News News

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Latest news from the Marylebone Birdwatching Society.

August 2023

NEW MBS programme published!
Membership, Zoom Talks registration and Coach bookings all OPEN. Our new MBS season opens Friday 15 September with a Zoom Talk and the MBS AGM for Members only. In addition to our ongoing informal Tuesday morning walks on Hampstead Heath, we have planned a full programme of Local Outings and Coach Outings.

May 2023

MBS Spring Party
Members and guests were invited to a Spring Party on Friday 12th May 2023 7-9.30pm at St Anne's Church, Highgate West Hill, London N6 6AP.
Music from Broomdasher. Wine, soft drinks, finger food included.
Around 50 people attended and were impressed by the music, food & drink and indeed the venue - not the church hall some had expected. Chairman Steve introduced the evening. Additional entertainment came from our Poet in Residence Denis Herbstein who read a couple of poems including the onehe'd written December 2021 about the MBS Tuesday Heath Walks. A most enjoyable evening.

September 2022

Our new MBS season opens Friday 23 September with a Zoom talk and AGM for Members only. Our "Indoor Meetings" will continue on Zoom this season. In addition to our ongoing informal Tuesday morning walks on Hampstead Heath, we have planned a full programme of Local Outings and Coach Outings.

December 2021

The MBS 40th Anniversary was celebrated at the December Zoom.
Our Anniversary Word Cloud, Poem and Video can now be found on the History page of the website.

September 2021

Our new MBS season opens Friday 17th September with a Zoom talk and AGM for Members only. Our "Indoor Meetings" will continue on Zoom this season. In addition to our ongoing informal Tuesday morning walks on Hampstead Heath, we hope to run Local Outings and resume Coach Outings in October.

November 2020

Lockdown Mark 2 The 1st Lockdown was followed by various stages of relaxation and fresh restrictions with the Rule of 6 then London's move into Tier 2. Then on Halloween a 2nd National Lockdown was announced to start on 5th November. End July we'd resumed MBS Tuesday Hampstead Heath Walks (in groups of no more than 6) but the last of these (for at least 4 weeks) was 3rd November. We started the new MBS season in September sadly unable to organise any Local or Coach Outings though offering "Indoor" Meetings on Zoom. This news page hadn't been updated since April but members and friends have received monthly enews and have been encouraged to share photos and news of their individual birdwatching on Facebook and the Zoomed talks continue.

April 2020

Coronavirus In the enews sent out Tuesday 17th March we wrote: "In the light of advice to avoid non-essential travel and unnecessary social contact, the committee has agreed to suspend all MBS activities until further notice." Social distancing and "lockdown" regulations were soon spelled out. The site we would have visited the following Saturday announced it was closing. Events of all sorts were cancelled. Pubs, cafes, restaurants, non-essential shops and even places of worship closed. The message is now to "Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives". But as physical gatherings ceased so virtual opportunities grew and multiplied. The MBS 2020 Vision Facebook Group opened up to pictures of non-MBS birding activity and Chris Packham set up the Self Isolating Bird Club while many are commenting on being increasingly aware of birdsong and signs of spring.

Jan 2020

Sun 5/1/20 1pm on BBC Radio 6 Music - alerted via Twitter to something which could be of interest to birders especially Hampstead Heath regulars :
Gemma Cairney goes birdwatching (on Hampstead Heath) with musician Ben Watt from Everything But The Girl. programme details

25th - 27th January Big Garden Birdwatch - sign up to this year's Birdwatch.

Sept 2019

Our new programme of talks, local outings and coach trips for Sept 2019 - June 2020 was published mid-August, a bit later than in recent years. By 1st Sept 40 people had already renewed/joined in readiness for the new season - entitling them to 2 off Indoor Meetings and Coach Outings.

July 2019

Summer Festivals
Following on from the Saturday of Wildlife , a day of talks and walks organised by the London Natural History Society at the London Wetland Centre in June,
there are two more "wild" festivals in London this summer.
London National Park City Festival 20-28 July
Free fun events over 9 days in celebration of London s green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways. Details on website.
London Wildlife Festival at Walthamstow Wetlands Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 August (+ Friday evening).
A brand new event celebrating urban wildlife and conservation curated by London Wildlife Trust and David Lindo, The Urban Birder.
This amazing programme of talks, walks, music and workshops had to be cancelled on the Friday afternoon as a result of the strong winds forecast for the weekend. Details of programme and reasons for cancellation on the website.

July 2018

New 2018-19 MBS programme published
The summer mailing with programme, newsletter, membership and coach booking forms was sent out by post (37) and email (307) to members and friends 30th/31st July - just a few days later than last year and still ahead of the RSPB CLLG! Website also updated though there's still work to be done on trip reports.

May 2018

London Bird Records The London Natural History Society (LNHS) has put out an appeal for help digitising data collected by London birders over decades. We can now all help by taking part in a project which the LNHS has started on Zooniverse in partnership with Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GIGL).

November 2017

We had 26 November to see Natural Selection, an ornithological journey from the building of nests to the collecting of eggs.
The exhibition was reviewed in the Guardian. See details.

October 2017

Walthamstow Wetlands opening to the public 20 October. See details. Described as a unique haven to explore, enjoy and connect with your better nature, the site is set to be Europe s largest urban wetland and home to an abundance of wildlife and rich industrial heritage.

This year's The Natural Eye at the Mall Galleries ran from 19 - 29 October. This annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists shows the very best of art inspired by the natural world. See details.

