Sunday, 31 January 2016

London Bird ClubTrip Report: Holkham National Nature Reserve (16th Jan 2016) By Neil Anderson

London Bird Club:  Report on Coach Trip Holkham National Nature Reserve
Saturday 16th January 2016
Neil Anderson

As is often the pattern the first coach trip of the year was almost fully booked though at the last minute there were a few cancellations for health reasons and a couple fearing it would be too cold. The forecast did look bitter but the day was a beautiful winter's day; lots of sunshine until mid afternoon when it clouded up. It was quite blowy in the bay (and a rough, choppy sea) but landward of the shelter belt it felt very pleasant and not particularly cold- I even removed my gloves as we headed back inland!

 Before we even arrived at Holkham, England's largest NNR (nearly 10,000 acres) Frosso had spotted a flying Barn Owl just before 11am. Everybody had good views of Barn Owls at Holkham. In some cases the owl found them and flew very close. In total we must have seen three or four different individuals. This is always a top site for seeing this charismatic species.

High tide fell just before we arrived so I had advised we make our way there first. However with so much bird life either side of Lady Anne's Drive it was a slower walk than hoped for with plenty of wildfowl and waders to distract us. There were small groups of "purring" Dark-bellied Brent Geese and large flocks of Wigeon. At times we saw large numbers of Wigeon flying around in the distance turning almost like a flock of waders.

Normally we see huge numbers of Pinkfeet here but today the numbers were much fewer than usual and the birds more distant. The Lapwing looked splendid in the low sunshine living up to their old name of Green Plover. Also present were some 50 Redshank, 3 Ruff (confusing some as to their identity), Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and a couple of Oystercatcher. As well as the birds we were able to watch the antics of a Brown Hare and others spotted Muntjac.

Given the number of birds present it's no surprise that the area is also a magnet for raptors with many in the air at once. These included several Marsh Harriers and Buzzards, a Red Kite spotted by Ben (my first here), Kestrel and a Peregrine.

Exiting the boardwalk into the expansive Holkham Bay we felt the wind hit us- but it wasn't bitter despite coming from a northerly direction. The saltmarsh yielded little apart from a Skylark and a Meadow Pipit. Navigating the way towards the dunes was tricky for those without wellies due to the streams passing down to the sea.

As mentioned the sea was very rough which made finding seabirds tricky. There were some large rafts of duck but all those I saw were Wigeon- several hundred of them, though others saw a few Common Scoter. Otherwise I picked up five Red-throated Divers flying over the water and the odd Cormorant.

While most of us had our eyes focused on the sea Frosso looked to her left and spotted a small group of birds landing by the stream. As we all looked round there was a whoop of excitement as they were identified as Snow Buntings. It's always a thrill to see these northern passerines as they move along feeding on small seeds. Initially we counted 14 of them but later as the group moved around we eventually tallied 25. Also on the beach was a large group of whitish Sanderling feeding along the stream.

We decided to have lunch in the shelter of the hides. Walking along the path there were some large mixed flocks of Coal and Long-tailed Tits with Goldcrests and a couple of Treecreepers; one of the latter giving superb views a few metres in front of us just a couple of metres off the ground.. For the botanically minded quite a few Stinking Hellebores were flowering. The first small pool provided the usual couple of Goldeneye and several Little Grebes. From the first hide we had views of Grey Partridge and from the second a Great White Egret (another Holkham first for me, though the species is now an increasing visitor to the UK and breeding in small numbers on the Somerset Levels) feeding by a large pool and I picked out several Eurasian Whitefronts mixed with some other geese.

Returning to Lady Anne's Drive we scanned the fields having more views of foraging Barn Owls, a pair of Stonechat and a small flock of Golden Plover flew up with a large group of Lapwing.

As we headed back Wendy had asked us to look at a bird of prey further down. It had disappeared but sitting on a distant bush was a largish raptor with a very pale head and breast and dark chestnut belly. It was clearly a Buteo species but which one. We never saw it fly, but it did look good for Rough-legged Buzzard (several present in Norfolk at the time) but of course Common Buzzard can be very variable and there was a more normal type sitting ahead of the bird in question. When I got home and looked at some images of one of the Rough-legged Buzzards from Norfolk that day it did look a deadringer for the bird we saw. Was it our bird- perhaps? Frustrating we didn't see it in flight.

