Date with Nature

The RSPB is currently recruiting new volunteers for the Date With Nature activities in the New Forest.  Based at the New Forest Reptile Centre, volunteers will meet members of the general public and discuss with them what is happening on the live “raptor cam” displays, help recruit new RSPB members and answer general questions about wildlife.  For more information visit the RSPB website.

Forthcoming events

Our next field trip is on Thursday 16 January 2017 when we will meet at Ashley Walk car park at 10.00 am and walk across the valley to Pitts Wood.  Possible sightings on this trip include great grey shrike, hen harrier and hawfinch.  This is followed on 4 February 2017 with a trip to Hayling Oyster Beds.  It is some years since we did this trip and we should see a range of waterfowl, waders and grebes.  Please car-share whenever possible to minimize our carbon footprint.

Our next indoor meeting is on Wednesday 8 February 2017 when local wildlife expert, freelance ornithologist, photographer and artist, Graham Giddens, will be talking on the subject of “From Firecrests to Avocets”.  The meeting is at Lyndhurst Community Centre, starting at 7.30 pm, doors open from 7.00 pm.

Finally, we are meeting at the Huntsman public house in Brockenhurst on Friday 27 January 2017 for an evening of skittles and fun.  Tickets are still available priced £12.00, which includes a basket meal and entry to a prize draw.  If you haven’t yet purchased a ticket, but would like to attend, please complete a Contact Us form as soon as possible.

Beached Bird Survey 2016

The UK Beached Bird Survey Report 2016 can now be downloaded by clicking the highlighted blue text above.

The 2016 survey involved 550 volunteers and recorded a higher number of beached birds than 2015, which was an all time low count, but still lower than the average figures over the last 25 years.  High counts of auks were found along the east coast, particularly Scotland and Orkney.  The proportion of oiled birds was also up on last year but below average levels.

The 2017 survey will take place on the weekend of 25/26 February.

Welcome to 2017

Don’t forget our first indoor meeting of 2017 will be on Wednesday 11 January 2017 at Lyndhurst Community Centre.  The speaker will be Andrew Cleave, MBE who will be talking about New Zealand.  Then the following Saturday, 14 January 2017, we will be visiting Blashford Lakes hoping for a glimpse of one of the two Great White Egrets there this year, or perhaps see the Bittern, which seems rather illusive lately.  Meet outside the Tern Hide at 10.00 am.