News archive

March 2014

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Volunteers gathering reed

Walk and cycle event

Our partners and friends at Meres and Mosses have a full programme of events throughout the year:
The next is...
Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th April - Walk and cycle event, around Ellesmere and Welshampton. A range of guided walks and bike rides to enjoy and explore the landscape

Monday, 24 March 2014

Straining tower, Lake Vyrnwy

Farewell to Shrewsbury RSPB Christmas shop

Over the Christmas period RSPB Vyrnwy kindly brought their services to Shrewsbury; opening a shop in the town centre. After enjoying great sales over the festive season they were able to extend their presence right through to March. Today, sadly, the Shrewsbury shop bid us farewell and is returning the stock to await you in the store at Lake Vyrnwy. Jo Langfield is keen to express thanks to members for their support and hopes to see you there soon.

Friday, 21 March 2014

New Home

New Home

From September 2014 we will be holding our meetings at Bayston Hill Memorial Hall, Lyth Hill Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 0DR. They will be on the fourth Tuesday of each month (except for October and December 2014 - see events for details). Please spread the word and let your friend know.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Save the spoon

Save the spoon

An excited shout goes out. Someone has spotted movement in the grass about 50 feet to the left of us. After two days of searching we hope we've finally found what we've travelled thousands of miles to find - a spoon-billed sandpiper sitting on eggs.
My name is Robert, and I'm lucky - I've seen a spoon-billed sandpiper in the wild. But sadly, it's a sight that's becoming all too rare.
Spoon-billed sandpipers are dying at a shocking rate, and extinction looks likely within the next decade if urgent action is not taken. There are two main reasons for the decline. One is hunting, particularly on the birds' wintering grounds in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The other is that the birds' habitat is under serious threat from the rapid coastal development taking place in east and south Asia.
Recent research suggests that there are only between 100-200 breeding pairs. These beautifully mottled, ground-nesting birds with their distinctive spoon-shaped beak need your help today more than ever.
Please help fund our work

As someone who already supports our work you know what a difference one person can make, which is why I'm e-mailing to ask if you can help us again.
With your help, we want to boost the wild population of spoon-billed sandpipers and stop their imminent extinction.
Working as part of a team including the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Birds Russia, BirdLife International, and British Trust for Ornithology, we're removing eggs from the wild to rear chicks in safety, before releasing them back into the wild.
Each chick released is fitted with a uniquely coded metal leg band and a white leg-flag to help us monitor the success of this technique.
In 2012, nine spoon-billed sandpiper chicks were successfully raised this way. Last year we raised and released 18 more healthy chicks that successfully migrated from their Siberian breeding grounds to the coasts of south-east Asia.
This innovative work boosts the number of spoon-billed sandpiper chicks that survive. And as females can lay a replacement clutch the number of chicks produced each year can be almost five times higher than if we didn't help them. Together with the captive breeding work this will buy the spoon-billed sandpiper time while we continue to tackle hunting and habitat loss.
Stopping extinction

Please donate £20 today, or whatever you can afford, to save these amazing birds. With the support of people like you we can save these birds from extinction and make sure they aren't just a memory.
Thank you.

Dr Robert Sheldon
Head of International Species Recovery

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Natterjack toad

Meres and Mosses Events

Our partners and friends at Meres and Mosses have a full programme of events throughout the year:

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th April - Walk and cycle event, around Ellesmere and Welshampton. A range of guided walks and bike rides to enjoy and explore the landscape.

Sunday 6th April - Easter event on the Cholmondely estate, a range of activities including the RSPB building bird boxes.

Sunday 27th April - Woodland day at The Mere, Ellesmere. Have a go at building a nest in a tree and other woodland activities.

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th May - Whitchurch walking festival - a series of guided walks to explore and learn about the area.

Saturday 24th May - Shropshire Agricultural show

Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th June - Chester show

Tuesday 29th July - Nantwich show

Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August - Water weekend, explore all things watery at the Mere in Ellesmere. Have a go at fishing and canoeing, find out what lives beneath the surface and join in with a range of crafts and activities. Part of International Water Week.

Saturday 6th September - Family Fun day at RSPB wildlife friendly farm, The Wall, Weald Moors. Lots of activities throughout the day - more details to come!

Saturday 20th September - Meres and Mosses festival at Cremorne Gardens, Ellesmere 11am-5pm followed by evening events. "A whole Mess of Fun!" MereFest is the Meres and Mosses annual free festival, come and discover what makes this such a unique area, activities from forest schools to spider hunts, willow weaving to birdbox building, pond dipping, canoeing, fishing, crafts tent and stalls including the science tent for the geek in you!

For more information feel free to contact Lauren Shannon - Community Engagement Officer on 07713392014 or email Or visit the Meres and Mosses events page at

Download a printable PDF version.

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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Flock of IBIS

Flock of IBIS

Rodney is looking to re-home this collection and said it seems such a shame to put them in a skip, so I thought I'd ask around a bit to see if anyone would like them. The price (if there is one) will be very minimal.

A complete 20-year run of the quarterly journal, from January 1954 to October 1973; 83 issues in total (only 3 were issued in 1959, as July and October appeared together, and in other years 5 were issued). Two different sizes: earlier ones 14 x 22cm, later 17 x 26cm. Condition on the whole very good, though earlier ones a little browned on the spine and foxed inside. An invaluable reference library for all ornithologists.

If you are interested please contact Rodney directly on 07854 945848 or