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.

December 2021

Sun
5

Car Outing to Eldernell Nene Washes

Location: Meet at 10 am at Eldernell Lane Car Park Grid Ref TL318 991
http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/n/nenewashes/directions.aspx
Postcode: PE8 4BZ (Google map)

When flooded in winter there are big flocks of Bewick's swans and other swans, ducks and geese. It is an excellent place to watch birds of prey; marsh harriers and hobbies in summer, and hen harriers and peregrines in winter.
There are no visitor facilities apart from the car park and a planned information board (there are public toilets on Eastgate and Station Road in Whittlesey).

Time: 10 am

Price: free

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

Wed
15

The Fens - Zoom talk Wednesday 15th December 7.30-8.30pm

Location: Zoom talk

The Fens has been selected as one of the RSPB's 37 Priority Landscapes where the RSPB will focus its conservation efforts. The landscape used to be one of Europe's largest wetland complexes, but has been subject to land drainage initiatives for over 2,000 years, transforming the area into an intensively farmed low-lying plain. As a result, only 3% remains as a wetland, both as remnant and recreated wetland habitats of international significance. We aim to work with farmers, landowners, communities, volunteers and NGOs to deliver bigger, better and more joined up spaces for nature. Come and join the area conservation team - Daniel Pullan (Senior Conservation Officer) and Bethany Kiamil (Conservation Officer) - to find out more about their work, plans for the future and how you might contribute to making a difference through offering your support on projects like Operation Turtle Dove or the Volunteer Monitoring of Farm Wildlife.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Suggested donation £3

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Wed
15

RSPB and The Fens NEW

Location: https://rspb.zoom.us/j/67907184676?pwd=WmxyWnZSSHNaSVNHZnVJakRtVGx4UT09

Authorisation details available on request.

The Fens has been selected as one of the RSPB's 37 Priority Landscapes where the RSPB will focus its conservation efforts. The landscape used to be one of Europe's largest wetland complexes, but has been subject to land drainage initiatives for over 2,000 years, transforming the area into an intensively farmed low-lying plain. As a result, only 3% remains as a wetland, both as remnant and recreated wetland habitats of international significance. We aim to work with farmers, landowners, communities, volunteers and NGOs to deliver bigger, better and more joined up spaces for nature. Come and join the area conservation team - Daniel Pullan (Senior Conservation Officer) and Bethany Kiamil (Conservation Officer) - to find out more about their work, plans for the future and how you might contribute to making a difference through offering your support on projects like Operation Turtle Dove or the Volunteer Monitoring of Farm Wildlife.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Suggested donation of £3

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Thu
16

16 December (AGM): 'Weather and nature: birds and plants' - Dr Peter Inness ZOOM MEETING

Location: This is a Zoom presentation and meeting.

Peter is a meteorologist. His subject could hardly be more topical, with so many species under threat, we're told, due to climate change. Peter's father is Paul, who served on our committee for many years.





Time: 7.30 pm

Price: free

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
26

Bob's Boxing Day Walk Stanwick Lakes

Location: Stanwick Lakes is situated off the Stanwick roundabout on the A45 in East Northamptonshire between Wellingborough (eight miles away) and Thrapston (seven miles away). SatNav users please use Postcode NN9 6QY and follow the Brown Signs.
https://www.stanwicklakes.org.uk/
Postcode: NN9 6GY (Google map)

Walk off the Christmas Fare and learn about the winter visitors to Stanwick Lakes.

Time: 10.00 am

Price: free but car park charge by Stanwick Lakes might apply

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

January 2022

Sun
16

Wintering wildfowl guided walk around Stanwick Lakes

Location: Stanwick Lakes which is situated off the Stanwick roundabout on the A45 in East Northamptonshire between Wellingborough (8 miles away) and Thrapston (7 miles away). SatNav users please use postcode NN9 6QY and follow the brown signs.
http://www.stanwicklakes.org.uk/

Postcode: NN9 6GY (Google map)

Stanwick Lakes is a unique countryside attraction in the heart of the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire. It is a site which really does offer something for everyone: leisure opportunities, access to attractive countryside and abundant wildlife can all be found here.