A great day out in one of our favourite wintering birding sites! Maybe join us on a future coach trip where we look at all the birds and other fauna and flora in season.

The London Bird Club is one of the sections of the London Natural History Society (LNHS). Membership of the LNHS automatically entitles members to participate in events organised by the sections which also include Botany, Ecology & Entomology and The Bookham Common Survey.

For membership of the LNHS see


 Images (c) Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

London Bird Club Trip Report: Hickling Broad (6th June 2015) by Neil Anderson

London Bird Club:  Report on Coach Trip to Hickling Broad
Saturday 6th June 2015
Neil Anderson


A month or so before this trip there was a real possibility of having to cancel it due to few members booking. This would have been a shame but numbers picked up and 36 people got to enjoy Hickling Broad, the largest of the Norfolk Broads. North of Great Yarmouth the reserve is based on the Upper Thurne river system and is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

The weather was dry, fairly overcast but with brief sunny intervals though very blustery which wasn't so good for insect observations.

As is typical of most East Anglian wetlands these days Marsh Harriers were omnipresent and much enjoyed as they hunted over the marshes. At one point a Red Kite was flying with two of the Marsh Harriers. Hobbies were seen several times, usually hurtling past at great speed, ignoring Swifts but chasing insects. Other raptors seen were a Sparrowhawk carrying a small bird in its talons, Buzzard, Kestrel and a few saw a Peregrine.

Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers were often heard singing from the reedbeds while a few of us had brief sightings of Bearded Tits. As we looked into the distance to the broad where there were boats we saw a large flock of Mute Swans and Greylag, some Common Terns fishing and also Avocets flying up. After lunch Jenny and her friend enjoyed one of the organised boat trips which they found relaxing.

Around the muddy margins of many of the pools were the very distinctive yellow appropriately named flowers of Buttonweed. This neophyte hails originally from South Africa and was dominant in the margins.

Entering the first hide I saw my first Swallowtail of the trip as it flew low over the reed tops. Hardly a great view but at least it was one, having failed to see them on our last trip to Strumpshaw Fen. As we left the hide other members had located one along the boardwalk in front of us as it nectared on a small yellow crucifer. This gave excellent views and then another individual was settled on a Yellow Iris a little further away. A brief chase then ensued between them. Despite the strong winds it turned into a good day for seeing Swallowtails with maybe ten or so sighted. Marsh Thistles was another favourite nectar plant and some good photographs were taken by some members.

A few people also saw Painted Ladies by the thistles on a day when there was quite an influx into the country with good numbers passing through Portland and many sites on London Birders reporting them. Red Admiral and the declining Wall were also noted.


In the shelter of marginal vegetation quite a few Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen in the pools and just a solitary Large Red Damselfly. Dragonflies were largely represented by abundant Four-spotted Chasers though Broad-bodied Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer were about in small numbers.

As we walked around the path Joan was convinced there was a distant Lion sitting under a tree! Given this was Norfolk and not the Serengeti I wasn't convinced. It was certainly a large mammal but eventually revealed its true identity as a horse. Konik Ponies and other types of horse were being used for grazing on the reserve. A single Chinese Water Deer was seen by most of the group

A plant I don't see too often was quite dominant in a couple of places- Climbing Corydalis. More surprising was a single Corn Marigold in full flower by a gate. I'm not sure where this came from as there were no cornfield mixes seen nearby.

Close to a gate a pair of Red-legged Partridges showed well while on the other side of the road was a pair of Oystercatchers in a cultivated field. A lucky few managed to see a pair of Cranes with a chick. Little Egrets were plentiful here as in many places these days.

Hickling Broad is a magical place with lots to offer a naturalist so maybe join us on the next trip here. Everybody had an enjoyable day out.

The London Bird Club is one of the sections of the London Natural History Society (LNHS). Membership of the LNHS automatically entitles members to participate in events organised by the sections which also include Botany, Ecology & Entomology and The Bookham Common Survey.

