Field trips

Disappointingly, we chose the one day over a two week period when it rained all day for our annual trip to Warsash and Hook Spit.  Four people braved the weather and turned up, although they were reluctant to vacate their vehicles and it was decided that as the forecast was for the weather to worsen, we would abandon the walk.

Don’t forget our next walk is on 14 September 2017 when we will be heading down to Portland Bill to see if there is anything unusual turning up on the autumn migration.  Usually, a good trip even if migrants are thin on the ground.  Please car share if possible – contact through the Contact Us form if you need or can offer a lift.  We will meet at Cheyne Weares car park at 10.00 am (SY 693 705).

Our last Indoor Meet of the 2016/17 season will be on Wednesday 13 September at 7.30 at Lyndhurst Community Centre, when Gordon Small will be giving an illustrated talk of the wildlife of Finland.  Also, a good time to arrange your car sharing for Portland.

Pete Durnell at Lyndhurst

Local wildlife sites manager, Pete Durnell of Hampshire County Council will be speaking to the RSPB New Forest Local Group on the subject of “Wildlife in Common” at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Wednesday 14 June 2017.  All are welcome, doors open at 7.00 pm, meeting starts 7.30 pm.  Entrance £2 for local group members and their guests, £3.50 for others.

The Wild Garden

Our next indoor meeting welcomes author and wildlife photographer, David Boag, who will be giving two presentations on “The Wild Garden” and “In Praise of Plants“.  David is not only a very experienced naturalist with experience from all round the globe, but also teaches wildlife photography, so we can expect a visual treat as well as an insight into the interaction of plants with the rest of the natural world.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm (doors open from 7.00 pm) on Wednesday 8 March 2017 at Lyndhurst Community Centre (main car park, Lyndhurst).  All are welcome, entrance is £2.00 for members of the RSPB New Forest Local Group, £3.50 for others.  Free tea/coffee and biscuits at the interval.

We have one field trip prior to the above meeting, which is a raptor watch at Acres Down on Saturday 4 March 2017.  Meet at Acres Down car park (OS grid ref: SU 461 031) at 10.00 am.

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.

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.

Tickets for Winter Social

Don’t forget, tickets for the winter social at the Huntsman Skittle Alley in Brockenhurst on Friday 27 January 2017 will be on sale at the next indoor meeting on 14 December 2016.  The speaker at the December meeting will be Richard Coomber who is an excellent and amusing speaker as well as a stalwart of the local group and he will be bringing a bit of warmth to a winter evening with his “Wildlife Wanderings in the Neoptropics”.

If you want tickets for the social, but are unable to attend the December meeting, please reserve yours through the Contact Us form.

Next indoor meeting – Regua

Our next speaker on 9 November 2016 is Peter Allen, a member of the British Dragonfly Society with a wide interest in wildlife including birds, mammals and insects. He will be talking about Regua, a reserve in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest where work is being undertaking to extend the rainforest, which is now only 7% of its former size. Visit the Regua website to learn more about their work in advance of the talk.  The meeting is at the usual venue of Lyndhurst Community Centre, doors open at 7.00 pm with the meeting starting at 7.30 pm.  Entry is £2.00 for local group members, £3.50 for others.

Tickets for the winter social on Friday 27 January 2017 will be on sale at the meeting priced £12.00, so bring some cash, or your cheque book!  Friends and family are welcome to join us at the social evening, which is at the Huntsman in Brockenhurst.

Forthcoming events

Our field trip to Portland yesterday yielded some very interesting birds including winchat, wryneck and rosy starling, with kestrel providing some great aerial displays singly or in groups.  Trip report will follow shortly.

The next field trip, which is the first on the new programme, will be on Saturday           8 October 2016 at Keyhaven.  Meet at 10.00 am in the Gun Inn car park, or if you want to park and stay on the sea wall we will find you as we set off.  Recent sightings in the area include ruff, spotted redshank, little stint and white wagtail and, hopefully, there should still be some passage migrants around on 8 October as well as some returning winter visitors.

The next indoor meeting at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 12 October 2016 at Lyndhurst Community Centre welcomes Keith Betton, Hampshire County Bird Recorder and BTO committee member, back to our group to talk about “The State of the Nation’s Birds“.  A timely talk coming just a month after the publication of the second State of Nature report.  Admission fees are £2.00 for members and £3.50 for non-members of the local group.

Walks and Talks 2016-17

The Walks and Talks sections have been updated to include the 2016-17 Indoor and Field Trips Programmes.  These sections include further details of speakers that do not appear in the published programme as well as SatNav information for the starting locations of walks including nearest postcode and co-ordinates.