South East Essex RSPB Calendar of Local Events


Download our full 2019-2020 programme here (PDF file).

August 2019

Thursday 29th 10.30: Discovery Charter Seal Trip Leaving from Burnham Town Quay and Wallasea Marina 10 Minutes Earlier.
Weather and demand permitting, we explore the creeks around Foulness and Potton Island in search of the many varieties of bird life and the Common Seals. Adults and teenagers £25, under 12s £5.00 or option to book the boat for £200 (maximum 12 people). Call Steve on: 07748 653900 to book or email charterdiscovery@gmail.com.

Friday 30th 11.30: Discovery Charter Seal Trip Leaving from Burnham Town Quay and Wallasea Marina 10 Minutes Earlier.
Weather and demand permitting, we explore the creeks around Foulness and Potton Island in search of the many varieties of bird life and the Common Seals. Adults and teenagers £25, under 12s £5.00 or option to book the boat for £200 (maximum 12 people). Call Steve on: 07748 653900 to book or email charterdiscovery@gmail.com.

Saturday 31st August 2019 11:30 for a 11:45 Start: RSPB Wallasea Team Event - RSPB Wallasea Island Wander Late Summer Stroll – Birds and Butterflies
By the end of August our breeding birds will all have youngsters on the wing and their ranks will be swelled by an increasing variety of migrants from further north already departing from their breeding grounds. With decent sunshine we may also see some of the resident and migrant butterflies like Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow. The walk is scheduled for about 2.5 hours but can be flexible depending on the group on the day, the weather and what wildlife we encounter on our stroll. The pace is gentle and attendees are encouraged to enjoy close up views through the leaders telescope to really appreciate what we see. Please note there are no facilities on the island as yet. £5 Adult, £4 RSPB Member, Booking essential, Telephone: 01268 498620

Saturday 31st 10.00: Discovery Charter Seal Trip Leaving from Burnham Town Quay and Wallasea Marina 10 Minutes Earlier.
Weather and demand permitting, we explore the creeks around Foulness and Potton Island in search of the many varieties of bird life and the Common Seals. Adults and teenagers £25, under 12s £5.00 or option to book the boat for £200 (maximum 12 people). Call Steve on: 07748 653900 to book or email charterdiscovery@gmail.com.

September 2019

Wednesday 4th September 2019: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Liz Huxley, The Naze - Beach, Birds, Blackberries and More
Highlighting the hidden wildlife of this popular area and the seasonal excitement of this east coast migration hotspot.

Sunday 8th September 10:00am- 12:00pm: RSPB South Essex Event - Exploring RSPB Bowers Marsh
Each season brings something different down to the reserve. Join our experts in searching for seasonal highlights whilst learning about the history and future of Bowers. Booking essential please call 01268 498620, limited spaces. Free event but donations are always welcome. Meet at: RSPB Bowers Marsh car park.

Tuesday 17th September 2019: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Meeting
A monthly self-help and support group for single ladies. We meet at the EWT Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR. Meet at 10am if you would like a short walk or at 10:30 for a coffee and chat in the Centre. All single ladies are welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Wednesday 18th September 2019: Two Tree Island
Meet at 10am in the car park. Follow the road behind Leigh railway station. Cross narrow bridge over the creek and park on the left. High tide 1549 hrs. All welcome.

Friday 20th September 2019: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Mini Bus Trip to Southwold
All single ladies welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Saturday 21st 9:30am led by Neil Sumner for 2.5 hours: RSPB South Essex Event - West Canvey Big County Birdwatch 70
To celebrate 70 years of the Essex Birdwatching Society we are holding two guided walks on West Canvey Marsh. *Booking essential, limited spaces. Free, Donations Welcome.

Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd 13:45 for a 14:00 Start: RSPB Wallasea Team Event - RSPB Wallasea Island Big County Birdwatch 70
To celebrate 70 years of the Essex Birdwatching Society we are holding two guided walks on Wallasea Island. These will be led by an experienced RSPB guide. *Booking essential, limited spaces. These walks are free.

Monday 23rd 3pm led by RSPB Staff for 2 hours: RSPB South Essex Event - West Canvey Big County Birdwatch 70
To celebrate 70 years of the Essex Birdwatching Society we are holding two guided walks on West Canvey Marsh. *Booking essential, limited spaces. Free, Donations Welcome.

Saturday 28th September 2019 10:45 for a 11:00 Start: RSPB Wallasea Team Event - RSPB Wallasea Island Wander - Autumn migration watch
September sees the peak of migration for our summer visitors with many young birds from across the UK and further north and east passing through and stopping to feed on the varied habitats across the island. The walk is scheduled for about 2.5 hours but can be flexible depending on the group on the day, the weather and what wildlife we encounter on our stroll. The pace is gentle and attendees are encouraged to enjoy close up views through the leaders telescope to really appreciate what we see. Please note there are no facilities on the island as yet. £5 Adult, £4 RSPB Member, Booking essential, Telephone: 01268 498620. 