Time: 9 am

Price: free but car park charge

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

Thu
20

'Secret Wildlife of the Cairngorms' - Nick Martin

Location: Saxon Hall Thorpe Street Raunds Northants
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

With a lifelong passion for nature and the countryside, Nick has forged a long career in conservation, working for several wildlife organisations, including the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts. He also works and volunteers for others, including the National Trust and Rivers Trust and the Mammal Society. In addition, Nick is an accomplished wildlife photographer and a regular on the speaker circuit. Nick will present the special animals and birds of the Scottish Highlands, from elusive pine marten to cryptic ptarmigan, and explain how these highland specialists exist in the most remote yet beautiful parts of Scotland.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

February 2022

Thu
17

'Wonderful Winter Wildlife' - Ashley Grove

Location: Saxon Hall, Raunds (access off Thorpe Street opposite Co-op store). Free parking and easy access for disabled people.
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

We look forward to a return visit from Ashley, whose passion for nature and the great outdoors is lifelong, and for many years he has been an RSPB volunteer and a speaker for the RSPB, BTO and Royal Horticultural Society, giving around 50 talks a year. He is founder of Experience Nature, which has developed over the years, and a professional photographer.
On 'Wonderful Winter Wildlife', Ashley says: 'Whatever the British winter throws at us, we always have some incredible wildlife around us to help us through to the warmer months. The British Isles plays host to many birds during the season, with huge numbers of wildfowl arriving, and wading birds putting on spectacular shows with thousands filling the skies around the coast. The winter thrushes, waxwings and other visitors add colour to chilly days, and we can attract these and other visitors to the garden as the temperatures drop outside. This talk will hopefully give a solution to the winter blues and encourage you out and about to explore what special wildlife we have close by.'

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
27

Car Outing to Lynford Arboretum

Location: For the Arboretum from Thetford, take the A134 towards the village of Mundford. At the roundabout, turn right onto the A1065 signposted Swaffham. Turn immediately right, on a bend, signposted Lynford Hall and gravel pits. Lynford Arboretum is approximately half a mile along this road. (52.511,0.686)

Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

Lynford Arboretum Thetford Forest to see Hawfinches flowers and trees.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandEastAngliaNoForestThetfordForestParkLynfordArboretum

Time: 10 am in Arboretum carpark

Price: car share

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

March 2022

Thu
17

'The Cuckoo' - Paul Stancliffe

Location: Saxon Hall, Raunds (access off Thorpe Street opposite Co-op store). Free parking and easy access for disabled people.
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

Paul is the Media Manager for the BTO. In this role he communicates the work of scientists, the management team and BTO survey organisers, and thereby seeks to promote its work as widely as possible. He is a lifelong birder and is a member of the Dorset rarities panel, the Isles of Scilly records panel, and the bird recorder for Christchurch Harbour and the Isles of Scilly. He is a council member of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East and the Bird Observatories Council. He has authored two bird identification guides published by the BTO and Harper Collins.
The cuckoo needs no introduction! It is surely a unique British bird, with its amazing but brutal breeding methods and of course its unmistakable song - we've all remarked 'on hearing the first cuckoo in spring', but sadly in recent years it has become a much rarer experience. We look forward to an informative and fascinating talk by Paul.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

April 2022

Wed
20

Spring Migration through the valley, Stanwick Lakes

Location: Stanwick Lakes which is situated off the Stanwick roundabout on the A45 in East Northamptonshire between Wellingborough (8 miles away) and Thrapston (7 miles away). SatNav users please use postcode NN9 6QY and follow the brown signs. Car Park £3. http://www.stanwicklakes.org.uk/

Postcode: NN9 6GY (Google map)

Meet at the Visitors Centre to begin walk observing migrating birds along the Nene Valley

