Local Outings Local Outings Programme 2018-19

We visit several locations in and around the London area every year by public transport.

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Hampstead Heath walks

Most Tuesday mornings throughout the year, weather permitting.
Several of our members meet for an informal and friendly stroll on Hampstead Heath to see what birds are around.
Members, non-members and visitors are welcome.
Walks last around two hours, usually finishing at Kenwood House for coffee/lunch at the Cafe.
Bring binoculars if you have them.
Meet - 10am, Parliament Hill Staff Yard, NW5 1QR. If you enter the Heath from Highgate Road, follow the path past the tennis courts.
We meet at the junction of paths near the toilets, noticeboards, café and drinking fountain - or nearest bench.
(If it's raining and there's no one at the meeting place/time, it may be worth trying the cafe.)
Also possible to come on to the Heath from Gospel Oak Overground Station. Turn left along Gordon House Road, then left again at the Lido.
Then turn right on the main path to walk past cafe and meet at the junction of paths.

Saturday 15 June 2019
Fairlop Waters Country Park, Ilford, IG6 3HN
Habitats: Five lakes, ponds, a stream, farmland, quarry, woodland and heathland.
Species: Resident Little Owl, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Grebes, Woodpeckers. Summer visitors including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap.
Facilities: Boathouse Bar (with tea, coffee, snacks), WC.
Travel: Fairlop Underground (Central Line). 6-min walk down Forest Road to Fairlop Waters. Meet outside the Boathouse Bar which is near the entrance/car park at 10.30. Reserve information

Earlier this season

Saturday 29 September 2018
Oare Marshes, Kent
Habitats: Grazing marsh, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall.
Species: Brent Geese, Curlew, Dunlin, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Bittern, Twite. Increased diversity of waders during autumn with rarities a distinct possibility.
Ten people were on this first Local outing of the season. Highlights were Bearded Tits and Water Rail.
Reserve information

Saturday 20 October 2018
Rye Meads RSPB, Hertfordshire
Habitats: Wetland reserve and biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Rye House, Hertfordshire, beside the River Lee.
Species: Green and Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Snipe, Redshank, Water Rail.
Facilities: Visitor centre, hot drinks/snacks, WC.
15 people enjoyed a sunny visit to this reserve, spotting fungi and dragonflies as well as birds. Highlights included Green Sandpiper and Buzzard.
See full report and photos. Reserve information

Saturday 17 November 2018
Rainham Marshes, Essex
Habitats: Medieval marshes next to the River Thames acquired by RSPB in 2000. Low-lying grazing marsh, reedbeds, wet grassland, ditches, scrub.
Species: Thrushes, Finches, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Jackdaw, Stonechat, Peregrine, Owl, Avocet, Black-Tailed Godwit. Large flocks of winter wildfowl will be arriving.
Facilities: WC. Hides and open viewing areas, Visitor Centre with cafe and shop.
20+ people joined the MBS group while similar numbers had arrived with the RSPB CLLG, the London Bird Club group had arrived earlier and there was another RSPB group on site as well as a mass of bird photographers focussing on the Bittern. Hides were crowded. But several MBS members reported having a good day thanks to the fine weather and friendliness of the group. Bird list to follow...
Reserve information

Saturday 15 December 2018
Regent's Park Pre-Christmas Bird Walk
Habitats: woodland, grassland, lakes.
Species: Woodland and water birds.
20+ people despite the weather forecast. Cold but rain didn't start til lunchtime. Sadly didn't see the Water Rail but 24 species (+ from collection).
Reserve information

Saturday 19 January 2019
Stocker's Lake, Hertfordshire
Habitats: One of the oldest gravel pits in the Colne Valley managed by Herts Wildlife Trust.
Despite the MetLine's best efforts to disrupt travel, 16 people made their way to Rickmansworth Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve + Stocker's Lake. We enjoyed woodland birds including Redwing and Treecreeper before reaching Stocker's Lake itself for our 1st sight of Goldeneye.
Reserve information

Saturday 23 February 2019
Two Tree Island, Essex.
Habitats: 640 acre island of grassland, scrub, reedbed and lagoons.
Species: Brent Geese, Kingfisher, waders including Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Grey & Golden Plover plus a variety of ducks. Short-Eared Owl poss.
Facilities: Station Café & WC plus a Café by the golf range nearer the reserve.
9 people enjoyed the trip in unseasonably warm sunny weather. 39 species identified with many birds singing and pairing up as if it were spring. There was a big flock of Curlew and fine displays of flying Knot, Dunlin and Golden Plover.
Reserve information

Saturday 16 March 2019
Cheshunt, Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Hertfordshire
Habitats: Wetlands and reservoirs with areas of reedbed.
Species: Peregrine, waterbirds including Water Rail, Goosander, Bittern and wintering ducks.
Facilities: WC in car park by station, WC at Fishers Green plus hot drinks at Bittern Information Point. WC, Café in YHA near station.
11 people braved the windy conditions and were rewarded by some good bird sightings, the highlights being a group of Siskin feeding in an alder, a Cattle Egret on Hallmarsh Scrape and an interesting grouping of ducks and geese including 10 Wigeon in a scrape off the lane going toward the sailing club.
Reserve information

Saturday 13 April 2019
Rainham Marshes RSPB, Essex NB this was a change from our published programme.
Habitat: Medieval marshes next to the River Thames acquired by RSPB in 2000. Low-lying grazing marsh, reedbeds, wet grassland, ditches, scrub.
Species: Marsh Harrier, Lapwing, Redshank, Wheatear, Stonechat, Kingfisher, Curlew, hirundines and warblers.
Facilities: WC. Hides and open viewing areas, Visitor Centre with cafe and shop.
Reserve information

Saturday 18 May 2019
Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire
Habitats: 78 hectares of lakes, riverside, meadow, reedbed, scrub and woodland, situated in the Great Ouse valley.
Species: Hirundines, warblers including possible Garden Warbler, Common and Artic Tern, Hobby, Cuckoo, Nightingale.
Facilities: WC. Visitor centre. Hot drinks and snacks.
A dozen people made their way to Paxton Pits on a sadly rainy day. We'd been warned there were no Nightingales but they did see/hear 40 + species including Cuckoo.

Coach Outings

Our programme for 2018-19:

Local Outings


Reports on past outings and events:


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