Society News


The Barn Owl Guardian of the Countryside by Jeff R. Martin - EBwS member

This is certainly not the only book to be published on barn owls, but it is the first to go beyond describing this, our most treasured bird, and to examine how our changing environment is affecting its future. It is illustrated with colour photographs throughout, and the text is supported by maps, charts, and tables.

Jeff Martin is a naturalist and conservationist with a passion for studying owls and the species they rely upon. As an established writer, he has had a number of articles published, and this is his second book on barn owls. He lives near Colchester in Essex.

Ordering information. For EBwS members a 20% discount is available by quoting Essex20. The total cost is £24 with free delivery in the UK. Please visit: , Tel: +44 (0)1440 706716 (mornings) or email:

For more information click HERE

Wader Conservation World Watch

The 4th WCWW will take place on the 4th and 5th November 2017. Make a note in your diary to join the fun.

To take part it is as easy as A,B,C.

A. Go out and see waders/shorebirds wherever you are in the world.

B. Send us an email telling us what you have seen and where.

C. Look for your birds on the species list and your name on the roll of honour on this website.

You will also receive a Wader Quest The Newsletter WCWW e-newsletter special to your email address with all the results, lists and the roll of honour.

It is that easy, no registration required just good old-fashioned bird watching Oh! And an email to See website at

Hen Harrier Day at RSPB Rainham Marshes.

Saturday 5 August, all day – main event at 11am

On Saturday 5th August RSPB Rainham Marshes is hosting an event organized by Birders Against Wildlife Crime to mark Hen Harrier Day 2017 – to celebrate Hen Harriers and publicise their plight. 

We'd like to invite you to join us for this rally, which will include as speaker, TV broadcaster and conservationist Chris Packham, and activities suitable for all, including for families! 

We're anticipating a busy day and are urging people to use public transport – the reserve is just a ten minute walk from Purfleet station on the C2C line. Additional car parking is also available in Purfleet at the public car park just west of the train station.

Join us in saying ‘We want our Hen Harriers back’, at RSPB Rainham Marshes! 

Price: Free

From: "Donovan, Isobel" <>

Breeding Bird Survey Volunteers

I was wondering if you could help at all. I’m looking to get a couple of volunteers to help us out with Breeding bird surveys over the Spring and was wondering if you might know anyone in your group who might be interested.

The person/s would need to have good bird id sight and sound and be reasonably fit able to complete a 5-7km walk potentially though fields and uneven ground within 3hours while carrying out the survey . They should be trustworthy as will know nest sites of rare breeding birds and have no previous wildlife convictions.

The survey windows are 15th April – 30th April, 1st May – 21st May and 22nd May – 18th June

Surveys are from dawn and have to be completed within 3hrs. One survey in each window at least one week apart.

Participants would gain early access to the reserve and will be surveying in areas that aren’t usually open to the public.

Reserves where we could do with help are West Canvey, Canvey Wick, Bowers Marsh and potentially the Vange Reserves.

Please let me know if you have any ideas of anyone who might be interested in helping.


Izzy Donovan

Warden - South Essex Reserves

Find out more from South Essex: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

South Essex Visitor Centre, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, SS16 4UH.
Tel 01268 498612
Mobile 07912783798



From: Marion Sidebottom

I work as a Project Officer for Maldon District Council and am working on creating content for some tourist interpretation boards. I am looking for some images of bird species found on the saltmarsh in Tollesbury and Bradwell. I wondered if any of your members would be able to help with this. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes Marion Sidebottom

Dengie Gateway Project Officer Maldon District Council, Princes Road, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5DL

Normal working days Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

email | tel 01621 858882 |

On Saturday 6 August RSPB Rainham Marshes is hosting an event organised by Birders Against Wildlife Crime to mark Hen Harrier Day 2016 – to celebrate hen harriers and publicise their plight.

