News archive

January 2021

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Newsletter No.8 - keeping in touch

Newsletter No.8 - keeping in touch

This is our eighth newsletter since the suspension of our regular meetings and walks programme.

If you click on the 'Download file' link (scroll down to the last line of this News item), then you will see our 2-page newsletter.

Here are some of the contents from the first page:

"Dear All,

Hope you are all well.
Our next four meetings will be on zoom, as follows:

9th February Andre Farrar - My Life with Birds concentrating on Hen Harriers and Wading Birds
9th March Simon Ginnaw - Birding in the Heart of Europe (Hungary)
13 April Speaker to be confirmed
11 May Richard Pople - What's in your garden

Walks and Events, as you have probably guessed, are still suspended until there is an improvement in the current situation.

Big Garden Bird Watch
A reminder that the Big Garden Bird Watch is 29th to 31st January. You can sign up for all you need to take part, including your free guide, help with identifying what you see and expert advice on feeding the birds at Big Garden Birdwatch Join the fun - The RSPB

Thank you again to all those who have made a donation to the RSPB following one of our talks

Warm regards,
Your Friends on the Committee"

The newsletter also contains links to "The Big Schools Winterwatch Live Lesson - BBC Teach" at 11am on 28th January 2021, encouragement to share your BGBW videos and a link to "Things to do in your garden".

Please do keep in touch - you can email us at

or follow us on Twitter @RSPBNELondonGrp

or follow us on Facebook - click on the link below to go to our FB page (or go to, as it is a public page, you should not need a Facebook account to view it.

Download file

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Wildlife of Speyside (+ short AGM)

Wildlife of Speyside (+ short AGM)

We welcomed back Speyside Wildlife to talk about their beautiful part of Scotland and the special wildlife that inhabits it.
We completed our introductions and AGM in 15 minutes and then handed over to Roy Atkins, a holiday guide for Speyside Wildlife,

Roy transported us to the glorious countryside surrounding the River Spey with the occasional foray to nearby special places such as the Findhorn Valley and the Moray Firth.

Four of the special birds of Speyside are Crested Tit, Scottish Crossbill, Capercaillie and Osprey - Roy gave us an insight into the particular habitat needed by these species which limits the occurrence of the first three but Ospreys have slowly been successful in other areas of the UK after the first returning birds were carefully guarded at Loch Garten from 1954 (after being absent from the UK for many years).

I knew it was difficult to distinguish Scottish Crossbill from Common and Parrot Crossbill but Roy explained why it has become almost impossible in the field!

There are many other special birds to be found including Black and Red Grouse, Golden and White-tailed Eagles, Ptarmigan and Dotterel (high up in the Cairngorms) to mention a few - not forgetting animals such as the Mountain Hare and Red Squirrel. Roy had us wishing we could be there with them as he presented us with brilliant photo after photo giving us close up views of so many species.

Roy has also developed an interest in botany and had photo sets of delicate, small flowers such as the Twinflower, Wintergreens and orchids, plus examples of damselflies and butterflies that we would never see in the south.

A thoroughly interesting talk, brilliantly illustrated leaving many of us determined to visit this wonderful area when we are free of Covid-19 and are allowed to travel again!