South East Essex RSPB Calendar of Local Events

RSPB South East Essex Local Group – 20/21 Season

SE Essex Local Group Field Trips 2021-2022  

Wednesday 20th October 2021: Guided Walk - EWT 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 1219 hrs. All welcome.

Next Zoom Talk

Wednesday 20th October 7:45 for an 8pm start- British Bees: A guide to conservation, recording and identification of British bumblebees and solitary bees
When many people think of bees, they think of honey from honey bees or the buzz of the familiar yellow and black bumblebee. However, there are actually around 270 bee species in Britain including 24 bumblebees and nearly 250 solitary bees. This talk will introduce you to the fascinating lives of bumblebees and solitary bees. It will cover the main groups of bees, their plight and how you can help them by recording your sightings. It will also showcase why the Essex area is so important for these species.

Ryan Clark first became interested in wild bees while at university where he discovered how important these species are and how relatively little is known about their ecology and distribution. Since then he has been actively recording solitary bees and bumblebees and is the Northamptonshire vice-county recorder for bees, wasps and ants. Ryan works for the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire as a Monitoring and Research Officer where he leads on their State of Nature work and Banking on Butterflies project. In his spare time he is an active (some would say obsessive) biological recorder of a wide variety of taxonomic groups. Ryan also sits on committees for the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI).

Joining details:
Topic: RSPB Zoom Presentation: British Bees
Time: Oct 20, 2021 08:00pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 851 8767 4229
Passcode: 709557.

We are not charging for our Zoom presentations but would appreciate a minimum donation of £3 (our usual talks are £3 for members and £4 non members), so if you enjoy them please do consider making a donation of £3 per person to cover our overheads and allow us to book speakers who charge a fee without incurring a net financial loss as our fund-raising is very limited this year.

Please make a donation by bank transfer to: RSPB SEE LG, Bank Sort Code 309079, Account Number 33710768. Important! Please put 'ZOOM and your initials' in the reference box.

The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Thank you for your support it is much appreciated. 

Saturday 23rd October 2021 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk: Octoberfest – 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. Increasing numbers of waders throng the saltmarsh edge and wildfowl arrive on the lagoons to feed whilst the first wintering raptors may be moving in and there is a chance of weather related movements of skylarks, pipits and thrushes. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Saturday 06th November 2021 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 extensive weedy areas for winter food and hopefully a few raptors will be around. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Sunday 07th November 2021: Guided Walk - EWT Thurrock Thameside Nature Park*
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. Postcode SS17 0RN. All welcome.

Monday 22nd November 2021: Guided Walk - Hanningfield Reservoir*
Meet at 10am. From the Rettendon Turnpike take the A1245 (the old A130) and turn left at The Bell public house. Follow the road past The Windmill PH until you arrive at a T-junction. Turn right and the EWT visitor centre is on your right just before you arrive at the Causeway. Post code CM11 1WT. Non EWT members may be asked for a donation. All welcome.

Saturday 04th December 2021 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk: Peak winter - Wildfowl, Waders and Raptors
By early December the mudflats will be thronged by waders, Dunlin, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover predominate and can form impressive murmurations as the incoming tide pushes them to higher ground. Duck numbers should be high too with masses of Teal, shoveler, Pintail and Wigeon feeding across the seed rich shallows of the southern lagoons. Marsh and Hen Harriers and Peregrine Falcon take advantage of the bounty causing chaos whenever they appear. With kind weather it should be a spectacular walk. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Sunday 05th December 2021: Guided Walk - EWT Chigborough Lakes/Heybridge Basin
Take the B1026 Heybridge to Goldhanger road and turn left into Chigborough Road. This junction is just over a mile from Heybridge. Meet in the Chigborough Lakes car park at 10am. Postcode CM9 4RE. The postcode should get you close to the reserve. All welcome.

Wednesday 15th December 2021: Guided Walk - Stambridge Mill to Stambridge Trout Fishery.
Meet at Stambridge Mill at 10 am. High tide 0946hrs. Postcode SS4 2AR. All welcome.

Wednesday 05th January 2022: Guided Walk - 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 1421 hrs. All welcome.

Sunday 23rd January 2022: Guided Walk - Southend Pier
Meet at 1045am at the lower level entrance. High tide 1557 hrs. All welcome.

Saturday 08th January 2021 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk: Raptor Ramble
This walk focuses on the birds of prey that winter on Wallasea’s extensive rough grassland areas and wetlands. We have a chance of up to 9 species actively making the most of the short days plus numbers of overwintering farmland birds like Corn Bunting, Skylark and Linnet, Kestrel, Peregrine, Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk plus Short-eared and Barn Owls. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Saturday 05th February 2021 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk: Late winter Wildfowl and Waders
By early February our wintering flocks of wildfowl and waders are at their very peak and can be an impressive sight as they swirl around high tide roosts or feed at the edge of the saltmarsh. Watch out if a Peregrine goes through as the birds take to the air en-masse to avoid this aerial predator. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Wednesday 9th February 2022: Guided Walk - RSPB Old Hall Marshes
Meet in the car park at 10am. Old Hall Lane, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Maldon CM9 8TP. High tide 1518 hrs. All welcome.

Sunday 20th February 2022: Guided Walk - Hadleigh Country Park
Meet at 10am in the new Chapel Lane car park. There is a charge for parking. All welcome.

Saturday 05th March 2021 RSPB Wallasea Island Guided Walk: Rolling Back Winter
March is a month of transition as many of our winter visitors are ready to head back north including many that stage here after wintering further south and are refueling on the rich mudflats of Wallasea. Booking essential at Cost: £6.50 donation for non members and £5.50 members.

Sunday 20th March 2022: Guided Walk - Wakering Stairs
Meet at 10am. Take the Foulness Road from Great Wakering church and the 2nd exit from the mini roundabout within the MOD fencing. Follow this road to the seawall. High tide 1359 hrs. All welcome.

Tuesday 29nd March 2022: Guided Walk - EWT Warley Place
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. Postcode CM13 3HT. All welcome.

Wednesday 13th April 2022: Guided Walk - EWT Bluehouse Farm, North Fambridge
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. All welcome.

Sunday 24th April 2022: Guided Walk - Abberton Reservoir*
Meet at Layer Breton Causeway at 10am. Non EWT members may be asked for a donation at the Visitor Centre. All welcome.

Sunday 01st May 2022: Guided Walk - EWT Fingringhoe Wick
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.

Monday 09th May 2022: Guided Walk - RSPB West Canvey Marsh
Meet at 10am. 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.

Sunday 31st July 2022: Guided Walk - Rutland Water*
We hope to be on time to see freshly fledged young Osprey (as well as adults and many other species of birds). Travelling north on the A1 past Peterborough take the A606 exit towards Oakham/Melton Mowbray. Turn left onto Empingham Road (A606). After approx. 5 miles take the first exit into Burley Park Way (A6003). After less than a mile turn left onto Hambleton Way. Postcode LE15 8BT. Meet at Rutland Water NR Egleton at 11am. All welcome.

* = Ideal sites for sitting in the Visitor Centre/Café looking out over the reserve/feeders.

Notes on Meetings and Field Trips
Indoor meetings 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 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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