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.

September 2019


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


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


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


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, 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


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


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