South East Essex RSPB Calendar of Local Events

*Download a pdf of all the RSPB South East Essex Local Group 2017 - 2018 events here.

December 2017

Thursday 14th December 7:45pm: Essex Wildlife Trust Illustrated Talk - Gunners Park
Illustrated talk by Essex Wildlife Trust's Shoebury Ranger, Andrew Armstrong, about the Shoebury Old Ranges SSSI and the neighbouring Local Wildlife Site, which is a haven for migrating, butterflies and more. Venue: Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Southend-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 4LR.

Saturday 16th December 1pm: RSPB Wallasea Wildlife Wander Raptor Ramble
A walk focusing on the birds of prey that winter on Wallasea’s extensive rough grassland areas. Numbers and variety vary year on year depending on abundance of prey species but there is a chance of up to 9 species actively making the most of the short days plus overwintering farmland birds like Skylark and Corn Bunting in some numbers (Kestrel, Peregrine, Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Short-eared and Barn Owls). Walk will last between 2 to 2.5 hrs. Booking is essential as limited numbers, suggested donation £5. Please call our Wat Tyler Office on: (01268) 559158.

Sunday 17th December: Thurrock Thameside Nature Park Walk
Meet at 10am. Take the A1014 exit off the A13 towards Shell Haven/Coryton/Stanford Le Hope. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Stanford Road (A1013). Turn left at the traffic lights. At mini roundabout turn right into Butts Lane. Turn left onto Mucking Wharf Road. Follow signs onto Thurrock Thameside Nature Reserve and follow road to Car Park. All welcome.

Sunday 31st December 10:15: RSPB Wallasea Wildlife Wander New Year’s Eve – Mince Pie Special
Get set for New Year’s Eve with a morning stroll in Wallasea’a wide open spaces – complete with a Mince Pie and Coffee/Mulled Wine to help keep out the cold. Walk will last between 2 to 2.5 hrs. Booking is essential as limited numbers, suggested donation £5. Please call our Wat Tyler Office on: (01268) 559158. 

January 2018

Tuesday 02nd January: RSPB Wallasea Island Walk
Meet at Midday. Follow the road past the entrance to the Marina straight through the farm for half a mile. High tide 1409 hrs. All welcome.

Wednesday 3rd January: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor meeting - Graham Ekins "Bolivian Delights"
Bolivia has diverse habitats and 1381 bird species have been recorded. This talk looks at the Amazonian forest, high level areas, savannah and wetlands.

Sunday 14th January: Southend Pier Walk
Meet at 09.45am at the lower entrance. All welcome.

February 2018

Sunday 4th February: Bluehouse Farm Walk
Meet at 10am. Take the B1012 road towards Burnham. Make a right turn at the junction with B1010 to North Fambridge. Cross railway and follow road to Blue House Farm. High tide 1621 hrs. (Southend). All welcome.

Wednesday 7th February: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor meeting - Richard Brooks "A Passion for Owls"
This talk covers all UK owl species, with the exception of the Snowy owl. It particularly focuses on Barn owls, including Richard's conservation work with them over 20 years, and their breeding cycle. The other owl species are also well represented and Richard will touch on some foreign species if time permits.

Monday 19th February: Hockley Woods Walk
Meet at 9am. There is a small charge for parking.

March 2018

Sunday 4th March: South Fambridge Walk
Meet at 10am. Travelling from Rochford take the Ashingdon Road and after 1 mile turn right onto the South Fambridge turning and continue until the end of the road. Note that there is limited parking. All welcome.

Wednesday 7th March: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor meeting - Chris Ward "101 Things You Never Knew About Garden Birds"
What is the life expectancy of a robin? Which species can fly 700 miles just to build a nest? Which species pluck feathers from live pigeons and why? Chris will tell us some facts we are learning about familiar garden birds through research and new scientific techniques.