 For membership of the LNHS see


 Images (c) Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

London Bird Club Trip Report: Rye Harbour (18th Jan 2015) by Neil Anderson

London Bird Club:  Report on Coach Trip to Rye Harbour NatureReserve
Saturday 18th January 2015
Neil Anderson

It was great for a change to set off in beautiful settled conditions with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. Whereas mid-week had seen some very warm summery temperatures it was tempered on this day by some blustery easterly winds..

We had a different coach driver to normal. Competent at driving but his navigation was not so hot. Fortunately after going around a brace of roundabouts a couple of times as we neared Rye we were able to steer back on course and we only lost about five minutes.

Walking along Rye Harbour Road we scanned the purslane beside the Rother for Yellow Wagtails but sadly none were seen though a single Meadow Pipit landed here. Looking the other way opposite the information centre was much more productive. Three Avocets actively fed in the water while behind the pool there were three Whimbrel and a Golden Plover moulting into breeding plumage. Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Oystercatchers and a small flock of Dunlin were other waders noted in this area. As birds flew up a Peregrine passed through which the volunteer said roosts on the cliffs at Hastings. As we moved along another ten Whimbrel flew in giving some good views.

Also seen here were three Wheatears sitting on a fence + dropping down to feed. Quite a few Linnets and some Skylarks also frequented the short turf and sparsely vegetated shingle. The first of quite a few Swallows passed over into the stiff wind- always a welcome sight.

The Ternery Pool was full of activity as expected at this time of year. Large numbers of Black-headed Gulls were in occupation of many of the islands with several pairs of their larger cousins, the Mediterranean Gull. This fairly recent colonist is such a handsome bird in breeding plumage. We did witness one pair mating and when flying above us in the blue sky they looked brilliant white with a black head. The calls too are pretty distinctive.

On one of the small circular islands 18 Common Terns were roosting while on the near bank adjacent to the hide were c100 Sandwich Terns. Twice we observed all the terns fly up in a noisy panic, the flock tightening up. At first we thought maybe the Peregrine had returned but as the many Oystercatchers which were next to the terns stayed put, this theory didn't seem likely. No obvious cause could be found but it was impressive watching the terns swirl around.

Also from here there were several immature Black-tailed Godwits, three Bar-tailed Godwits on an island and a single Grey Plover. At least three members were lucky to see two Cuckoos silently fly from near one of the hides.

The small woodland area was fairly quiet with Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing. Walking down the track beside the Long Pit we heard several Whitethroats with a couple revealing themselves- the first of the year for many of us. Sedge and several resident Cetti's Warblers were also heard singing.

Several of us decided to walk back up the road to visit Castle Water. Behind a rather unsightly large factory we followed the footpath to where we believed the viewing point was situated. After some initial confusion due to the vegetation growing up we did find the right spot. A Garganey which had been present wasn't spotted but we did see a pair of Marsh Harriers over the reeds and heard our first Reed Warbler from a small pool where a pair of Coots had some chicks. A lucky few from the group heard a booming Bittern earlier in the day here.

This area was more sheltered from the wind so we did find quite a few butterflies with Peacock the most numerous. Also recorded were Small Tortoiseshell, Small and Green-veined White and my first male Orange Tip. The short sward was a purple haze of Ground Ivy flowering which was appreciated by the various bees.

Returning to our bus several people treated themselves in the Gallery café while those of us dedicated to our craft saw our first House Martin of the year.

A great day out to a fine reserve but sadly not well supported. Only 27 members booked of whom 24 were able to make it on the day. Hopefully future trips will receive more bookings as without support of members (and their friends) the future of such trips will be in jeopardy which would be a tragedy. Thanks to all who supported and enjoyed this day out.

The London Bird Club is one of the sections of the London Natural History Society (LNHS). Membership of the LNHS automatically entitles members to participate in events organised by the sections which also include Botany, Ecology & Entomology and The Bookham Common Survey.

For membership of the LNHS see

 Images (c) Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Red Data Book Species & Conservation. Free Lecture Series, Birkbeck Spring 2016

Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, Birkbeck Free Lecture Series: Spring 2016
Red Data Book Species and conservation
Six Friday evenings. Feb 5th to 11th March. 18:30 to 20:00. Lecture Theatre B35, Birkbeck, University of London, Torrington Square.

