Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Protest against the plume trade, London 1911
RSPB Images

February Round-Up

Snow struck on the night of our Quiz, Feb 4th, but we still had a good evening, raising £764.53 for the RSPB. We had to cancel our trip to EWT Hanningfield on 5th, due to the bad weather, the reserve was closed due to the dangerous state of the approach road. Thankfully, by the 18th the weather had improved and 38 supporters had a great day at RSPB Titchwell Marsh and Holkham NR, 96sp seen by the group. On 22nd, I led the fundraising walk at Holyfield Hall Farm & 70 Acres, no bitterns but we saw several buzzards, yellowhammers and skylarks. Ted Bell led the Beached Bird Survey on 26th, no oiled birds were found fortunately, but 71 live sp were spotted. Full details of all these evens on the Trip Reports pages.

At our meeting on 28th, we had a very interesting and entertaining talk by Peter Holden,MBE, who worked for the RSPB for 40 years, much of that time in charge of the youth section, YOC, now known as Wildlife Explorers. Peter started the Big Garden Birdwatch for the WEX in 1978, 34,000 youngsters took part that year - now its half a million members and supporters!! Peter showed us some short films from the RSPB's archives, on the start of the Society, the problems of egg collecting, and one in particular, of Peter himself, showing his favourite birds, Great Crested Grebes, on an early edition of Springwatch. He also talked about the various species re-introductions and the many problems the RSPB still faces today.

Not drawn, due to a technical difficulty - the 100 Club organiser was not at the meeting! The Draw will take place on March 8th at the committee meeting. We'll put the winners names onto the website then.
If you would like to join our fundraising club, use the 'Contact us' link above. (If you would like to join from our April draw, the cost is £14 - that is £12 plus a one-off £2 admin charge) Club members have donated well over £4,000 towards important RSPB projects since the club was formed.

Rye Meads had a surprise visitor flying over the reserve, a White tailed sea eagle!! The Great Grey Shrike was ringed last weekend on the sewerage works, kingfishers are around the nestbank. Bitterns are still at Rye Meads, Fishers Green and Amwell and smew, goldeneye and goosander are still in the area. Check out our 'Links' pages for more information

This months photo is from the RSPB Archives, showing early supporters protesting against the trade in bird feathers and skins. Have a look at the link to the RSPB's history section.

For information on all our events, (including cancellations such as the recent Hanningfield trip), copies of press releases from the RSPB etc, why not subscribe to our e-newsletter? Please send your details to us, using the 'Contact us' link above, subject title 'E-Newsletter' and we'll put you on the mailing list. . If at any time, you want to amend or update your details, or unsubscribe from the list, please contact us at the groups e-mail address.

Sun 4th is our morning walk along the River Lea & through Kings Meads, Sat 24th is our coach trip to RSPB Dungeness & the coast, always a good trip, recent birds on the reserve have been good numbers of smew, a great white egret, several bitterns and firecrests, so who knows what we will see? Please book EARLY with Barrie Stockwell as we have to confirm the coach by 10th. Our speaker this month at the group meeting on 27th, is Tim Mackrill, who returns to update us on 'The Ospreys at Rutland Water' Don't miss this one! Full details of all our events are on our 'Events Page'.

If you shop at Tesco, don't forget you can show your support for the RSPB by donating your 'Green re-used bags' points, just hand the voucher in your recent Birds magazine to the cashier with your Club Card and all your green points will be allocated to the RSPB until Christmas 2012. If you forget your voucher, there is one in the booklet, 'Together For Trees' available free at your local store.

Hope to see you next month at one of our events,

Terry Smith,
Group Leader