We'd like to invite you to join us for this rally, featuring speeches from Chris Packham, Mark Avery and others, including Charlie Moores from BAWC and RSPB Chief Executive Mike Clarke.

We're losing our hen harriers and we want them back!

The event runs from 11am until approximately 12:30. Entrance is free via our Purfleet Visitor Centre.

We're anticipating a busy day and are urging people to use public transport - easy access from the C2C line from London or Essex. C2C are laying on extra trains/carriages. Get off at Purfleet train station which is just a 15 minute signposted walk along the river to the reserve.

If you are a Facebook user, please register here to let BAWC know that you are planning to attend -

Join us in saying ‘We want our Hen Harriers back’, at RSPB Rainham Marshes, Saturday 6 August from 11 am, and share the day via Twitter #HHDay2016 @HHDayLondon  #RSPBRainham

See this link for more details on the BAWC website -

Andrew Gouldstone
Site Manager

RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1SZ
Tel 01708 899845
Mobile 07841 804860

Thank You - to everyone that attended, and assisted at, the Conference on 19th March, it was another great success.  A total of the monies raised will be published in the next Essex Birding.

Following the success of the Migration Day's at Fingringhoe Wick EWT in September and January, we are going to hold one at Abberton Reservoir on Saturday 2nd April.  Come along and see the stands (and renew your subs if necessary!) take part in one of the guided walks, then back to the visitor centre to sit in front of the log stove with tea and cake, what more could you want.

An excellent day at Fingringhoe Wick NR EWT at our Winter Birding Event - despite the poor weather and the mud, we managed Bittern, Water Rail (2), Yellowhammer (30), Spotted Redshank, Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch (8), and they were just the highlights. Many Thanks to Louise Beary, Swallow Birding and Liz Huxley Wildlife for all their help.

The Society have purchased some brand new copies of ‘The Birds of Essex’ by Simon Wood at a reduced rate for members, if you would like to purchase a copy of this for £8.00 (original price £40) then please email or speak to Pete Dwyer.  These will also be on sale at indoor meetings and events. SOLD OUT 

Our first Photography competition starts on 1st January, check out the Activities pages for T & C's

Update for January Field Trip - we will meet at Fingringhoe Wick car park at 9am then we will visit Abberton after lunch.

Following the success of the Migration Day at Fingringhoe Wick EWT in September, there is to be another one held there on Sunday 31st January.  Come along and see the stands (and renew your subs if necessary!) take part in one of the guided walks, then back to the visitor centre to sit in front of the log stove with tea and cake, what more could you want.

The next field trip to Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad on Sunday 15th November will have a pick-up at Stanway Colchester, if you wish to join this trip, and meet the coach here, please contact Gerry on 07775 663166.

The Migration Day at Fingringhoe Wick EWT on 20th September was excellent. We had wonderful weather and plenty of birders came to see us and took part in one of the walks to the new area of sea wall that will be breached very soon. There was also some interest in our field trip, indoor meetings and the conference.  Look out for details of an event coming to the south of the county in April/May 2016 and a repeat of this one in the north in September/October 2016.

Essex Birdwatching Society, Swallow Birding & EWT are hosting a 'Migration Day' at Fingringhoe Wick EWT nature reserve on Sunday 20th September 10am – 6pm with guided walks throughout the day and stands including Liz Huxley, Wildlife Photographer.  Do come along and join us at this beautiful reserve, these should be exciting times with lots of birds on the move leaving, arriving and just passing through, and preparations in full swing for breaching the seawall to create new lagoon habitat.

The Conference details are now on the activites page on the website, most speakers are now booked and raffle prizes are coming in.  Watch for more details.

Hi to all EBwS Members,
The EBwS is in the process of putting as much information together by our Archivist Terry Jeffreys regarding Society documentation going back to 1949.
We have hard copies of the Fixture Cards for 1951-1952 through to 1989-1990. Then 2002-2003; 2005-2006; 2006-2007 and then 2009-2010 through to 2014-2015.

