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.

January 2018

Thu
18

'I know an island' by Trevor Gunton

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)

Trevor is no stranger to us and has previously given presentations ranging from his speciality, Paxton Pits, to polar bears and penguins. This time he'll be celebrating the UK's offshore islands, visiting the Farnes, Mull, Orkney and Fair Isle. Trevor worked for the RSPB for 30 years, based at Sandy, and has lectured all over Britain.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

February 2018

Thu
15

'Birding Spain' by Mike Alibone

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

Mike grew up in Northamptonshire and still lives here. He has a lifelong passion for birds and is our current County Bird Recorder. He has been to various parts of the Western Palearctic, including many visits to Israel. Another trip to Israel in the Spring of 2017 will enable him to add new material to his presentation on the birdlife of this small, Middle Eastern country. His talk will cover the country's dramatic habitat diversity and its influence on the distribution of many birds, its importance as a key migration flyway for some of the world's most vulnerable species, and an overview of the key birding sites, highlighting recent regional conservation initiatives for migrants, wintering and breeding birds.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
18

Coach outing to Holkham and Wells

Location: The coach will leave Raunds Square at 8 am, Thrapston at 8.10 am and normally return about 7-8 pm - but please check when booking.
Postcode: NN9 6HP (Google map)

Holkham National Nature Reserve covers about 3706 hectares (9158 acres), from Wells-next-the-Sea to Burnham Overy. It comprises a number of rare and precious habitats including salt marsh, sand dunes, pine woodland, beach and grazing marsh. Holkham is best known for its stunning panoramic beach and the rich and varied wildlife found on the grazing and salt marshes. Geese are the main attraction with about 7,000 dark-bellied brent geese and, after a long absence, large numbers of pink-footed geese have returned to the area. Sometimes small parties of tundra bean geese join them. Other wildfowl include widgeon and teal. Raptors include hen harriers, peregrin and short-eared owl along with merlin. At Holkham Bay, as well as red-throated diver, there are small numbers of slavonian and red-necked grebes and common and velvet scooters can be seen. On the salt marsh and short at Holkham there are usually snow bunting, twite and shore lark. The coach will drop you off at Holkham and pick you up at Wells Boating Lake. It is not far. The walking is level but the paths can be muddy.
Facilities: There are two hides en route but no facilities until you get to Wells.
http://www.holkham.co.uk/naturereserve/

Time: 8.00 am

Price: £15 per person payable 3 weeks prior to the trip.

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

March 2018

Thu
15

'Garden birds and other wildlife' by Colin Wilkinson.

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)

RSPB Senior Conservation Officer Colin Wilkinson has been to our meetings on several occasions and is an excellent speaker. This time he will focus on a subject which is near to home, literally: the birds and other wildlife in our gardens. At the same time he will receive our annual donation to the RSPB.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

April 2018

Sun
22

Coach Trip to Minsmere

Location: Coach pickups: Raunds Square 7.00 am, Thrapston market place 7.10 am. Return by 7 pm
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: 7 am

Price: £15 plus entry to reserve for non RSPB members

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

May 2018

Wed
2

Car Trip to Paxton Pits

Location: https://sites.google.com/site/paxtonpitsnaturereserve/home
Meet at visitor centre (Grid ref TL 196 629) at 7:00pm.
Postcode: PE19 6ET (Google map)

Trip to listen to the nightingales.
75 hectares of lakes, meadow, grassland, scrub and woodland next to the river Great Ouse where you can enjoy a wealth of wildlife all year round.

Time: 7 pm

Price: £2.50 per person plus car share

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

June 2018

Sun
17

Nags Head Nature Reserve, Forest of Dean

Location: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/n/nagshead/about.aspx
Leaves Raunds Square at 7:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 7:10am.

Postcode: GL15 4JP (Google map)

This time of the year there are pied flycatchers, redstarts, nuthatches, tits and abundant woodland birds feeding their young. There are hawfinches, crossbills and all three British woodpeckers in the woods. Look to the skies for views of ravens, buzzards and sparrowhawks.
The area is good for dragonflies and orchids. There are hides in woodland situations overlooking ponds.
A short (1 mile, 1.6 km) and a long nature trail (2.25 mile, 3.6 km) are available and clearly signposted. Wheelchair and pushchair access is limited due to natural path surfaces and steep inclines.
Facilities: information centre, toilets and picnic area.

