This is the indoor programme for the RSPB Shropshire Local Group for 2023. The meetings will be held at the Hall in Bayston Hill Memorial Hall SY3 0EW at 1915 except for the first 2 meetings that will be pre paid Zoom talks.

24 January on pre-paid Zoom John Buckingham BIRDS OF ARMENIA – EASTERN GEM OF THE CAUCASUS.

Armenia takes you back in time, to when low intensity agriculture, flower-rich meadows and scenic mountainsides were full of birds and colourful insects. This tiny land-locked country has a huge inland lake with marshes and spectacular mountain and forest scenery. Local birds mix with Asiatic birds including Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Mountain Chiffchaff, White-tailed Lapwing and Ruddy Shelduck. All of these and many more are illustrated and discussed in John’s talk.

 28 February on pre-paid Zoom Alasdair McKee An Osprey in a shopping bag.

Alasdair will tell us how this most charismatic bird of prey has returned from extinction in England in the last twenty years, including the story of this year’s youngsters. His entertaining illustrated talk will introduce you to these wonderful birds and tell the story of a remarkable conservation comeback in Cumbria and beyond … and explain where the shopping bag comes in!

28 March Geoff Hall No Better Place.

Shropshire born and bred, Geoff, a long term member of the SOS and former leader of the Shropshire RSPB members’ group, Geoff is now retired and enjoying it! “No better place…” is an informative diary-type journey of his local wildlife encounters during lockdown showcasing many beautiful birding sites.

25 April Rick and Ells Simpson Wader Quest.

An Inspiration of Waders Based on their book of the same name, this talk explores the manner in which waders have influenced humanity throughout our existence, inspiring life choices, art, music and literature, as well as myths and legends. A variety of collective nouns have been given to some species of wader, however there is none for the mixed, or unidentified, swirling legions of waders that we see over our estuaries in winter. But, based on the evidence presented in this talk, that is about to change!

26 September John Lightfoot Shropshire Barn Owl group.

John will take us through 20 years of the Shropshire Barn Owl Group’s work and showcase many of its remarkable achievements.

24 October Jeff Clarke Large Sea Mammals of the UK.

Jeff will start with a talk on whales and dolphins of the UK then treat us to his new talk on Orcas/Killer Whales.

28 November Keith Offord “WHAT’S THAT RAPTOR?”

Raptors are some of the most exciting but elusive of our bird groups and because of their unpredictable behaviour, keen eyesight and fear of humans, the views we get are often no more than fleeting glimpses or distant specks. This talk takes a close look at the identification of raptors in the real setting where subtle differences in wing length, speed and depth of wingbeat, stance, jizz and habitat provide the melting pot of clues which help us to pinpoint the species accurately.

12th December Ashley Grove Lammergeiers of the Spanish Pyrenees.

Lammergeiers, known as Bearded Vultures, have to be on most bird watchers’ list of must see birds and this lecture doesn’t disappoint in showing just why that is. They fill a unique niche in the food chain, and are without doubt truly fascinating birds with their 9ft wing span, stunning plumage and almost dragon like features. Learn about their life history, where they can be found and about other species that share their world. The talk also includes a second Spanish site ideal for watching Golden Eagles and Vultures.