[Gehan's Comments: I have copied here the programme for the Spring 2016 Free Friday evening lecture series. I have attended many of the talks in the free lecture series at Birkbeck on Ecology and Conservation held in Spring and Autumn. I think they are brilliant. A chance to listen to some of the world’s leading experts who are based in the UK explaining their work to a public audience. Some of the lectures I have attended in the past have been be a little techy but most of them would be intelligible to an informed audience].

Species conservation is embedded in national and international regulations, but does this achieve good representation of biodiversity? For example, invertebrates are not well catered for, let alone many fungi. Can we conserve the Great Crested Newt by translocation without providing for maintenance of both the ponds and terrestrial habitat that it needs? Or does the protection of species such as the Violet Click-beetle act as a flagship to conserve the whole suite of veteran tree biota? Are Red Data Book species the best indicators or flagships of biodiversity value, or should we rather examine concepts like “ecological engineers”. What of widespread species that may be declining un-noticed? This series examines the questions around the protection of threatened species.

Feb 19th "Red-listing the English flora - a better approach to conservation prioritisation?"
Fred Rumsey, Natural History Museum.

Feb 26th "Has being a European Protected Species helped the great crested newt?”

Brian Banks, MIEEM, Director, Flag Ecology.

March 4th “The return of the native; the reintroduction of the short-haired bumblebee”.
Nikki Gammans, Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

March 11th “Action for Species – the RSPB’s Species Recovery Programme”.
Hannah Ward, RSPB.

Feb 5th “To protect or not to protect? Extinction risk, Red Lists and the agony of choice”.
Monika Böhm, Indicators & Assessments Unit, Institute of Zoology.

Feb 12th “Stinking Hawk’s-beard, species recovery – the inside story
Brian Ferry, Royal Holloway University of London.

A reading list will be available later. To receive this, please email or consult the website, or pick up a copy at one of the lectures.

 Bee Orchid photographed on a walk with Graham Loasby in Soham. This image is not related to the talks above, but illustrates how many local communities volunteers to manage reserves such as Soham for their plants.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Cairngorm National Park in Carrbridge near Aviemore – Dalrachney Lodge Hotel

I received this note addressed to the committee and members of the London Bird Club from Gordon & Trixie Taylor of the Dalrachney Lodge Hotel. I have copied it below as it may be of interest to others planning a wildlife holiday to Scotland. (Note. At the time of writing, I have not visited his hotel).

To the Committee and Members of the London Bird Club

We have a lovely Edwardian Hotel set in 3 acres of land in the Highlands of Scotland within the Cairngorm National Park in Carrbridge near Aviemore – Dalrachney Lodge Hotel.  We are lucky to be in one of the most picturesque parts of Scotland which happens to be teeming with wildlife!

 Together with local providers we will be organising  bird watching/Wildlife and photography field trips, which can include talks in the evening at the Hotel.  One of our partners specialises in bespoke trips for 2-6 people and others cater for larger group trips.

From nesting Wetland Birds and Waders in the Spring to watching the White Mountain Hare in the snow, Red Deer on the hillside and photography with Colin Prior, there are many types of trips that can be arranged to suit you and/or your Group.

We have 12 double/twin bedrooms plus a two bedroomed cottage, so if you are a larger Group, it is like having a Country House all to yourself – with our Chef to cook dinner for you of course!!

Whether it’s an overnight stay or a week long trip, you decide the length of stay you want, and we will contact our partners to help tailor make the trip to your requirements.  If you are organising group trips and would like to come and see us for a site visit, let us know and we be happy to give you a discount on overnight accommodation (in low/mid season).

We are sure that Dalrachney Lodge together with our local partners can provide you with a wonderful holiday.  You can view our great reviews on TripAdvisor – click here

Please do drop us an e-mail or call us on 01479 841252 if we can be of service.

Kind regards

Gordon & Trixie Taylor
Dalrachney Lodge Hotel
01479 841252

Thursday, 14 January 2016

The London Naturalist 2015

The latest issue of the London Naturalist has been published and contains a wealth of information for wildlife enthusiasts who live or work in London.  This is one of the annual publications members receive. Membership of the society represents terrific value from money and I recommend membership. See for more details. Copies of the journal can be purchased.