Time: 7 am

Price: £15 coach payable 3 weeks in advance

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

July 2018

Wed
11

Butterfly walk at Fermyn Woods

Location: Fermyn Woods Country Park is signposted from the A6116 (Corby to Thrapston road) at Brigstock.
Meet at country park entrance at 10:00am.
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandNorthamptonshireRockinghamForestFermynWoods

Postcode: NN14 3HS (Google map)

Fermyn Woods are ancient woodlands containing semi-natural oak and ash woods, along with conifer plantations. Fermyn is excellent for butterflies, including the rarer ones such as black hairstreak, purple emperor, white admiral and white letter hairstreak.

Time: 10 am

Price: free

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

September 2018

Thu
20

'Wader Quest' by Rick and Elis Simpson

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

Rick and Elis are a husband and wife team who dedicate their lives to promoting wader conservation. Rick is a lifelong birder, writer and artist and has worked as a bird guide in the UK, Spain and Brazil, while Elis is a keen photographer whose main interest is birds and wildlife in general. In Brazil they worked to promote the conservation of the Atlantic rain forest, especially among children in poorer areas and in schools. Returning to the UK in 2012 their new project is Wader Quest, a charity which seeks to raise awareness of the problems that these elegant birds face across the world, 48% of which are in decline. Their presentation will include stunning photos and some amusing personal anecdotes.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
23

Visit to Gibraltar Point

Location: The Coach will leave Raunds Square at 8 am and Thrapston Market Place at 8.10 am. and normally return about 7-8 pm
Postcode: NN9 6HP (Google map)

Coach trip to Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Reserve http://www.lincstrust.org.uk/reserves/gib/.
This 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.
Facilities: visitor centre, The Point Cafe and Look-out and gift shop.

Time: 7.00 am

Price: £15 for coach payable 3 weeks prior to trip (for coach only)

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

October 2018

Thu
18

'Froglife' by James McAdie

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)

James has worked for national Amphibian and Reptile conservation charity Froglife for the past seven years. Its education and conservation teams strive to make practical differences working on-the-ground to restore and create vital amphibian and reptile habitats, and encouraging others to get involved in wildlife conservation. James' presentation will focus on his River Nene Dragon Finder Project, the species he has worked with and plans for the future.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
21

Coach trip to Rainham Marshes

Location: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/r/rainhammarshes/index.aspx
The coach will leave Raunds Square at 8 am - only one pickup
Postcode: NN9 6HP (Google map)

There are only a few ancient landscapes left in London and this RSPB reserve is one of them. Much of the original medieval landform and marshaland wildlife has been preserved and it is now the largest remaining expanse of wetland boardering the upper reaches of the Thames Estuary.
Autumn species include marsh harriers, arctic terns, bearded tits, thrushes, finches, skylarks, meadow pipits, jackdaws, stonechats, hen harriers, goshawks, merlins, peregrines, short-eared owls, barn owls, avocets, black-tailed godwits, white-fronted geese, pintails, wigeons, crickets, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, stoats, weasels and red foxes.
Facilities: visitor centre, toilets, shop and café serving hot food.

Time: 8 am

Price: Coach £15, Admission RSPB Members Free, non-members £5

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

November 2018

Thu
15

'The stone-curlew' by Emily Field

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)

This is our single species topic, featuring one of our more unusual waders, like an oversized plover with a distinctive large yellow eye. It's with us during the summer from SW Europe and Africa, and is rare away from its few breeding areas in East Anglia and parts of southern England. It typically nests on bare open ground and tends to be most active between dusk and dawn. Emily is the RSPB's Project Manager, Stone-curlew UK/EU.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: £3 including tea or coffee

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Sun
18

Visit to Rutland Water

Location: http://www.rutlandwater.org.uk/
Leaves Raunds Square at 8:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 8:10am.

Postcode: LE15 8BT (Google map)

The reserve occupies shore line and shallow water lagoons along 9 miles of the western end of Rutland Water and covers a total area of 1000 acres. It was created in the 1970s with the construction of the reservoir. There are over 30 bird-watching hides.
Although it is close to home, it is arguably one of the premier bird-watching sites in the country.
Facilities: visitor centre, toilets and shop.

Time: 8 am

Price: Admission: Adult permit price is £5.70 but we will be adding £3.00 only to the normal coach fare of £15

Booking essential

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com

December 2018

Thu
20

AGM, mince pies, and members' slides

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)

AGM, mince pies, and members' slides - and it's free!

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: no charge

Telephone: 01933 410566

E-mail: wrisdale1@tiscali.co.uk

Wed
26

Winter bird 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/
Please note the Visitors' Centre will be closed
Postcode: NN9 6GY (Google map)

Boxing Day stroll to walk off the Christmas Fare and learn about the winter visitors to Stanwick Lakes.
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: 10 am

Price: free but Car Park charge £3.50 to Stanwick Lakes

Telephone: 01933 460644

E-mail: derekpennyelmer@aol.com