As you can see we are missing years 1990-1991 through to 2001-2002; 2003-2004; 2004-2005; 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Might anyone still retain any of these old missing Fixture Cards? If you have any of these missing years and you have no use for them can you please send them to me at the following address. Alternatively, if you wish to keep your original Fixture Card could you please send me a copy?
Gerry Johnson
4 Bunting Close

2015 - 2016 dates are now on the Activities page, get those important dates in your diaries!!

Geoff Pyman Lecture - Friday 27th March

We are sorry to report that this event has had to be cancelled.

Mark the Date, Saturday 19th March 2016, for the next EBwS Conference with the working title of Migration - Out of Africa

Keep watching for further news of this 'not to be missed' event.

The Essex Bird Report 2012 is now out.  Another excellent report and now refreshed with a new lay-out and plenty of colour photos mixed in. Well done to Graham and the team.

2015 Essex Corn Bunting

Essex Birdwatching Society and RSPB are teaming up to complete a survey of Corn Bunting breeding populations in Essex during  early summer.

The Corn Bunting has undergone a catastrophic decline of 90% in the UK from 1970-2011 (The State of the UK's Birds 2013).  Recent trends show a UK decline of 34% from 1995-2011 (Breeding Bird Survey 2012). 

The survey will build on data gathered during a similar study carried out by RSPB/EBS volunteers in 2007, allowing comparisons to be made and providing evidence on the state of Corn Bunting breeding populations in the county.

As you will appreciate, the scale of the survey is huge, and we cannot undertake the surveys without the valuable assistance of volunteers. We are looking for volunteers to help survey for corn buntings this summer and are very much hoping that your group can help out. Please help us to find out how this important Essex bird is faring. 

Please let me know if you and any members of your group are interested in taking part in the survey or if you have any further questions -   I can be contacted via email or by phone on 07703 749727

Simon Carpenter
Assistant Warden, Wallasea Island & Foulness

The next issue of Essex Birding is being prepared at the printers, watch out for your copy in a few weeks time, but dont forget that your SUBS are now due please.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for visiting the website, inputting your sightings and posting your photos. 

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and great birding in 2015!!



We have sourced a new outlet for merchandise with the EBwS logo.  Items can be ordered when you wish and in a selection of colours and different clothing.  Look out for the merchandise forms that will be at the indoor meetings and in your next Essex Birding magazine, which should be with you early in the New Year.  All articles purchased will add a donation to the EBwS, and help promote us when you are out and about!

Name:     Anna Moscrop
Comment:     Dear EBwS, We are planning surveys for harbour porpoises of the Thames Estuary and very keen to gather sighting information from birdwatchers who may have observed porpoises or other cetaceans whilst birdwatching close to the Thames Estuary. We are working in collaboration with ZSL and The Wildlife Trusts, as well as other local interest groups to investigate porpoise presence and raise awareness in this busy waterway. All information would be gratefully received and I can provide further details of the project as requested. Thanks very much indeed, Anna Moscrop (Marine Conservation Research International)

Bird watching on Galleywood Common.

Sunday 5th October 9.30 (1.5 hours)
Autumn brings a change to the bird life of Galleywood Common.
The summer visitors have departed for warmer climes and many
resident species that have dispersed to other parts of the country
are replaced by flocks of mixed thrushes. These include colourful
fieldfares and redwings. At times, some of the smaller finches,
such as siskins and redpolls, can be spotted. Most of these autumn
visitors hail from Scandinavia to spend the winter in the UK to
avoid the harsh northern winter where food there is virtually
unavailable. Our two resident woodpeckers, the Great Spotted and
Green Woodpecker, can usually be seen and, at times, the very rare
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, but sharp eyes are needed as it is only
sparrow size. Buzzards are now regularly seen soaring high over
the village and quartering the hedge rows, so look out for this large
impressive raptor. We hope you will join us for another great
morning’s walk on the 5th. The tearooms will be open until 1pm for a
refreshing cup of tea and slice of cake. Free entry but donations
are always welcome. Don’t forget your binoculars and suitable footwear.

