Big Garden Birdwatch

Happy New Year

January is the month when RSPB runs its flagship event, the Big Garden Birdwatch (BGB).  This year BGB takes place from 27 to 29 January 2018.  All we ask is that you find an hour over the three day BGB period to watch the birds in your garden and let RSPB know the species and numbers of birds you see.  The RSPB will even send you a free pack to help you record the birds in your garden: to get yours click HERE.

Winter Social

The skittle alley at The Huntsman, Brockenhurst has been booked for our RSPB New Forest Local Group winter social event for the evening of Saturday, 27 January 2018.  The evening will comprise a basket meal, table quiz, skittles “Killer” competition, raffle, prize draw and drinks available from the bar.  The cost including basket meal will be £12 per person.. Menu attached HERE.

If you are interested in attending, you will need to book at the January indoor meeting or by email to “enquiries AT” (replace AT with @) or using the Contact form.  Please indicate menu choice.  If you have special dietary requirements, please let me know so that an alternative menu choice can be arranged with The Huntsman.  |Please note, places are limited so will be booked on a first served basis.

Summer BBQ – Saturday 17 June 2017

The RSPB New Forest Local Group Summer BBQ will be held at Anderwood BBQ site on Saturday 17 June 2017.The BBQ will be lit and ready to use by 6.30 pm.  ;Please bring your own food and drink, disposable plates and cutlery will be available.  A donation of about £3 per person would be appreciated to cover costs.  If you play a musical instrument, why not bring it along and provide us with some entertainment.

At about 8.45 pm the intention is to head to Goatspen Plain car park to listen for, and hopefully see, some nightjar.

Field Trips

Reports on recent field trips are available on the RSPB Local Groups’ site and include walks at Pig BushKings Copse and Fishlake Meadows.

Our next field trip will be an all day trip to Martin Down on 7 June 2017 where, in addition to birds such as turtle dove, corn bunting and tree pipit, we be looking for butterflies including marsh fritillary and orchids.  We will start at Martin Down Lower Car Park on Sillen(s) Lane (SU 058 192) in the morning at 10.00 a.m. and explore the area south of the A354.  We plan to return to the car park for lunch at around 1.00 pm before driving up tot he car park on the A354 (SU 036 201) and exploring the area to the north of the road.  We expect to finish at around 3.00 pm, although it may be a little later.  Hence, if you want to come for just the morning or just the afternoon, that is quite possible.  Non-members of the RSPB New Forest Local Group are very welcome to join us, but a small donation to group funds would be appreciated.

The following field trip starts with our summer BBQ at Anderwood BBQ site (SU 249 058).  We hope to have the barbie fired up ready to start cooking at 6.30 pm.  Bring your own food to cook and refreshments, we will provide charcoal, BBQ utensils, ketchup etc.  Any volunteers willing to help set up and clean up would be appreciated.  There is no charge for the BBQ, but we would appreciate donations of £2-3.00 per person to cover the costs of the hire of the site and other expenses.  All are welcome whether or not you are local group or RSPB members.  If you play a musical instrument, bring it along and provide some entertainment.

After the BBQ,  at about 8.45 pm,  we will be heading off to Goatspen Plain (SU 255 015) to hopefully see and hear nightjars, and possibly woodcock and snipe.  Bug repellent strongly recommended!  Fingers crossed for good weather.

Don’t forget, check back on this website if the weather is dubious to see if there is a cancellation notice.

Birds of Poole Harbour

We have just received the following letter:

“Hello there,

I am emailing from a very sunny Dorset to let you and your RSPB local group members about the upcoming RSPB and Birds of Poole Harbour Dorset Autumn Discovery Tour.

The RSPB has been running wildlife tours in Dorset for 3 years and the events are growing in popularity.

Our next Dorset tour runs in early September and will focus on returning migrants such as osprey, redstart and spotted flycatchers, on incredibly rare reptiles such as the smooth snake and a whole host of other wildlife.

The tours are run by RSPB and BoPH staff who work on the sites we’ll be visiting, we get to access areas of RSPB reserves not usually open to the public and all profits go back into conservation what could be better!

Here is a link to information regarding the Autumn tour

If you or any of your group members have any questions regarding the tours please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards
Rob Farrington”

If you would like RSPB New Forest Local Group to arrange a group booking, please use the Contact Us form to let me know.

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.

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.