Sunday, 13 June 2021

Reading RSPB Group

LEE MORGAN, from Canada, delivered a presentation entitled “The wildlife of the Canadian Rockies — beyond the road and rails”.

It was part of his whistlestop tour of the UK, lecturing principally in the southern counties.

The scenery looked stunning and Lee emphasised that the spectacular wildlife was accessible to anyone who ventured just a few hundred metres from the tourist hot spots.

Thankfully, few did and thus missed out on some remarkable wildlife — pictures of bears, beavers and marmots were taken in locations just 10 minutes away from the seething masses.

Photographs of bald eagles and ospreys were a delight, as were those of butterflies and plants.

Just a few days later the group met at Startops Reservoir to view winter wildfowl both there and at Wilstone Reservoir nearby.

It was a cool, cloudy winter day and there were good numbers of wintering ducks and geese.

The highlight was three pairs of goldeneye at Wilstone; they were diving for food and preening and the brightly plumaged males showed early interest in the females with their body rearing displays.

Members were lucky enough to find a group of snipe in front of the hide at Wilstone. They are generally secretive birds and are often hidden in long grass or reeds, but these were out in the open, making for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities.

The next meeting of the group will take place at Pangbourne village hall on Tuesday, February 13 at 8pm, when Robin Nelson will give an illustrated talk entitled “The birds of Andalucia”. Visitors are always very welcome.

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