Venue: Galleywood Heritage Centre
Tel: 01245 357700
The Horseshoe tea room will be open after the event

MIGRATION EVENT - Abberton Reservoir

Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th September - 9:00am - 5:00pm

Discover the marvels of bird migration

A joint event with Essex Birdwatching Society and Swallow Birding (local bird tour company) looking at bird migration - how, when, where - and some of their amazing journeys.  Guided walks; help with bird ID; binocular and telescope sales and advice; bacon rolls, paninis, tea/coffee, cake.

I would like to invite you and members of the Essex Birdwatching Society to be involved in the launch of the ‘Southend Beachcare Group’ on Friday 12th September 2014 at Two Tree Island Nature Reserve.

Southend BeachCare is a new network of local residents who are volunteering to improve their local beaches, dune systems and estuaries for people and wildlife. These dedicated volunteers clear litter and monitor and survey habitats, flora and fauna and campaign within the local community for cleaner coasts.  Beachcare is managed by Keep Britain Tidy, funded by Anglia Water and supported by the Environment Agency. Keep Britain Tidy and Anglia Water are organising this event at Two Tree Island, Leigh Marshes, Southend-On-Sea with the support of Essex Wildlife Trust to promote Beachcare and highlight coastal environmental issues and how they effect wildlife and people.   Organisations such as the Essex Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Natural England, Southend Council and the Environment Agency will be collaborating with us to promote this launch event.

To have the Essex Birdwatching Society there on the day from 11.00am – 1.00pm joining in this event would add great strength to highlighting local coastal issues and inspiring the people of Southend to get involved and support their local environment.

It is my hope that you can attend this event and help raise the profile of our amazing Essex coastlines.

Please confirm via email or telephone if you and your members are able to attend and join in with this us. I look forward to meeting with you on the day. Kind Regards

Robert Martyr. RiverCare & BeachCare Project Officer – Eastern England. Tel: 07827 298 112

EBWS were at Beth Chatto Gardens on Wednesday this week.  It was a good day.  Not sure if we picked up any new members, but we spoke to a lot of people giving them advice on creating a garden to encourage birds/wildlife, answered queries on bird sightings etc.

Turtle Dove work party

The nine people that attended on Sunday are as follows. Louise and John Sykes, Trevor Hexter, Richard Stanley, Malcolm Cresswell, Peter Dwyer, Debbie and Alex Johnson and Gerry Johnson , plus Rosalind Gourgey.
Once at the site to be worked on the rain started to get heavier. The group sheltered in the cars for 20-30 minutes before returning to the building  to have a drink.  It soon cleared up and they started work at 12:00 in warm sunshine.  Continued until 15:30 when the dark sky looked like rain again.
They have achieved the raking off of the dead material in readiness for sowing once the area dries out.
Gerry gives A Big Thank You to all who braved the weather


Unfortunately we were unsucessful this year, but thank you to everyone for your votes.

DONT FORGET - Rutland Bird Fair trip - Sunday August 17th

We are planning a coach trip to the Rutland Bird Fair on Sunday August 17. The cost will be £20. The coach will leave the County Hotel, Chelmsford, at 7am in order to get to the fair in time for the first lectures.

If you are interested please let Louise Sykes or Gerry Johnson know.  You can get the contact details of Louise & Gerry
on the Committee page.

1st Working party will be held 10th August, if you can help please contact Gerry Johnson as soon as possible, contact details on committee page.

‘Working Party’

We are now ready to prepare the ground at the Wethersfield site so that we can sow the Turtle Dove seed mix that was purchased with money raised at our first Conference. 

Please would you let Gerry know as soon as possible, either by phone: 07775 663166 (after 19:00) or email:, which dates in August you would be willing and able to help. 