Sunday 29th September 2019: RSPB Rainham Marsh
Meet at the visitor centre at 10 am. From the M25: Exit M25 at junction 31. At the J31 roundabout take the A1306 west, signposted to RSPB Rainham Marshes. Continue along the A1306 for 1.5 miles. At the traffic lights turn left, signposted Purfleet and RSPB onto New Tank Hill Road flyover. The entrance to the reserve is signposted approx 300 metres along this road, just after the bottom of the flyover on the right hand side. Postcode RM19 1SZ. High tide 1415 hrs. All welcome.

October 2019

Wednesday 2nd October 2019: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Chris Collins, The Birds of Guyana
This small S. American country is rarely visited by birdwatchers, despite having much to see. The talk visits two varied habitats - tropical forests and the savannahs.

Sunday 6th October 2019: Walton on the Naze
Meet at 10am at The Naze Tower. Postcode CO14 8LE. The postcode should get you very close to the reserve. High tide 1817hrs. There is a charge for parking. All welcome.

Tuesday 15th October 2019: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Meeting
A monthly self-help and support group for single ladies. We meet at the EWT Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR. Meet at 10am if you would like a short walk or at 10:30 for a coffee and chat in the Centre. All single ladies are welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Monday 21st October 2019: Wat Tyler/Vange Marsh
Meet at 10am in Wat Tyler CP Pitsea behind the Visitor Centre. Turn off the A13 at Pitsea and follow the Country Park signs. High tide 1702 hrs. All welcome.

Saturday 26th October 2019 09:30 for a 09:45 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk - Start: Winter Visitors and Migrants
Late-October sees the last of the summer exodus and ever-growing numbers and variety of winter visitor arrivals. New birds appear on a daily basis, stopping to feed up after long migration journeys, whether staying for the winter or re-fueling before moving on south. The first wintering raptors may be moving in and there is a chance of weather related movements of skylarks, pipits and thrushes. The walk is scheduled for about 2.5 hours but can be flexible depending on the group on the day, the weather and what wildlife we encounter on our stroll. The pace is gentle and attendees are encouraged to enjoy close up views through the leaders telescope to really appreciate what we see. Please note there are no facilities on the island as yet. Suggested donation: £5 Adult, £4 RSPB Member, Booking essential, Telephone: 01268 498620

November 2019

Wednesday 6th November 2019: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Graham Ekins, Wildlife of New Zealand
This talk is the result of a 3-week trip to the coasts and forests of North and South Islands of N.Z. and includes a variety of birds from both these habitats. We will also see several species of whales and dolphins and the N.Z. fur seal.

Sunday 10th November 2019: West Canvey Marsh
Meet at 1000 hrs. Enter Canvey from Benfleet Railway Station. At the first roundabout take the 2nd exit (straight on). The entrance to the reserve is actually on the 2nd roundabout (3rd exit). All welcome.

Monday 18th November 2019: EWT Ingrebourne Valley
Postcode RM12 6TS (for sat/nav only). See https://www.essexwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/ingrebourne for directions. Meet at 10am. All welcome.

Tuesday 19th November 2019: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Meeting
A monthly self-help and support group for single ladies. We meet at the EWT Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR. Meet at 10am if you would like a short walk or at 10:30 for a coffee and chat in the Centre. All single ladies are welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Saturday 30th November 2019 12:30 for a 12:45 Start: RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk - Winter is Coming - Wildfowl and Waders
In November our wintering flocks of wildfowl and waders are building up towards their winter peak and can be an impressive sight as they swirl around high tide roosts or feed at the edge of the saltmarsh. Flocks of farmland birds will be taking advantage of the wild bird cover for winter food and hopefully a few raptors will be around. The walk is scheduled for about 2.5 hours but can be flexible depending on the group on the day, the weather and what wildlife we encounter on our stroll. The pace is gentle and attendees are encouraged to enjoy close up views through the leaders telescope to really appreciate what we see. Please note there are no facilities on the island as yet. Suggested donation: £5 Adult, £4 RSPB Member, Booking essential, Telephone: 01268 498620

December 2019

Wednesday 4th December 2019: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Peter Holden, Birds - Their Hidden World
Looking at birds and their amazing lives - the sort of info that most bird books leave out!

Sunday 8th December 2019: Edwards Hall CP
Turn off the A127 at Progress Road. At the bottom of the road turn left and then 1st right into Bosworth Road. Follow the road to the end and meet in the car park at 10am. All welcome.

Tuesday 10th December 2019: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Christmas Meal - Royal Oak
All single ladies welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Wednesday 18th December2019: Barton Hall Creek and Beyond
Meet at 10am in the layby opposite the Trout fishery at Stambridge. Postcode SS4 2AR. High tide 1426 hrs. All welcome.