This event is on a Wednesday

Time: 9.00 am

Price: free but car-park charge

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

Sun
24

Coach outing Frampton Marsh and Freiston Shore, Lincs

Location: The RSPB has created a variety of wetland habitats at Frampton Marsh where close-up views of roosting wading birds can be achieved, especially at high tides. The first returning brent geese arrive in September and can be seen grazing on the saltmarsh. The high tides at this time of the year force thousands of waders to seek refuge from the tide on the highest parts of the marsh, usually just over the sea wall. Curlews, redshanks and thousands of golden plovers can be seen roosting in the fields. Kingfishers take up a winter residence in the tidal creeks of the marsh. Marsh harriers can frequently be seen hunting over the reserve.
The reserve is surrounded by public footpaths which act as trails. These are mainly along sea banks and can be muddy in wet conditions. They are also uneven. The outer bank is accessed via steps and a ramp. The visitor centre has panoramic views over the developing reedbed and here you can find out what is happening with a hot drink, before exploring the rest of the reserve and getting great views of wildlife from the superb new hides.
Facilities: visitor centre, toilets, and hot and cold drinks.
https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/frampton-marsh/
Postcode: PE20 1AY (Google map)

The RSPB has created a variety of wetland habitats at Frampton Marsh where close-up views of roosting wading birds can be achieved, especially at high tides.

Time: Leaves Raunds Square at 8:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 8:10am

Price: £18

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

May 2022

Sun
22

Coach Trip to Minsmere

Location: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/minsmere/index.aspx
Postcode: NN9 6HP (Google map)

On the beautiful Suffolk coast, Minsmere offers a day out for families, beginners and experienced birdwatchers alike, with plenty to enjoy at any time of year. Nature trails take you through woodland, heathland and reed beds, to excellent hides and to the beach.
In spring avocets return to breed on the Scrape - about 100 pairs nest annually. From mid-April see returning common terns, while wildfowl start to leave in March, and migrant wading birds pass through. Look for marsh harriers displaying over the reed beds. Minsmere is the best place in Britain to hear booming bitterns. Listen for nightingales singing in the scrub from mid-April, and listen for various other warblers around the reserve. Look for Dartford warblers on the heath, and listen for great spotted woodpeckers drumming. Sand martins return to nest outside the tearoom. Bluebells are in flower in May. Adders emerge from hibernation.
Facilities: Visitor Centre, Information Centre, Toilets, Shop, Hot & Cold Drinks & Snacks, Tea Room serving light meals
http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/minsmere/index.aspx

Time: Coach pickups: Raunds Square 7 am, Thrapston market place 7.10 am. Return by 8 pm

Price: £18 plus entry to reserve for non RSPB members

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

July 2022

Wed
13

Car outing Fermyn Woods to seek Purple Emperor butterfly

Location: Entry to woods off the A6116 (Corby to Thrapston road) Meet at Brigstock Country Park entrance

Postcode: NN14 3HS (Google map)

Fermyn Woods are an ancient woodlands containing semi-natureal oak and ash woods, along with conifer plantations. It is excellent for butterflies, including the rarer ones such as black hairstreak, purple emperor, white admiral and white letter hairstreak.
Situated in the heart of the Rockingham Forest, the park offers access to fantastic woodlands, meadows, thickets, marshes and ponds to explore.
http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/leisure/countryside/pages/fermyn.aspx

Time: 10.00 am

Price: free

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

September 2022

Thu
15

'The Stars of Northamptonshire Botanical Sites' - Alyson Freeman

Location: Saxon Hall, Raunds (access off Thorpe Street opposite Co-op store). Free parking and easy access for disabled people.
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

Alyson belongs to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and is currently the Vice-County Recorder of Northamptonshire. She grew up in the north-east of England and has loved wild flowers from childhood. She worked as a Biomedical Scientist in the NHS and has studied at Leicester University Botanical Gardens. Since retiring she has devoted more time to botany, co-ordinating and submitting all records of plants in the county to the database held by the BSBI. She also organises the Northants Flora Group, which holds meetings throughout the year (covid permitting).
Alyson's presentation will include some of the wonderful sites for wild flowers in Northamptonshire, the plants themselves, with lots of photos along the way, hoping to add a new dimension to our walks in the countryside. She would also be happy to try to identify any plants or photos members might like to bring along.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
25