To be able to gain access to the MOD Police HQ site you will need to provide personal details in advance (i.e. full name, address, age, sex, car registration number).  A gardening tool like a rake or hoe would also be required to bring along a pair of gloves.

Issue 124 of Essex Birding Journal is at the printers ..... watch out for your copy coming through the letterbox in the next few weeks. - 9.7.14 Pete now has these and will be sending them out shortly!

We are very pleased to advise that the Society has been nominated for the ‘Heart of Essex 2014’ awards.  Our voting code is 1049.

Details of how members, family, friends, etc. can vote are advised in this weeks Brentwood Gazette and Essex Chronicle. Text voting will start on 18th June.  With all our members support we have an excellent chance of winning a portion of the awards for the Kestrel Nest Box conservation project.

TEXT YOUR VOTES NOW - EC HOE 1049 your name, house number & postcode to 65100

(e.g. EC HOE 1049 John Smith 8 CM1 8XR) Don’t forget the spaces

Texts cost 50p plus one standard network rate message

An excellent field trip today to Titchwell today. 

A full coach and dry weather we managed to see 89 species. Highlights included Little Gull, a family of Red Crested Pochards, 400 Common Scoter, a hunting Barn Owl, with the scrapes in full breeding mode, there were plenty of chicks about. A few of the party even managed to photograph the Spectacled Warbler at Burnham Overy. Thanks again to Gerry for the organising

We have received the following kind offer for members of the Essex Birdwatching Society, if you wish to take advantage of the offer, then please contact the website below, and please don’t forget to mention that you saw the offer on EBwS website.

We are RSPB and Cumbria Bird Club members and we also own and manage an award winning (for Conservation and Wildlife) dairy farm and holiday cottages in Cumbria.
We also strive to be as Green and Eco-friendly as we possibly can and have recently won a Gold Award from Green Tourism. We have had several people stay in our holiday cottages on our farm, who have been members of Bird watching and Naturalists Societies and have recommended us to their groups as a great place to stay for those interested in bird and wildlife and how conservation can prosper on a working farm.
We would like to offer your members a 10% discount off the cost of booking either The Old Bothy (sleeps 4), or The Old Grainstore (sleeps 6) for either a short break (3 nights) – or longer.
Please check out our website –

Kind Regards, Joanne and Martin Baird,

2014 - 2015 dates for Field Trips and Indoor Meetings are now listed on the Activities page, and Facebook.

Minsmere RSPB – Sunday 25th May 2014

Another excellent coach trip – to Minsmere RSPB – the weather was warm and sunny but with a stiff breeze Even without Gerry, a group total of 91 species were recorded, highlights include Dartford Warbler, male Garganey, at least 3 Hobby, 2 Marsh Harrier, Kittiwake, and Wood Lark, as well as the usual warblers and terns. And we managed to bring out of Minsmere one more person than we came with! 

Thanks to Gerry, Pete, Lesley & John for keeping everything on an even keel. We even saw Chris Packham & Michaela Strachan from Springwatch 2014

Rutland Bird Fair trip - Sunday August 17th

We are planning a coach trip to the Rutland Bird Fair on Sunday August 17. The cost will be £20. The coach will leave the County Hotel, Chelmsford, at 7am in order to get to the fair in time for the first lectures. We have 18 interested people so far but need another 12 to be viable.

If you are interested please let Louise Sykes or Gerry Johnson know.  You can get the contact details of Louise & Gerry
on the Committee page.

27th April 2014 - Field Trip report - Rutland Water

Another excellent field trip to Rutland Water on Sunday. With a full coach the weather largely held out, 97 different species were seen and everybody had a great day out. The staff at Rutland & Leicestershire WT were very helpful

Highlights included the female nesting Osprey, with a (non) attending male. The background to this made EastEnders seem ordinary! A Great Northern Diver was seen in full summer plumage. Cracking close up views of 2 male and 1 female Garganey. 4 Buzzards, 2 Red Kite, but only 1 Kestrel another sign of what the EBWS has been championing with our recent Birds of Prey Conference in March. Thanks to Gerry Johnson for all the organising.


