Friday, 19 August 2022

Reading RSPB

THE Reading RSPB group held its annual meeting at Pangbourne village hall.

Members of the committee were re-elected unanimously except for Carl Feltham, who has stepped down after 30 years.

During that time, he has produced the club’s twice-yearly magazine, the Reading Warbler, the quality of which has been the envy of most groups throughout the land. He has also managed the club’s IT needs which, not surprisingly, have grown considerably over the 30 years. He will, however, remain on the steering committee so will continue to have some input into the running of the group.

A new face on the committee is Jenny Gordon who will be the indoor meetings organiser.

The members were delighted that the meeting was followed by a presentation from Becky Speight, chief executive of the RSPB, who provided an interesting update on the current work of the charity.

In May the group was finally able to resume mini-bus trips which were curtailed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The trip to the New Forest was marred by rain. Nevertheless, a fine male siskin showed well in the car park upon our arrival and a pair of goldcrests were taking food to their nest.

A tree pipit was singing in the top of a dead tree and there were brief views of a spotted flycatcher. After lunch there was some difficulty identifying a juvenile mistle thrush, which has white spots on its head, unlike the adults.

Later, there were good views of some stonechats and fleeting glimpses of dartford warblers, while a cuckoo was heard but not seen.

The trip to Woolhampton gravel pits actually brought good views of two cuckoos but the number of ducks was disappointing with only tufted ducks and pochards present.

Around the lakeside many garden warblers and blackcaps were singing their delightful songs.

In the woodland a family of treecreepers obliged good views.

Disappointingly, no swallows, martins or swifts were seen over the lake but that seems to be a recurring theme in the South this year.

The next meeting of the group will take place at Pangbourne village hall at 8pm on Tuesday, June 14, when Professor Tom Oliver will deliver an illustrated presentation entitled “Nature and social connectedness”, a look at how individual mindsets can influence biodiversity.

Visitors are always very welcome.

For more information, visit

David Glover

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