With the Editor's permission I have outlined below the contents and included some sample pages.

The London Naturalist 2015

Contents of Volume 94
Journal of the London Natural History Society

London Natural History Society                                                                                                           4
Officers                                                                                                                                                     5
The Society’s Recorders                                                                                                                         5
Editorial                                                                                                                                                     7
Report of the Society for year ending 30 June 2014                                                                         8
Treasurer’s report for the year ended 30 June 2014                                                                      10
Official and sectional reports for 2014                                                                                              16

Presidential address: Helen Baker                                                                                                      30

House Sparrows, with particular reference to London: Helen Baker
(Presidential address delivered after the Annual General Meeting on 1 December 2014)

The address:
  • gives a brief history of house sparrows Passer domesticus in London
  • recaps on LNHS Survey 1995 to 2003
  • says a little about some further surveys on urban house sparrows
  • looks at colonies of house sparrows in seven tetrads north of Heathrow in the 2014 breeding season
  • considers possible reasons for the house sparrows’ decline
  • gives Helen’s conclusions and suggest actions that can be taken to help house sparrows.

Odonata report for 2014: Neil Anderson                                                                                     46
A summary of sightings in the London Area for 2014.

Butterfly monitoring report 2014: Leslie Williams                                                                     52
Data from over twenty sites in London, monitored using the transect walks method, were used to calculate collated indices for butterfly species for 2014.  The indices enabled comparisons with previous years. Species accounts were supplemented by records from other sites, surveys and observations. 

Notes on the current status of butterflies in Blackheath and Greenwich Park: Joe Beale                               63
This paper is based largely on the author’s personal observations and aims to give an overview of the current status of butterflies in Greenwich Park and Blackheath in south-east London. Twenty-nine species known to have occurred between 2010 and May 2015 are noted and commented upon. Discussion focuses particularly on 2014’s observations but also refers to selected other observations from the mid-1990s to early July 2015 and any changes observed. Brief notes on a selection of moths are given.

Pocota personata returns to London: Russell Miller                                                                 88
Pocota personata is a rare hoverfly and an excellent bumblebee mimic. Last recorded in London in Blackheath in 1966, it was seen at Abney Park Cemetery Nature Reserve in Hackney in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This paper details all known records for London and discusses the species’ history and ecology.

Survey of Bookham Common: seventy-third year
Progress report for 2014: Stuart Cole et al.                                                                               102

GiGL and the LNHS: Mandy Rudd                                                                                                 109
The history of Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL) is reviewed, with particular reference to its relationship with the LNHS. A number of the projects in which GiGL has been involved, and future plans, are described by Mandy Rudd, the Chief Executive.

Obituary: Ron Kettle                                                                                                                       119
Obituary: Paul Cornelius                                                                                                                121

Book reviews                                                                                                                                   123

                Nature in Town and Cities by David Goode

                Urban Peregrines by Ed Drewitt

                Tales from Concrete Jungles – Urban Birding around the World by David Lindo

                Bill Oddie Unplucked: Columns, Blogs and Musings

                Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with acclaimed birdwatchers

                Mammals of Essex by John Dobson & Darren Tansley

                Menageries in Britain 1100-2000 by Christine E. Jackson

                Where do Camels belong: The Story and Science of Invasive Species by Ken Thompson

                Field Guide to Invasive Plants and Animals in Britain by Olaf Booy, Max Wade & Helen Roy



Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Free Walks with the London Bird Club

London Bird Club Walks in 2016

The London Bird Club (LBC) is part of the London Natural History Society (LNHS). See The LBC has a varied program of walks many of which are free and these are open to non members. People can join these walks by reaching the location at the stated meet up point using the good public transport infrastructure in London. For specially arranged coach trips there is a charge for the cost of transport.

I have over the years joined many of these walks and seen a lot and learnt a lot from walk leaders and others who join these walks. It’s a wonderful way to spend time on the week end and especially so if you are interested in wildlife. It’s also a terrific way to accelerate your learning and upping your skill levels if you are looking to pursue a career in field biology or conservation. As someone very keen on wildlife photography, I have found them useful to learn locations and how to find subjects for photography.