Hi All,!

Fantastic News!! !

'Heart of Essex 2013' voting has now closed and I am delighted to inform everyone that the Essex Birdwatching Society nomination has been voted one of the top two in the Environmental Category, which means that we will receive a share of the £8,000 prize money for the important on going Turtle Dove conservation work.!

Further details of the amount won will only be advised once the final results are known at the presentation awards dinner on Thursday 4th July. The Society are invited to attend this presentation dinner at Hylands House, Chelmsford at 18:30 with a total of six guests. We now have to decide who should attend and advise the organisers by 14th June.


This will give the Society representative an opportunity to network with the local media and other groups, etc. I have my ideas who should attend but would welcome suggestions from all of the Executive Committee by 12th June latest.!

Many thanks for your support towards this successful result. !

We continue to go onwards and upwards.!

Best wishes!




I am very pleased to advise that The Essex Birdwatching Society has been nominated for a ‘HEART of ESSEX 2013’ award, which is voted for by the general public anywhere in the UK and you can vote as many times as you wish!

In the ‘Environment Section’ we are trying to win a share of the £8,000 prize money for the important on going conservation for TURTLE DOVE in Essex and request that you, your wife/husband/partner, relatives, friends, work colleagues, etc. vote for the EBwS. Our Voting Code is 3002.

Voting is very straight forward, all you need to do is simply text,     EC HOE 3002, plus your name and post code to 65100                  (e.g. EC HOE 3002 Gerry Johnson CM2 8XR) Don’t forget the spaces! Text cost just 50p plus your standard network rate.


We are up against strong competition, so urgently need all the votes we can get! Your vote could make the difference, so have a “Heart” and vote, vote, vote today.

Also anything that you are able to do to ‘spread the word’ via e-mail, etc. and get people to vote would be very much appreciated.

Voting closes at midnight on Sunday 2nd June 2013.

Many thanks for all your support for TURTLE DOVE conservation, it is very much appreciated.

For further information about ‘Heart of Essex 2013’ see


1st March 2013, Indoor meeting report - Climate Change along the Suffolk Coast & AGM

Alex Bass delivered a interesting account covering the affects of ‘Climate Change along the Suffolk Coast’ over recent years with photographs of Dunwich Beach totally covered with sea water after breaking through the shingle, Minsmere RSPB Reserve sand dune being toped by a high spring tide, hence the reason to improve the north wall footpath recently as damage limitation should the sea get into the reed bed at some stage in the future with rising sea levels.

Prior to this talk the Annual General Meeting was conducted where President of ten year Dr Simon Cox stood down and Mrs Margaret Mitchell was elected as the new President.


24th February 2013, Field trip report - Cliffe Pools RSPB Reserve

It was a cold day for our trip to the north Kent Marshes and on arrival we had snow blowing in the wind! The remoteness along the south side of the River Thames attracted flocks of Waders as the tide pushed them from the Essex side embankment. Groups of between 80 and 150 Dunlin kept arriving to form a large flock approaching 5,000 on the edge of a lagoon. The sight and sound of them passing just above our heads was fantastic. The Dunlin small size stood out against the larger Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwits mingled in with them. We could also see a large flock of Avocet close to Tilbury Fort.

Good numbers of winter water fowl were seen on sheltered areas of lagoons. Birds of prey in the form of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and two Peregrine were also seen by the group

See the full details in the next issue of 'Essex Birding'.

11th November 2012, Field trip report - Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve

The Frampton Marsh Reserve was stunning in excellent light conditions on a crisp autumn day with ca.1500 Brent Geese, the expected selection of Waders and Wildfowl of the wash area, plus nine different species of Raptors.

See the full details in the next issue of 'Essex Birding'.