August 2017

This year's Springett Lecture at Burgh House in September was by Matt Maran - From North London to the World's Great Wildernesses and Back Again.
Wildlife photographer Matt Maran published a wonderful book on Hampstead Heath last year and photos from the book feature in the Heath's 2018 calendar currently on sale. Matt came to speak to the MBS in February 2017 but he has said this talk will be a bit different.
This annual lecture is organised by the Heath and Hampstead Society but it is in memory of Kate Springett. As well as being a key member of the H&HS, Kate was the founding president of the Marylebone Birdwatching Society and was, indeed, the reason our bird club came into being 36 years ago.
Further details on the History page.

Why Birds Sing: Aurora Orchestra - Sunday 24 September at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Be enchanted by birdsong in this multi-sensory concert that interweaves orchestral performance with vivid animation, audio storytelling, bird recordings, and a surprise installation. One of the UK s most creative and bold orchestras, Aurora Orchestra invites you on a musical journey that swirls through Messiaen s celebration of birdsong in Oiseaux exotiques, plunges into the elegiac meditation on the loss of wildlife in Brett Dean s Pastoral Symphony, and basks in the blissful joy of the great outdoors in a gripping memorised performance of Beethoven s much-loved Pastoral Symphony. Details

Second Nature: The Art of Charles Tunnicliffe RA was at the Royal Academy until 8 October.
Charles Tunnicliffe RA (1901-1979) won acclaim for his closely observed depictions of birds and other wildlife. To coincide with a newly published, comprehensive catalogue of his prints, the exhibition brings together a range of Tunnicliffe s work, from accomplished prints and commercial designs for Brooke Bond tea cards, to original artwork for Ladybird Books including familiar titles like The Farm and the What to Look For series about wildlife through the seasons. It also includes the 1932 first illustrated edition of Henry Williamson s Tarka the Otter, from the RA Collection. Details

The annual mailing with the new Sept17 - June18 programme, annual newsletter, membership and coach booking forms, was sent out by post and email Th 27th July - a week earlier than last year! And a week earlier than RSPB Central London Local Group.

September 2016

Dawn Painter, member of Marylebone Birdwatching Society - and designer of our refreshed woodpecker logo - has an exhibition of "tiny wonders of Rainham" - illustrations of invertebrates seen on the RSPB reserve - 18-24 September in the Purfleet Hide. See website for details and preview.

August 2016

The annual mailing with the new Sept16 - June17 programme, annual newsletter, membership and coach booking forms, was sent out by post 2nd August. This year we gave people the option of receiving the mailing by email and that was sent out in the evening of 3rd August. This is a bit later than the last few years because we were putting in place some new procedures. As the MBS approaches its 35th anniversary, we are offering for the 1st time, payment of membership and coach trips via PayPal as well as the more traditional cheque and stamped addressed envelope.

September 2015

The annual postal mailing was sent out 16th July (a day earlier than the last 2 years!) and over 90 people have already renewed their membership or joined for the first time. Friday 18th our first Indoor Meeting attracted an eager audience to hear about House Sparrows and the next day 13 people enjoyed a sunny day at the Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve. Although there is still much work to be done updating the website's news and reports pages (and Flickr photo albums), we do now have the latest Tweets on the home page! If you are on Facebook or Twitter do like, follow and contribute to the networking.

Saturday 30th May 2015

Big news of interest to Archers fans - @BirdsMBS is now being followed on Twitter by Charlie Thomas, Farm Manager for Borchester Land and Damara Capital, as well as by @BBCTheArchers! This was because we retweeted the RSPB s retweet of the Great Ambridge Bird Race quiz.

Friday 13th March 2015

The MBS email account suffered another technical hitch this week and I didn't know which 67 people out of 200+ had not received the March e-news. Many thanks to the nearly 50% who have so far responded to a further email seeking confirmation of receipt. It's proved very interesting and gratifying to receive 17 requests for the news to be resent and lots of appreciative little messages including from some people I'd not heard from in ages. Do let me know if you've missed the March enews or would like to be added to the email list which is open to non-members. I'll be looking into the possibility of using MailChimp in future!

January 2015

Apologies for lack of news since September! If you are on Facebook you may like to follow us there for the occasional comment on our Tuesday walks, reminders of MBS activities and shared news from other organisations.

September 2014

Camden Migration Festival Thursday 25th September Sunday 5th October.
This festival - an exploration into the migration of birds and people through the arts, celebrating cultural expansion but also considering its environmental impact, particularly on bird extinction included a Ghosts of Gone Birds Exhibition and 2pm Saturday 27th September David Lindo talks about Urban Bird Migration. There was also a family bird walk in Regent s Park on Sunday 5th October.
See their website or download the programme.

July 2014

The postal mailing with programme, newsletter, membership and coach booking forms and news of a weekend trip was sent out 17th July - exactly the same date as last year - but the new programme was launched on the website 28th July - a week later than last year.

May 2014

Cuckoo! Readers of the Ham and High will have seen the article quoting Meg Game who was leading a group of birdwatchers (the MBS Tuesday walk) at the time a cuckoo was heard on Hampstead Heath.

December 2013

Coach trip to Pulborough Brooks - We were extremely sorry that due to an error on the part of our coach company, the outing did not take place 30 November. The trip to Pulborough was rescheduled to Saturday, February 8th 2014, and ran at no cost to those who'd booked for the November 30th trip.

October 2013

Access to the MBS email account was restored following a hacking + "stranded in the Ukraine" scam. Existing and recent members of the society were gradually returned to the address book but PLEASE EMAIL if you were and/or wish to be on the mailing list for a monthly news update.

July 2013

4 page illustrated report of the 2012-13 season's highlights posted on the Reports page.

Postal mailing with programme, newsletter, membership & coach booking forms was sent out 17th July and the new programme was launched on the website 21st July.

February 2012

18 February: We announced that a Bittern had been seen on the Sanctuary Pond on Hampstead Heath. It stayed about 10 days.


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