For ease of reference, I have copied below into my blog an extract of the walks run by the LBC. Visit the website for more details and also consider becoming a member. In addition a varied programme of events, members also receive three high quality publications, The London Naturalist its annual journal, the annual London Bird Report, a fact filled chunky tome published annually, and a quarterly slim Newsletter. Members get a lot for what is a relatively modest annual membership fee.

MARCH 2016

6 Sun. BIRDS. Hampstead Heath for ducks and woodland birds, including Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker. Possibly Kingfisher and early arriving spring migrants. Joint walk with Marylebone Birdwatching Society. Marion Hill & David Allen.  Meet 09.45 Belsize Park tube station (Northern) or 10.00 Hampstead Heath Overground Station. Long half-day. (Toilets.)

13 Sun.  BIRDS.  Beddington Farmlands for Green Sandpiper, Tree Sparrow and perhaps Water Pipit and Jack Snipe.  Derek Coleman.  Meet 09.30 Hackbridge Stn (NR Vic).  Stout footwear recommended.  AM only.  (No toilets.)

20 Sun. BIRDS. Brent Reservoir for wildfowl, late winter visitors (Bullfinch possible) and early summer migrants.  Andrew Peel. Meet 10.00 Cool Oak Lane Bridge (TQ219 877).  Nearest station, Hendon (NR St. Pancras.).  AM only.  (No toilets.)

26 Sat.  BIRDS.  Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens for wildfowl, gulls & possibly Tawny Owl.  Helen Baker.  Meet 09.30 at top of escalators, Marble Arch Stn (Cent).  AM only.  (Toilets).


APRIL 2016

9 Sat. BIRDS. Amwell NR for Buzzard, wildfowl and perhaps Marsh Tit. Pete Lambert. Meet 09.30 at St Margaret’s Stn (NR L’pool St). Bring lunch. (No toilets.)

16 Sat.  BIRDS. Fairlop Waters for spring migrants.  Alan Bell.  Meet 08.30 Fairlop Stn (Cent).  AM only.  (No toilets.)

24 Sun. BIRDS.  Crossness for early migrants and waders.  George Kalli.  10.00 Belvedere Stn. (NR Char X).  Bring lunch.  (No toilets.)

30 Sat. BIRDS. Stocker’s Lake for wildfowl, summer visitors and possibly Red Kite. Helen Baker. Meet 09.30 Rickmansworth Station (Metropolitan or NR Marylebone Station). Bring lunch. (Café and toilets at Bury Lake).


MAY 2016

7 Sat.  BIRDS. Dungeness for passage sea birds and migrants, with chance of rarities. Previous trips have produced Whiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Great White Egret and White Stork. Neil Anderson. Meet 08.00 at Embankment U’grnd Stn. Bring lunch. £20 to leader (contact details page 15). Permit fee for non-RSPB members.

14 Sat.  BIRDS.  Wandsworth Common for spring migrants.  Peter White.  Meet 09.30 ticket office Wandsworth Common Stn (NR Vic).  AM only.  (Toilets).

21 Sat.  BIRDS.  Cheshunt Gravel Pits for warblers, Nightingale and Hobby.  Martin Shepherd.  Meet 09.30 Cheshunt Stn (NR Liverpool St).  Bring snack.  (Toilets.)

29 Sun. BIRDS. Greenwich Park for Nuthatch, Woodpeckers, Blackcap and fledglings. Joe Beale.  Meet 09.00 at Blackheath Gate entrance (TQ392768).  Nearest stn Blackheath (NR Charing Cross) and buses 53, 54, 202, 380. AM only.  (Toilets).

JUNE 2016

5 Sun. BIRDS. Totteridge/Darlands Lake for woodland birds & spring flowers.  Robin Blades.  Meet 10.00 Totteridge & Whetstone Stn (Northern).  Bring lunch.  (No toilets.)

25 Sat. BIRDS. Strumpshaw Fen for warblers, Bittern, Marsh Harrier,
Swallowtails and Norfolk Hawker, maybe Otter, Chinese Water Deer, Water Vole. Neil Anderson. Coach trip 08.00 from Embankment U’grnd Stn. Bring lunch. £20 to leader (contact details page 15).Fee for RSPB Reserve for non-RSPB members.

