Calendar: Spring & Summer Events 2024

Check out our interesting programme of guided walks, coach trips and talks! Please check back regularly for updates. Booking is essential for all our events via our Eventbrite page, where you will find full details about the events when booking opens. Most of our events are open to non-members too, usually for a small extra fee but sometimes free of charge. All events may be subject to last-minute changes/cancellations due to circumstances beyond our control. Some of our events you won’t see here as they are only open to our members and are not advertised publicly – everyone is welcome to become a member. If you have any questions please email rspb.cllg.contact@gmail.com We look forward to seeing you at our events!

March

Thurs 21st: Zoom talk 8pm to 8.45pm – Birdsong and Music

Speaker: Lev Parikian, conductor and writer.

Musicians have always been fascinated and inspired by the songs of birds, and many have incorporated them into their compositions and performances. In this talk, nature writer and conductor Lev Parikian examines the nature of birdsong and its relationship with music. Including examples from classical, jazz and pop, Lev brings the insight of a musician and enthusiastic birdwatcher to the subject.

April

Sat 13th: Coach Trip & Guided Birding 7.45am to 7.30pm – RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, Norfolk

Bittern - Jo Garbutt (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jo_garbutt/)

Strumpshaw Fen is on the River Yare in Norfolk, around six miles east of Norwich. The reserve itself has a fantastic range of broadland habitats and wildlife to discover. Enjoy a walk round the reedbeds, woodlands and orchid-rich meadows before an al fresco cuppa from the visitor centre.

Tues 16th: Zoom talk 8pm to 9pm – Birds of London: Fascinating Facts about Seven Species (Series, Part 3)

Speaker: Peter Holden MBE.

A photographic talk full of gems of information about a varied selection of seven bird species that you can see in London. The talk includes what makes these birds special, from standout talents to conservation successes; their habitats and behaviour; whether they are thriving or in decline and why; and their cultural links to humans past and present. The seven species are Skylark, Linnet, Grey Heron, Bittern, Mute Swan, Moorhen and Avocet. This is the third and final talk in a series of three for us by Peter Holden on birds in London.

Sun 21st: Guided walk 10am to 2pm – Cheshunt Nightingale Walk

Our leader, Andrew Peel, will take us around and show us what this wonderful country park can offer in the way of warblers. In particular we will be looking for Nightingales; also woodpeckers, wildfowl, Common Tern; Kingfisher and Peregrine possible. River Lee Country Park is a great place to get close to nature and watch some amazing wildlife. Some 200 bird species have been recorded here and of these 150 can be seen every year. Two charismatic mammals may also be found, the otter and water vole! This walk is a joint event with the London Bird Club.

May

Sat 4th: Coach Trip & Guided Birding 7.45am – 7.30pm – EWT Fingringhoe Wick, Essex

Fingringhoe Wick is set in a spectacular position overlooking the Colne Estuary, and even on the dullest of days the views are fantastic. It offers the visitor real peace and quiet and a chance to escape from it all. A wide range of habitats are on view here, including grassland, heathland and ponds. Fingringhoe Wick is known for its Nightingales each spring. Approx 1% (30-40 pairs) of the total UK population breed on the reserve before heading back to Africa for the winter. These amazing songsters can be heard across the reserve, alongside Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Cuckoo.

June

Tues 4th: Zoom talk 7pm to 7.45pm – Blakeney Point to Wicken Fen: the Life of a Ranger

Speaker: Ajay Tegala, writer, conservationist and wildlife communicator.

Ajay Tegala has worked as a ranger on two National Trust nature reserves, Blakeney Point on the Norfolk coast and Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, and has written two books about his experiences. In this talk he will tell us about the work involved to protect these important, rare habitats and the vulnerable species that call them home. Hear about “life on the edge” where seabirds face a plethora of threats; “rewilding” with free-roaming large herbivores to restore lost fens; and monitoring England’s largest Grey Seal colony as numbers grew from dozens to thousands!

Thurs 13th: In-person talk, starts 6.45pm – Saving the Albatross: Conservation Action on the High Seas

Speaker: Oli Yates, RSPB head of the BirdLife International Marine Programme.

Location: Knightsbridge, London.

A talk about the albatross and measures to protect this amazing bird by a speaker with years of experience in marine conservation around the world. The talk will begin with an introduction to the species and describe the traits of albatrosses and petrels that equip them to be supreme ocean wanderers. Oli will explain the threats they face and the work the RSPB is undertaking to improve their chances of survival, and show the solutions and successes to date, working together with international partners.

Sun 16th: London Peregrine Watching and Outdoor Talk, 10am to circa midday

Speaker: Nathalie Mahieu, local wildlife expert

Location: Margravine Cemetery

Join us for a visit to Margravine Cemetery to look out for Peregrine Falcons and hear an outdoor talk all about the birds by Nathalie Mahieu, a local wildlife expert who monitors their nesting season and will share with us her experiences and the latest news about this year’s brood. Margravine Cemetery is a historical cemetery and public open space that is overlooked by Charing Cross Hospital and is part of the hunting territory of the Peregrine Falcons that nest on the building. While watching out for Peregrines we will enjoy a half-hour informal talk by Nathalie. After the talk we will also have a walk in the cemetery to see what other birds are about, as well as butterflies, moths, ladybirds and flora.

Sat 22nd: Coach trip & Guided Birding 7.50am to 8.30pm – RSPB Arne, Dorset

Dartford Warbler

After a gap of some ten years, the Central London Local Group is excited to be returning to RSPB Arne, a brilliant Dorset birdwatching spot situated on Poole Harbour. It’s a rich patchwork of habitats, home to a huge array of wildlife. Explore wide-open heathlands, as well as ancient oak woodland, farm fields and wetlands. The reserve is one of the best places to see Dartford Warblers. In summer, Grey Heron, Little Egret and Common and Sandwich Terns nest on nearby Brownsea Island.

July

Tues 9th: Zoom talk 8pm to 8.45pm – A Study of the White Storks at Knepp: What’s on Their Menu?

Speaker: Şeniz Mustafa, master’s student in ecology and conservation at the University of Brighton

Learn about the lives of the famous White Storks at Knepp Estate in Sussex – a reintroduced species that has sparked a new connection between people and nature. The talk will begin with a short history of the reintroduction project before discussing the first investigation into the foraging diets of the wild flying Storks that migrate here for the breeding season. Şeniz will also tell us about some of her other wildlife encounters while staying at Knepp.

Sat 13th: Butterfly and Habitats Walk at Wormwood Scrubs, 10am – midday

Walk leader: Kate McVay, on-site RSPB community and ecology adviser

Join us for a guided walk around one of London’s largest green spaces to hear about different habitat types, the approach to managing them and the wildlife to be found there. Along the way we will be looking out for wildlife of all kinds, with a main focus on butterflies, giving you the chance to learn or improve identification skills. Wormwood Scrubs is home to 23 of the 59 species found in the UK. With July being peak flight season for butterflies, we expect to see quite a few on our walk.