Monday 19th March: EWT Warley Place Walk
Meet at 10am. Travelling on the A127 towards London turn off onto the B186 just before the M25 turn off. Turn right at the junction and follow the B186 until you see the Thatchers Arms PH on your left. The reserve is next door. NB the gate may be closed but not locked. All welcome.

April 2018

Wednesday 4th April: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor meeting - Conor Jameson "Looking for the Goshawk"
The natural history of this enigmatic bird of prey, how it lives, where it lives and why it might be missing from our lives when it can live in a German city centre. Conor published a book about this in 2013.

Monday 16th April: EWT Abberton Reservoir Walk
Meet at Layer Breton Causeway at 10.00 hrs. Non EWT members may be asked for a donation at the Visitor Centre. All welcome.

Sunday 29th April: EWT Chafford Gorges Walk
Meet in the car park at 10am. Travelling from Southend on the A13 take the Grays (A1012) exit. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and follow the A1012. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Elizabeth Road (A1012). At the following roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Devonshire Road. Turn right onto Drake Road. Drive past the Sand Martin PH, through two mini roundabouts and the reserve is on your right. Postcode RM16 6RG. All welcome.  

May 2018

Wednesday 2nd May: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor meeting - Peter Gasson "Pantanal".
Peter will take us on a visual journey to this natural region of Brazil encompassing the world's largest wetland area. He will show us a variety of species including Hyacinth macaws, jaguars, great otters and lots of birds and butterflies, as well as interesting plants.

Wednesday 9th May: Wakering Common Walk
Meet at 0900 hrs. Turn left to the Common by the church at the end of Gt Wakering High Street. All welcome.

Sunday 13th May: EWT Fingringhoe Wick Walk
Meet in the visitor centre at 10am. Postcode CO5 7DN. All welcome.

Sunday 20th May: Coach Trip to RSPB Minsmere
Cost £15. Coach leaves Southchurch Blvd, Walnut Tree pub at 07.20 and picks up at further points. Entrance fee for non-RSPB members. To book, call Cath Williams on (01702) 293357.

July 2018

Sunday 30th July: – Rutland Water Meet
We hope to be on time to see freshly fledged young Osprey (as well as adults). Meet at Rutland Water NR, Egleton at 11am.


Notes on Meetings and Field Trips
Indoor meetings from September 2016 will be held at The EWT Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR. Note: turn down small road directly on the bend by the the three flagpoles. Map reference TQ 831 874. Doors open at 19.30 for a 20.00 start. Entrance fee £3.00 for members. Suggested donation of £4 for non members. See for directions.

Coach Trips:
All coach trips commence at The White Horse, Lifstan Way, Southend-on-Sea at the time stated on this page. Pick-up points are at The Bell Hotel, Prince Avenue, Kent Elms Corner, Westleigh School, Thames Drive, and Hadleigh Church and Halfords at Rayleigh Weir. Bookings should be made through Cath Williams at one of the indoor meetings.

The RSPB Southend Local Group organises coach trips to nature reserves and other sites that permit access to the public, sometimes for an entrance fee or donation Please read the following guidelines:

Ensure that you have suitable warm/waterproof clothing and footwear. If you have any medical condition which may put you at risk, please inform the organiser when booking and they will advise you on the suitability of the itinerary/excursion. Ensure that you have any medications required for the day. Please Note: Payments for trips to be paid in full when booking. Cheques should be made payable to "RSPB South East Essex Local Group". Packed lunches and suitable footwear are essential and waterproof clothing advisable, preferably dull.

Field Meetings:
Generally these are intended as short outings of 2-3 hours duration at sites in the local area or within short travelling distance. If the weather is fine and the "birding" good the walk may be extended; it is up to the individuals how long they stay. Occasionally, to provide variety, some locations a little further afield may be chosen.
In the winter months it is essential to wear clothing (preferably dull colours) and footwear to suit the prevailing weather conditions.
Transport is not provided.

Other Pages