JULY 2016

30 Sat. BIRDS. Tooting Common for young Sparrowhawks.  Peter White.  Meet 09.30 south entrance Tooting Bec Stn (Northern).  AM only.  (Toilets).



6 Sat.  BIRDS.  Lee Valley Country Park for breeding warblers, waders, Buzzard, butterflies & dragonflies.  Roy Woodward.  Meet 10.00 Cheshunt Stn (NR L’pool St).  Bring lunch.  (Toilets.)

14 Sun. BIRDS.  Greenwich Peninsula & Ecology Park for Common Terns, Kingfisher, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Whitethroat and Swift.  George Kalli.  Meet 09.30 North Greenwich Stn (Jubilee).  AM only. (Toilets at station and at the Ecology Park.)

21 Sun. BIRDS. Staines Reservoir and Staines Moor for wildfowl, grebes and waders.  Goosander and Water Pipit possible. Andrew Peel.  Meet 10.00 Hatton Cross Stn (Picc) then 203 bus to reservoir.  All day for both sites, finishing at Staines Stn. Bring lunch. (No toilets.)

27 Sat. BIRDS.  Rainham Marshes RSPB for waders, other passage birds and raptors.  Pete Lambert.  Meet 09.30 Reserve Car Park (TQ547788).  Nearest stn Purfleet (NR F’church St).  Bring lunch.  (Toilets.)

For ease of reference I have repeated below details of the coach trips.
7 May 2016 Sat.  BIRDS. Dungeness for passage sea birds and migrants, with chance of rarities. Previous trips have produced Whiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Great White Egret and White Stork. Neil Anderson. Meet 08.00 at Embankment U’grnd Stn. Bring lunch. £20 to leader (contact details page 15). Permit fee for non-RSPB members.

25 June 2016 Sat. BIRDS. Strumpshaw Fen for warblers, Bittern, Marsh Harrier,
Swallowtails and Norfolk Hawker, maybe Otter, Chinese Water Deer, Water Vole. Neil Anderson. Coach trip 08.00 from Embankment U’grnd Stn. Bring lunch. £20 to leader (contact details page 15).Fee for RSPB Reserve for non-RSPB members.

Images below of Brent Geese and Sanderling are from the London Bird Club Coach trip to Holkham NNR in Norfolk on Saturday 16 January 2016.


Changes to the Programme
Changes are posted on the LNHS website ( Changes are also posted (for members only) on its message board and in the newsletter.

Outdoor Meetings
These are field meetings or guided tours. Lunch and Tea should be brought on all whole-day meetings. You do not need to have a car - where the programme says 'cars needed' this is to remind drivers they will need to pick up people at the station or meeting point. At meetings involving cars, those receiving lifts are expected to contribute to the cost of petrol used.

For more information on our on-going surveys at Bookham Common and Hampstead Heath, and our Bookham Field Study Days, visit our Surveys page.

Taking Public Transport to Outdoor Meetings
Train times where given should be checked, as timetables change and engineering works take place on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also an extensive programme of engineering works taking place on the Underground at weekends at present.

'NR' in the programme refers to National Rail lines (as opposed to Underground/Docklands Light Railway lines).

For NR train times and information, phone 08457-484950, or visit, or, or the websites of individual train companies. The latter are a useful source of information about current and planned engineering works.

For London bus, Underground, DLR and Tram information,  phone 020-7222 1234, or visit the TFL website.

Coach Trips
These go to well-known wildlife sites in the South and East of England. Bookings must be made in advance using the booking form that is mailed to members. It can also be downloaded from the LNHS website. Members can bring guests (at the same rate per person) so long as they are included on the booking form. The coach trip organiser is Neil Anderson TEL: (020) 8578 2464.

Members are asked not to travel to coach meetings independently, although in some cases the organiser may be prepared to allow this if application is made in advance.

Coaches normally leave from the road alongside the south entrance to Embankment Underground station. Occasionally they can pick up at a second point en route on the outskirts of London (check with organiser). Bear in mind that engineering work and weekend line closures are taking place on the Underground - please check in advance whether your route to Embankment station will be affected.