for a good selection of wildfowl. Any marshland bird can turn up here.

Hilbre Island is part of a local Nature Reserve maintained by the Wirral Borough Council. There is a bird observatory on the island who's members have produced their own web site, www.hilbrebirdobs.co.uk. The observatory issue an annual report and bird checklist, see the web site for details. Almost anything can turn up at Hilbre during migration. Sea watches can be particularly productive typically producing skuas, gannets, manx shearwaters, Leach's petrel, kittiwake and little gull. In the sea around the Island a good selection of divers, grebes and sea ducks can be observed, including red and black-throated diver, great crested grebe, scoters, scaup, long-tailed duck and eider. Purple sandpiper are a Hilbre speciality being present from November to April and over 200 turnstones are to be seen on the rocks surrounding the Islands. At high tide all three islands - Hilbre, Little Hilbre (also known as Middle Hilbre or Middle Eye) and Little Eye - are used as high tide roosts by a large number of waders. To the south of Little Eye are the Tanskey rocks, best seen from either Little Eye or the outer wall of West Kirby marine lake they attract large numbers of waders and shelduck at low tide.







Time: 8.00 am at Marple Library car park, in the Memorial Park, Marple

Price: Free but there may be some car parking charges if we park in the centre of West Kirby.

Telephone: 0161 427 6747

Mon
18

Indoor meeting - a talk by Dennis Atherton, titled: The birds of the Gambia

Location: Marple Senior Citizen's Hall, Memorial Park, Marple, STOCKPORT, Cheshire
Postcode: SK6 6BA (Google map)

The Gambia is home to over 540 species of bird, and offers a fantastic experience for birding enthusiasts. Dennis will show images from a memorable trip to Gambia he made in 2012. He is a member of the Leigh Ornithology Society and so is a local person..


Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group members free. £2.00 for non-group members.

Telephone: 07966 198472

December 2019

Sun
8

Field trip to Marshside RSPB Reserve and Martin Mere

Location: Marshside RSPB Reserve, Marine Drive, Southport. See OS Landranger map 108; grid reference SD353205
Postcode: PR9 9PJ (Google map)

Meet in the Marple Memorial Gardens car park. Then the trip leader will lead us to the Marshside Reserve andto the WWF Martin Mere Reserve.

Time: 8.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01663 754208