Colour-Ringed Birds

With winter visitors from northern Europe and Siberia currently in our area, you may come across birds sporting coloured rings.  This are part of scientific studies to better understand how birds disperse from their breeding grounds in winter and what the survival pressures are for them throughout their range.  If you see coloured-ringed birds, make a note of the ring colours and report them either to the particular study programme or via the EURING ring reporting website.  This not only supports the scientific study, but also adds excitement to your birding as you will get a report back on the bird you have identified.

When reporting, note the colour of the rings starting with the top of the left leg and note which are above the knee and which below.  Hence, if a bird had a red ring over a yellow ring above the “knee” on its left leg and a green ring below and two yellow rings above the “knee” and a red one below on the right, the code would be RY/G-YY/R.  Sometimes white rings also have an identification letter or symbol e.g. X and sometimes the rings have a flap on them called a flag.  Currently, there are two ringed black-tailed godwits using the meadow off Lower Pennington Lane whose rings are: RR-YX and GW-YYflag – these are part of an Icelandic ringing scheme and RR-YX has been returning since 2003.  These codes indicate there are two rings on each leg on the tibia (above the knee) and none on the meta-tarsals (below the knee).

You may also see swans locally with an orange “Darvic” ring on their right leg with a three letter code.  These are part of a local study schemes with birds being ringed in Christchurch Harbour.  You may see similar rings on other species including coots, ospreys and gulls.

If you have trouble reporting a sighting, let us know through the contact us form and we’ll try to help.

Used stamps

At Christmas time, we get lots of cards arriving through the letter box with real stamps on them.  The RSPB can turn those used stamps into cash for conservation, so please keep all of those stamps and give them to David Reeves or a members of the local group committee, who will see that they go to the RSPB.

Say “Yes”




Let’s keep in touch on your terms

“Saying yes will keep you in touch with everything you love about the RSPB’s work and our cause” says RSPB Chief Executive Mike Clarke

The RSPB has a fantastic track record of achieving amazing results for nature. And we couldn’t do this without the tremendous support given and actions taken by our members and supporters. This includes you, our fantastic Local Group members. Together, we do great things for nature.

Now we’re asking our members and supporters to “Say Yes to the RSPB” and opt in to hearing from us on their terms. It’s about them having more control over their relationship with us. It’s about strengthening our connection.

We need existing members and supporters to opt in before May 2018 (when new rules come into effect) and give their express permission for us to contact them. If they don’t, we won’t be able to keep in touch directly about our work and developments, about getting involved, and about supporting the RSPB in other ways – for example, through volunteering, supporting an appeal or taking part in an activity or campaign. We will be able only to contact those people about their membership and/or in their existing role as a volunteer.

As a member of a Local Group, your support is invaluable to the RSPB.We’d love you to “Say Yes” and tell us how you want to hear from us in the future. Were we unable to contact you or ask for your help when nature needs it, our ability to work for nature would be greatly diminished.

If you’re an RSPB member and receive winter’s Nature’s Home, make sure you read the letter from Mike and make your opt-in choices online, via our dedicated phone line or by filling in and returning the paper form. If you’ve already made your choices, thanks very much.

If you aren’t a member, as an active supporter you can make your opt-in choices now. Go to or call 0300 777 2610 (open Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm, calls charged at standard rate). Please also help us by encouraging family and friends who are RSPB members or supporters to make their choices too.

The passion and commitment of our members and supporters keeps the RSPB going in our work for nature. Saying “Yes” will keep us strong. And please do the same for all those other nature conservation charities you might support. We need to stay together to help save nature.

Thank you!

Photo credit: Kingfisher Yes image by Andy Astbury/Fotolia

Fawley Power Station redevelopment

Currently, a series of public exhibitions are taking place on the proposal by Fawley Waterside Ltd to redevelop the Fawley Power Station site – today (Thursday 28 September 2017) at St Francis Church, Langley and on Friday and Saturday (29/30 September 2017) at Jubilee Hall, Fawley (all 2 pm to 8 pm).

It is proposed to create a new community of 1500 homes and “up to 2000 jobs”, as well as creating a marina/dock which can take boats up to 2000 tons.  It is recognised that the site is in, or borders, two SPAs, a SSSI and Ramsar designated site and ecological assessments have been made and mitigation measures proposed for replacing or creating habitat for birds, plants and wildlife.  There are also measures to try to reduce human (and dog) activity along the foreshore.  One may wish to question whether the mitigation is sufficient and whether it would work as suggested.

The redevelopment team will be at the exhibitions to answer questions, but if you cannot get to an exhibition, you can review the presentation by downloading the Public Exhibitions LeafletThere is no planning application listed on New Forest District Council’s website yet, but full details of the application should appear there shortly.

New Forest Winter Bird Survey

Volunteer surveyors are needed to help with the New Forest Winter Bird Survey.  The survey is particularly designed to monitor the numbers of hen harriers and great grey shrikes over wintering in the New Forest, but also counts winter thrushes and other resident and migratory species.

If you are interested in taking part, please please via the Contact Us form and you message will be forwarded to the survey coordinator.