AT the October meeting members enjoyed an excellent illustrated talk by Andy Warren entitled “Birding
AT the October meeting members enjoyed an excellent illustrated talk by Andy Warren entitled “Birding the Atlantic Islands”.
We were shown various species which were endemic to Madeira and introduced to the varying terrain of the island from the volcanic peaks where bulwers petrel and cory’s shearwater breed to the sub-tropical gardens, home of the Madeiran chaffinch and Madeiran robin.
By contrast Fuerteventura portrayed an arid semi-desert terrain which yielded such birds as cream-coloured courser and houbara bustard.
A few days later, on a surprisingly bright Sunday morning, members of the group met at Wraysbury to walk round the gravel pits.
No sooner had we arrived when ring-necked parakeets made their presence known with their loud calls.
We soon saw them flying over and later had some good views of a couple feeding in a pear tree. The main target was water birds and the pits here held good numbers of ducks. Unlike many birds, the numbers of ducks in Britain in the winter is much higher than in the summer as thousands oescape from northern Europe and Russia for the milder weather here.
We saw good numbers of wigeon, gadwall and shoveler but it was too early in the winter for some species.
The main path followed the River Colne, and we saw many woodland birds including tits, robins and goldcrests. There seem to be good numbers of the latter this autumn, many coming, like the ducks, from northern Europe. The mild weather also meant we saw a couple of butterflies, dragonflies and some hornets.
The next indoor meeting will take place at Pangbourne village hall on Tuesday, November 10 at 8pm and will feature an illustrated talk by Robin Potts entitled “Hope for Malta’s birds”.
Visitors are always warmly welcomed at meetings. For more information, visit www.reading-rspb.org.uk