Essex Farmland Bird Conservation Conference announced.

Click to go to the Essex Farmland Bird Conservation Conference page

Due to the sorry situation of Turtle Doves, sustaining a massive ca.80% decline over 25 years, between 1980 and 2005, the EBwS have decided to take positive action towards their conservation in Essex

In conjunction with Stow Maries Wildlife and the RSPB, the EBwS has organised an 'ESSEX FARMLAND BIRD CONSERVATION CONFERENCE' to be held on 8th & 9th September 2012, with all proceeds going to Turtle Dove conservation.

For further information and how to attend as a delegate or as an exhibitor please see the specific Conference Web Page, and e-mail to book your attendance. Places are limited and due to the expected high demand places will be on a 'first-come' basis. To avoid disappointment book your place today.

6th May 2012,  Field Trip to Wallasea Island

Just to advise that due to circumstances beyond our control the Field Trip Meeting to Stow Maries Aerodrome on Sunday 6th May 2012 has had to be rearranged.

This Meeting will now be to Wallasea Island on the same date. Meet in the car park for a 09:00 start. No coach!

Due to the vast amount of construction work that is due to commence for the new RSPB Reserve at Wallasea this could be the last time that access is available to the general public, to get completely around the island, for some considerable time.

Look forward to seeing you on 6th May.

14th March 2012,  An Evening with Simon Barnes

The EBwS is pleased to advise of a very interesting forthcoming evening to be held at Chelmsford Library on Wednesday 14th March 2012. 'An Evening with Simon Barnes'. Simon will be explaining about the subject of his exciting new book "Birding with your Eyes Closed", which takes you from deepest winter through to spring and beyond, and teaches how to recognise different song after different song as the chorus swells to a beautiful crescendo. For anyone that has never been on a 'Dawn Chorus', this is your opportunity to find out what they are like without the early 03:00 start!

Tickets are available from The Mercury Theatre in Colchester.

Box office telephone number 01206 573948. Cost £7.00 each. 

19th February, Field trip report - 'Ouse Washes' Welches Dam RSPB Reserve & Welney WWT

The February Field Trip Meeting to the Fenlands started at Welches Dam RSPB Reserve where we experienced superb Farmland species - Tree Sparrow, Siskin, Brambling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and sulphur yellow Yellowhammer amongst the mixed flock of 60 birds were a delight to watch from the comfort of the Centre. Two Red Kite glided over close to the Centre and Marsh Harrier were also seen. The water levels across the Washes were just perfect for the hundreds and hundreds of wildfowl seen. In the afternoon we moved on to Welney WWT Reserve and the Whooper and Bewick's Swans along with many more Wildfowl and Waders.

A Full report to be included in the next issue of 'Essex Birding'.

20th January 2012, Essex Bird Report 2009 and Essex Birding 119

These have been received from the Printers and we shall be sending copies out to all paid up Members over the coming week.

Copies of the EBR and this current 'Essex Birding' are available from Sales Organiser Peter Dwyer, along with back issues.

6th November, Field trip report - Elmley Marsh RSPB Reserve

Currently Elmley Marsh is suffering from the lack of water, but still produced some great birds - 26 Red-breasted Merganser, Golden Plover, Wigeon, Pintail, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, 2 Peregrine and 17 Marsh Harrier. At Leysdown we added 3 Hen Harrier and a Great White Egret.

Full report in the next issue of 'Essex Birding'.

9th October, Field trip report - Salisbury Plain & Langford Lakes Wilts WT Reserve

The October trip to Salisbury Plain to see Great Bustard and learn a little more about the conservation work being undertaken by the dedicated team was more than the usual Field Trip Meeting. We were advised of the early mistakes and subsequent successes at rearing Great Bustards over the last five-six years. They do not reach breeding maturity until they are five years old. Although eggs were laid prior to this time they did not hatch. However, subsequently eggs have hatched but unfortunately been predated by foxes! The Group are taking steps to prevent this in the future. We were fortunate to see six Great Bustard in the release area from the hide and Centre.