Saturday 28th December 2019 12:45 for a 13:00 Start: RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk - Mid Winter Mince Pie Special / Raptor Ramble
Our celebratory end of year Mince Pie special – a wander around Wallasea wide open spaces complete with a stop for mince pies and coffee or mulled wine to combat the winter cold as the sun drops. The walk focuses on the birds of prey that winter on Wallasea’s extensive rough grassland areas and aims to cover their time of peak activity through to late afternoon. Numbers and variety vary year on year depending on abundance of prey species but there is a chance of up to 9 species* making the most of the short days to hunt and we should encounter overwintering farmland birds like Skylark, Linnet and Corn Bunting in some numbers. The walk is scheduled for about 2.5 hours but can be flexible depending on the group on the day, the weather and what wildlife we encounter on our stroll. The pace is gentle and attendees are encouraged to enjoy close up views through the leaders telescope to really appreciate what we see. Please note there are no facilities on the island as yet. Suggested donation: £7 Adult, £6 RSPB Member, Booking essential, Telephone: 01268 498620
*Kestrel, Peregrine, Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Short-eared and Barn Owl.

January 2020

Wednesday 8th January 2020: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Duncan MacDonald from Speyside - Yellowstone Park
Duncan will guide us through the seasons, beginning in the spring in Yellowstone and moving on to autumn also visiting Grand Teton - wolves, bears, bison, beavers and birds!.

Sunday 12th January 2020: RSPB Wallasea Island
Meet at Midday. Follow the road past the entrance to the Marina straight through the farm for approx. half a mile. High tide 1442 hrs. All welcome.

Tuesday 21st January 2020: South East Essex RSPB Independent Lady Birders Meeting
A monthly self-help and support group for single ladies. We meet at the EWT Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea, SS9 4LR. Meet at 10am if you would like a short walk or at 10:30 for a coffee and chat in the Centre. All single ladies are welcome to join us. For details call our ILB contact on (01702) 525152.

Wednesday 22nd January 2020: Southend Pier
Meet at 0945am at the lower level entrance. High tide 1130 hrs. All welcome.

February 2020

Tuesday 4th February 2020: RSPB Bowers Marsh
Meet at 10am. . From Southend, travel along the A13 towards the M25. Take the A130 Canvey Island exit and at the roundabout follow signs for Pitsea B1464. Drive for less than one mile and then turn left at the mini-roundabout with brown sign. This is Church Road - go left at the next T-junction and follow the road until you reach the reserve entrance and just beyond the car park. Postcode SS13 2HG. All welcome.

Wednesday 5th February 2020: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Nina DaRocha (RSPB), Saving the Albatross
Nina will talk on the work of the Albatross Task Force in reducing the number of these birds caught in fishing nets, in 5 countries across South America and Southern Africa. She will highlight some major successes and the ongoing work to stop population declines.

Sunday 23rd February 2020: Abberton Reservoir
Meet at Layer Breton Causeway at 1000 hrs. Non EWT members may be asked for a donation at the Visitor Centre. All welcome.

March 2020

Wednesday 4th March 2020: .South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Sue Schwar, Orsett Wildlife Hospital
A talk about the work of the hospital and the variety of animals and birds they treat.

Wednesday 8th March 2020: Hockley Woods
Entrance to the car park is next to The Bull public house on the B1013 Rayleigh to Hockley road. Meet at 10am. There is a small charge for parking. All welcome.

Sunday 15th March 2020: RSPB Old Hall Marshes
Meet in the car park at 10am. Old Hall Lane, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Maldon CM9 8TP. High tide 1740hrs. All welcome.

April 2020

Wednesday 1st April 2020: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Conor Jameson, Looking for the Goshawk - The Lost Raptor
The natural history of this enigmatic bird of prey, how it lives, where it lives and why it might be missing from our lives. Conor wrote a book on his search for this bird, which won a Roger Deakin award.

Tuesday 7th April 2020: EWT Bluehouse Farm
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. Postcode CM3 6NG High tide 1353 hrs. All welcome.

Sunday 26th April 2020 - Gunners Park
Meet in the car park at 1000 hrs. High tide 1525 hrs. All welcome.

May 2020

Monday 4th May 2020: Wakering Common
Meet at 0900 hrs. Turn left to the Common by the church at the end of Gt Wakering High Street. Please car share if possible as parking is limited. All welcome.

Wednesday 6th May 2020: South East Essex RSPB Local Group Indoor Meeting - Alex Bass, The River Colne from Source to Sea
Following the route of the river Colne from its source, talking about the history and wildlife of villages and towns en route, including Halstead, Colchester, Wivenhoe, Brightlingsea and Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve.

Sunday 10th May 2020: Coach Trip to RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk.
Coach cost £15.00. Coach leaves Lifstan Way at 7.20am.

Sunday 17th May 2020: EWT Fingringhoe Wick
(field trip and ILB minibus) Meet in the visitor centre at 10am.Take the B1026 from Heybridge towards Colchester. Turn off before Abberton Reservoir towards Mersea. Follow the road to Fingringhoe and the signs to the reserve. Postcode CO5 7DN. Non EWT members may be asked for a donation. All welcome.


 

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 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 http://www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/belfairs 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.

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