Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Reading RSPB group

MEMBERS enjoyed their pre-Christmas social in December where several offered wildlife entertainment.

Jean Nicholls kicked off the evening with an enthralling account of her bird feeding survey which she has provided to the British Trust for Ornithology for many years.

Tony Rayner provided a “Santa’s sack” of photographs of wildlife which has visited his garden over the past 25 years.

Ken White gave an identification guide to ducks in winter plumage and Lesley Staves displayed some delightful images of butterflies taken in Kyrgyzstan.

Brian Marchant illustrated what a fine artist he is with samples of some of his work and Pete Spillett summarised the group’s weekend in Yorkshire.

Marjy Carden gave a rendition of her latest poem and those anticipating a feastful of double entendres were not disappointed.

Everyone had brought a contribution to the buffet, which resulted in a marvellous spread — far too much to eat — and the remainder of the evening was spent socialising, nibbling and drinking mulled wine. The following Sunday the group visited Burnham Beeches in search of seasonal wildlife.

This winter has seen a huge influx of hawfinch escaping the harsh weather of central Europe and this bird was top of the shopping list for the day.

Not surprisingly, woodland birds were in abundance with many common species, such as robins, wrens, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits in evidence.

There was an excellent view of a goldcrest, Britain’s smallest bird, in some bushes.

There were redwing throughout the woods but often you got just a fleeting glimpse as they flew over.

Green woodpeckers were heard but not seen but great spotted woodpeckers posed obligingly for photographs.

Ring-necked parakeets were also seen and heard, as were jays, nuthatches, coal tits and chaffinches.

It started raining at midday so the group headed for the café to enjoy a welcome warming coffee before going home.

More than 20 species of birds had been recorded but, sadly, the hawfinch remained elusive.

The next meeting of the group will take place at Pangbourne village hall on Tuesday, January 9 at 8pm when Lee Morgan will present an illustrated talk entitled “The wildlife of the Canadian Rockies — beyond the roads and rails”.

Visitors are always very

For more information, visit www.reading-rspb.org

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