Binocular cases needed
RSPB Orkney Field Teacher Lindsey Taylor asks if any of our Local Group members have old binocular cases which they would be willing to pass on to her. These would be ideal for carrying equipment for hunting minibeasts, etc. with the Wex Group and schools events. If you have a spare case with no bins to go in it, perhaps you would consider finding it a new home?
Cases can b dropped off at the RSPB Office or at the Kirkwall Tourist Information Centre (c/o Lindsey's sister Megan Taylor). If it is easier, Lindsey's address is:
Strathyre, Maitland Place, Finstown where cases can be dropped off.
Durkadale Picnic - Sunday 25th March
This is a joint event with Orkney Field Club to carry out maintenance work at the RSPB and OFC native tree plantations. There will be the usual picnic and an opportunity to do some wildlife-watching. Arrive anytime between 10 am and 1 pm. Contact Jenny Taylor on 01856 811231.
** RSPB Local Group Spring Meeting - Friday 30th March
Julian Branscombe will give an illustrated talk entitled "Germany - Birds and a Salamander" which promises to be very interesting. It's at the St. Magnus Centre, Kirkwall commencing at 7.30 pm. Refreshments will be served and a raffle held towards cost of room hire. Small donations at the door would be appreciated. Make a note in your diary and watch out for the advert in the Orcadian. I hope our group members will support this event.
Birding by Bus - Sunday 1st April
A last call for this coach trip which will be travelling round the West Mainland looking at bird hot-spots and hopefully seeing plenty of species. There will be a commentary, giving information as to what is being seen, facts about the different birds, etc. The trip is from 10 am until 2 pm. Meet at Ring of Brodgar Car Park at 9.45 am and bring along a picnic and refreshments if desired. Cost is £11.70 and it would be appreciated if the exact amount could be paid to avoid having to dig around for change. Although there will be very little walking, stout footwear would be advisable. Details/ bookings to Dick Matson on 01856 751426.
Harrier Sky Dancing - Sunday 15th April
Another joint event with OFC, this is a guided walk in the Birsay Moors to watch the spectacular courtship display of the hen harrier. Other birds of prey should also be on view. Families and non-members are very welcome to attend. Bring a picnic and binoculars if available. Meet at Rendall Community Centre at 9.30 am. Graham and Kathie Brown are waiting to receive bookings on 01856 841390.
Bag the Bruck - Sat. 21st/Sun. 22nd April
Marine debris can seriously harm our wildlife so please come along and help remove plastic rope, netting and other rubbish from our beaches. RSPB Local Group will tackle Waulkmill Bay on the Saturday and Orkney Field Club will be at Marwick Bay on the Sunday. Visit anytime between 10 am and 2 p m. Contacts: RSPB Office 01856 850176 or Brian Ribbands (OFC) on 01856 751439.
Sessions at the Loons Hide
Bird-watching sessions are now under way at the Loons Hide and anyone is welcome to go along on the following dates:
Friday 30th March
Friday's 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th April
Sessions are from 9.30 am until 12.30.
A staff member is on hand to answer any questions (normally Lorna or Alan). It's free and you can drop in past any time during the session - you don't have to stay for the full 3 hours. If you'd like to find out more contact the RSPB office in Stromness on 01856 850176.

There will be more sessions through the year and the location will vary but these still are to be decided!
WEX Events - Jane Beckwith tells us about forthcoming outings:
Sunday 25 March – 2-p.m.
West Mainland, specific venue still to be decided.
Meeting called – Be a Fossil Hunter and discover Orkney Rocks.
April 21st - Joining in with the Bag the Bruck session with the RSPB at Waulkmill Bay.
For all WEX enquiries please telephone Jane Beckwith (841212)
Fri.25th/Sat.26th May - Co-op Bag Packing
A few people have already been in touch offering their services with the Local Group bag pack at the Kirkwall Co-op. If anyone else can spare an hour or two on either the Friday or the Saturday then I would be delighted to hear from them. This is a great opportunity to raise vital funds for conservation. Either email or Tel. 01856 741382.