Full report in the next issue of 'Essex Birding'.

4th September, Field trip report - Titchwell RSPB

The first Field Trip of the current programme took us to the north Norfolk coast at RSPB Titchwell Reserve, where some viewed the ‘new’ quite futuristic looking, Parrinder hide for the first time. (What is your opinion on the design, its looks and fitness-for-purpose?).

Due to the timing of our visit along with the mid-day high tide, we were able to experience movement of late summer migrants and early winter visitors. Quality waders were especially in good numbers and with the calm water conditions, sea watching also produced well. In all 106 species were seen by the group on the day.

A full and detailed report will appear in the next issue of ‘Essex Birding’, which is available to all members later in the year.

3rd September, Special offer on membership to celebrate the new website

To celebrate the successful launch our new interactive website we are pleased to offer anyone joining as a new member, immediate membership for the usual annual cost of £16, meaning you will not have to renew until 1st January 2013.

In addition to your free publications when you join as a member you will be entitled to a 15% Discount Card from Blacks Leisure (which includes Millets and Blacks outlets). Details available sent with your joining pack.

Members are also entiled to a Poloshirt at a very competitive price while stocks last!

Visit the Membership page to find out how to join.

2nd September, Indoor meeting report - Wallasea 'Wild Coast' project

We had an excellent Meeting where Hilary Hunter from the RSPB brought the audience of approaching 30 members and guests up to date with the current status of the ‘Wild Coast’ project at Wallasea Island.

Work is well in hand with heavy plant on site in readiness for the ship loads of spoil from the Cross-rail tunnelling under London. Maps and artist impressions explained the various areas to be developed, which included a number of hides, lagoons, footpaths, a specific dog walking area and an activity area. The project is the largest of its type in Europe and is due for completion in 2019.

26th August, New EBwS website launched

As you're reading this, you already know the Society has a new website, but do you know how this new site differs from the old one? Yes, it's a different colour and layout, but that isn't the important change. The big change is not about the site at all, it's about you.

Of course the website tells you what you want to know about the society, such as meeting schedules, contacts and membership, but on this site, you are in the driving seat. You will be providing much of the site contents, by posting news from your birdwatching trips, reading and contributing on the discussion forum and by uploading your photos to the site. This will ensure that there is always something new on the site to see, so check back regularly to keep in touch.

You don't have to be a member of EBwS to contribute your bird sightings, just register on the site and let us know what you've seen. If you are a member, you can also contribute to the discussion forum and upload photos. Members with blogs or photo galleries on other sites can set up links to those pages from this website so other Essex birders can find them. You will need your member ID number to register with member privileges.

This website is not the perfect county bird website, but it will be improved and  developed over time. Please help improve this site by using the 'Feedback' form to tell us what works well and what doesn't. The 'Feedback' form can be found under the 'Admin' menu.

The Society has been connecting Essex birders for over 60 years. With your involvement, this website will provide a new means of connecting our community for the modern world. So don't be shy, contribute your bird news, talk on the forum and if you take bird photographs, please share them with us.

22nd August, Summer/Autumn 2011 Essex Birds published

The content of the Summer/Autumn 2011, issue 118, of 'Essex Birding', just posted out and received by members this week.

Art work acknowledgements:
EBwS logo by Richard Hull
Front cover, Cretzschmar's Bunting - rear cover, Slaty-backed Gull with Great Black-backed Gull by Sam Shippey
Essex coast in winter, Shore Lark, Mistle Thrust, Garganey, Greenshank and Tuftie drake by Richard Allen
Woodchat shrike, Red Kite and Great Spotted Woodpecker by George Brown

Rainham Marsh photograph by John Sykes
Additional photographs by un-named photographers

Copies of this current 'Essex Birding' are available from Sales Organiser Peter Dwyer, long with back issues.