News

Friday, 31 May 2019

January to March News 2019
Avocet Images

January to March News 2019

Our first speaker in 2019 was Dr Mark Avery, formerly an RSPB director and now a well known and very active conservationist who provided a very potent argument for the campaign to ban driven grouse shooting. Unusually, Mark spoke without using slides and he proved to be a very engaging raconteur. Our January visit to Lackford Lakes and Lynford Arboretum went off well, with highlights probably being the hawfinches and common crossbills seen at Lynford. Our speaker in February was Peter Holden MBE who, as usual, gave us an excellent talk about the amazing lives of birds. Our coach trip in February took us to Abberton Reservoir and Tollesbury in Essex. Abberton proved to be alive with rare birds, with black-necked grebes, long-tailed duck, scaup and ring-necked duck all seen close to the Layer de la Haye causeway! A total of 82 species were seen on the day, which enjoyed good weather. In March Martin Harper (RSPB conservation director) gave us an engaging talk on our strategy in conservation research, land management, advice and advocacy, turning what on paper might have been a very dry subject into an extremely interesting one. Our visit to the excellent RSPB Frampton Marsh reserve in Lincolnshire was, as always, enjoyable. Strong winds kept the owls down, but we still enjoyed views of many raptors including marsh and hen harriers as well as merlin, and most of us saw the long staying long-billed dowitcher.