Local Outings Local Outings Programme 2017-18

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

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 28 April 2018
Two Tree Island, Essex
NB Change of programme avoiding bus replacement service. Habitats: Grassland, scrub, reedbed and lagoons.
Species: Waders – Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Snipe, Greenshank and Oystercatcher; warblers - Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Lesser and Common Whitethroat; Sparrowhawk, Common Tern.
Facilities: Hides. Café and WC at station plus café by the golf range.
Meet 10.30 Leigh on Sea. 5-min walk to reserve. The 9.32 from Fenchurch St arrives at Leigh on Sea 10.19.
Reserve information.

Friday 11 May 2018
Hampstead Heath Evening Stroll
Annual summer evening stroll to see what birds are about on Hampstead Heath. It may be a quiet time of year but this is a good opportunity to discover the Heath, see some of the birds that are with us all year round and meet members of the Marylebone Birdwatching Society.
Bring binoculars. Bring your friends. Sometimes ends in pub.
Meet 6.30pm Hampstead Heath Overground Station NW3 2QD.

Saturday 12 May 2018
Cheshunt, Lee Valley, Hertfordshire
Habitats: Wetlands and reservoirs with areas of reedbed.
Species: Waterbirds, Common Tern, warblers including Whitethroat, Sedge, Willow and Garden, Hirundines, Hobby and Nightingale.
Facilities: WC, Cafe in YHA near station, WC at Fishers Green plus hot drinks at Bittern Information Point (hide).
Meet 10.30 Cheshunt Station. NR or London Overground from Liverpool Street. 5-min walk to reserve.
Reserve information

Saturday 16 June 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: Warblers including Reed, Sedge and Grasshopper plus Hobby, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Lapwing, Bearded Tits and Avocet.
Facilities: WC. Hides and open viewing areas, Visitor Centre with cafe and shop.
Meet at reserve reception/café at 10.30. NR from Fenchurch Street to Purfleet Station. 15-min walk to reserve.
Reserve information

Earlier this season

Saturday 16 September 2017
College Lake, Bucks
Habitats: Former chalk quarry with lake, marshland and grassland. Reserve information
Four people reached Tring by train before 10.30am three of whom were driven to the reserve while a second car waited for the next train - unnecessarily as it happened. Eventually, after a spell in the hide by the visitor centre, 10 of us set off clockwise round the reserve. We were joined later by another member and met a 12th who'd gone round anti-clockwise. Highlights included Swallows, Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzards, Lapwing, Reed Warbler, Kingfisher, Red Kite, Hobby, Blackcap and a charm of Goldfinch. The afternoon concluded with a welcome cuppa and cake in the visitor centre before we dispersed homewards.

SUNDAY 1 October 2017
Hampstead Heath Walk jointly with London Natural History Society
Habitats: Ponds, woodland, grassland.
Species: Ducks and woodland birds including Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker. Possible Kingfisher and early arriving winter migrants.

Sat 21 Oct Trip to Two Tree Island CANCELLED.
In view of severe weather warnings for Saturday and advice from the Reserve Manager on low bird numbers as well as exposure to wind, we decided to cancel our Local Outing to Two Tree Island.

Saturday 18 November 2017
Amwell Quarry Nature Reserve, Herts Wildlife Trust
Habitats: Former gravel pit and 37 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Species: Later migrating birds and winter wildfowl arrivals including Goldeneye, possible Smew, Bittern, Little Egret and Siskin.
49 species seen on a damp and cold day. Several people were impressed by the size and range of the reserve - particularly as the boardwalk has been kept open this autumn/winter. Highlights included Marsh Tit, Snipe, Redwing, Redpoll and a flock of about 30 siskin circling a tree several times before landing in it.
Reserve information

Saturday 16 December 2017
Regent's Park Pre-Christmas Bird Walk
Habitats: woodland, grassland, lakes.
Species: Woodland and water birds.
Lovely sunny winter's morning for our stroll in Regent's Park with 20 MBS friends. Good to meet @birdman_euston! Highlights 2 Little Grebe and 1 Water Rail seen across the bridge from the Rail Ditch. Only after 1pm on walk home from the cafe did it start raining.
Reserve information

Saturday 20 January 2018
Fairlop Waters Country Park, Ilford, IG6 3HN
Habitats: Five lakes and ponds, a stream, farmland, quarry, woodland and heathland.
Species: Ducks, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Stonechat, Winter Thrushes, possible Short-Eared Owl and Little Owl.
Facilities: Café, WC.
Four brave souls joined the leader despite a weather forecast of freezing heavy rain all day. It was indeed very cold, with showers but also some clear spells. 50 bird species seen including Kingfisher, Buzzard, Lapwing, Fieldfare.
Reserve information

Saturday 17 February 2018
Oare Marshes, Kent
Habitats: Grazing marsh, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall.
Species: Overwintering birds including Brent Geese, Curlew, Dunlin, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Bittern, Twite. February 2016 highlights included Merganser, Pintail, Avocet, Turnstone, Little Owl and Marsh Harrier.
Facilities: Café and WC at station.
10 people enjoyed a sunny day's birdwatching. Oare Marsh was a new site for some of them and they also enjoyed looking round Faversham at the end of the day.
Reserve information

Saturday 17 March 2018
Walthamstow Wetland, LB of Waltham Forest
Habitats: Group of 10 various size bodies of water bisected by Ferry Lane, sandwiched between Walthamstow and Tottenham Marshes and lying next to the River Lea. SSSI as of national importance for migratory and overwintering waterbirds.
Species: Breeding Heron and Cormorant, migrant waders, Pipits, Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears.
Facilities: Visitor Centre with Café, WC. Tottenham Hale (Victoria Line). 10-min walk down Ferry Lane to main entrance 2 Forest Road. Reserve information
10 of us enjoyed our visit despite the bitterly cold wind. Apart from Heron and Cormorant, we didn't see any of the target birds nor most of the ones reported in the days before our visit. 4 of us did, however, see the Little Bunting and, with hindsight based on a Tweeted photograph, we saw the Scaup.
See reports page for full illustrated report.

Coach Outings

Our programme for 2017-18:

Local Outings


Reports on past outings and events:


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