News archive

January 2014

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Great tit at birdtable

Big Garden Bird Watch weekend

You didn't have to be a birder to take part - anyone could join in using the information on the RSPB's website. There are images of the birds you were likely to see plus info about using the new Live Bird Counter - so you could use your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone!

Other wildlife - the RSPB is about far more than just birds. They protect threatened birds, other wildlife and the places where they live, so they will always be there for us and future generations. So this year they included non-native wildlife in the survey too, so we can see where it is found.

You may not have seen these creatures in your hour watching (especially frogs, toads and hedgehogs, which are hibernating now), but they'd like to know if any of them visit your garden or park and, if so, roughly how often.

If you click on the link below, it will take you to the RSPB BGBW website pages for more info and how to submit your findings.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

WaterWorks Nature Reserve

WaterWorks Nature Reserve

We held a brief AGM first, with some reports and then your committee agreed to stand again. Thanks to our speakers for sitting through our AGM!

David Farthing spoke first about his patch - the Waterworks Nature Reserve - and entertained us with nuggets of information about the creation of the Waterworks starting in 1852 including events up to today. He described the varied habitats that have been created and maintained in the small area of the Waterworks and the diversity of wildlife that inhabit it.

Then as a bonus, we had Gavin Johnson describe the very different area of Walthamstow Marshes (his patch) and the challenges that open public access can cause. Gavin explained the old Lammas system used in the past (officially stopping in 1936 but which had ceased some time before that). However, the drying out of the Marshes is a major concern which needs to be addressed.

Both speakers were well received by their audience and we signed up some for the walk next Saturday despite the earlier start time of 8.30am (though we will return to the visitor centre for those that arrive at the original start time of 9.30am).

David Farthing is moving on to pastures new this week so Gavin will lead our walk at the Waterworks this coming Saturday.

Below I have added some of the info from the LV website (click on the link below to go to the website page for the Waterworks NR)

The WaterWorks Centre nature reserve has one of the largest bird hides in London offering close-up views across a series of filter beds, each with its own unique character.
In spring and autumn waders on passage through Lee Valley drop into the site. Common and Green Sandpiper are regular visitors, whilst Wood Sandpiper and Blacktailed Godwit have recently been recorded.
The secluded beds are a fantastic place to get up-close to Teal and Snipe and in summer Pochard and Little Grebe breed here. A variety of wildfowl including Gadwall and Shoveler can be viewed from the central hide.
Sand Martin's are regular summer visitors and use the artificial nesting towers to breed. An artificial Kingfisher bank has also been installed and there are superb views of Moorhen, Little Grebe and Tufted Duck.
Certain beds have been allowed to form dense scrub and are home to species such as Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, whilst Sedge and Reed Warbler nest amongst the reeds. Listen out for Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker. The flood relief channel adjacent to the WaterWorks is also an excellent place to view bats foraging in the warm summer evenings.
Out and about on the reserve there's even more to see, because over 500 varieties of plants and one quarter of Britain's butterfly species have been recorded here.

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk.

Download file

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Programme of Talks in 2014

Programme of Talks in 2014

Please click on the 'Download file' link to view or print our new leaflet with brief descriptions of our Talks in 2014.

Talks in 2014:

14 Jan 2014 ___ Waterworks Nature Reserve

11 Feb 2014 ___ Red Kites in the Chilterns

11 Mar 2014 ___ The Wildlife of Epping Forest

08 Apr 2014 ___ The State of Nature: What can we do?

13 May 2014 ___ A South American Journey

10 Jun 2014 ___ Big Skies and all that Crawls, Flutters and Flies

09 Sep 2014 ___ Iceland and Back

14 Oct 2014 ___ Rainham Marshes

11 Nov 2014 ___ A Miscellany of Birds

09 Dec 2014 ___ Film & Social Evening

Download file