Coach trip to Gibraltar Point Skegness

Location: https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/get-involved/top-reserves/gibraltar-point
Postcode: LN9 5HF (Google map)

Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve is an area of some 430 hectares comprising sandy and muddy seashores, sand-dunes, saltmarshes and freshwater habitats extending for a distance of about 3 miles along the Lincolnshire coast, from the southern end of Skegness to the entrance of the Wash. There is a network of paths, designed to take the visitor easily around the major habitats whilst keeping disturbance to a minimum. Many typical plants growing in characteristic habitats are labelled at points where they may easily be seen from the paths. There is an observation platform at Mill Hill with extensive views of the surrounding landscape, and public hides overlook the Mere and Fenland Lagoon.
https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/get-involved/top-reserves/gibraltar-point
Facilities: visitor facilities and toilets in car park. Inside the new Visitor Centre explore the Wild Coast Exhibition and Nature Discovery Room and visit The Point Cafe and Look-out and gift shop.

Time: Raunds square 8.00am and Thrapston market place 8.10am

Price: Coach £18 plus donation

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

October 2022

Thu
20

'Northamptonshire Wildlife through the Year' - Douglas Goddard

Location: Saxon Hall, Raunds (access off Thorpe Street opposite Co-op store). Free parking and easy access for disabled people.
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

Douglas is a retired History teacher. From 1986-2015 he was the County Recorder for butterflies in Northants, on behalf of Butterfly Conservation and the Wildlife Trust, and chairman of the Bedfordshire and Northants branch of Butterfly Conservation until 2020. He was co-author of 'The Butterflies of Northamptonshire' with Andy Wyldes and in 2012 received An Outstanding Volunteer Award from Butterfly Conservation. He is also part of the Yardley Chase Conservation Group and actively involved in leading butterfly walks.
As a keen photographer Douglas has photographed many aspects of Northamptonshire wildlife over the years, being particularly interested in dragonflies and birds as well, though his talk will feature most other groups too, showing how the natural history of the county unfolds over the course of the year and discussing changing trends.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
23

Coach trip to Pulborough Brooks West Sussex

Location: Depart 7 am Raunds Market Square ONLY PICKUP. Returning about 8 pm.
Postcode: NN9 6HP (Google map)

Set in the beautiful Arun Valley, with superb views across wet meadows and fields to the South Downs, Pulborough Brooks is a haven for a wide range of wildlife. It is recognised as one of Europe's top wetlands, and supports half of the Arun Valley's breeding wading birds and half of its wintering wading birds. It also contains grassland, woodland, hedgerows and scrub, which are important for many species of bird, insect and plant.
Winter birds include flocks of ducks and wading birds on the flooded meadows, fieldfares and redwings feasting on the hedgerow fruits, short-eared owls patrolling the brooks, peregrines stooping on flocks of ducks and waders and nuthatches and tits on the bird feeders.
Facilities: visitor centre, shop, tea room, toilets.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/p/pulboroughbrooks/about.aspx

Time: 7 am Raunds

Price: Coach £18, Admission RSPB Members Free, non-members £5

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 626251

E-mail: michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk

November 2022

Thu
17

'Wildlife on the Farm' - Fred Hilsdon

Location: Saxon Hall, Raunds (access off Thorpe Street opposite Co-op store). Free parking and easy access for disabled people.
Postcode: NN9 6LT (Google map)

For decades farmers have been blamed for the decline of farmland species such as the grey partridge, through the use of fertilizers, insecticides, monocultures, hedgerow removal, pond drainage, and lack of suitable food at vital times of the year, etc. More recently, programmes like Countryfile have highlighted attempts to reverse the trend, so Fred Hilsdon's presentation will be topical and should restore some hope for the future. Fred farms at Great Harrowden.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk