May 21 V-talk - The Pantanal with Rob Williams

Another chance to watch Rob William's excellent talk on the wildlife of the Pantanal in Brazil. With superb photography throughout this is definitely highly recommended.

Click the thumbnail below to begin, when the video starts playing click YouTube for a larger view.



Essex Birdwatching Society is launching a monthly bird photography competition and we'd like you to get involved. Send us your best picture from last month and we will choose our favourites from the entries received. The best four photo's will be posted on Twitter and Facebook for everyone to vote on and we will also be taking votes via text for those who don't use social media. The winner will be announced during this month's Birds of Essex review, live on YouTube on Friday 21st May at 8pm.

If you would like to take part please send us a bird related photograph that you took during April 2021. Entries can be sent by replying to our Tweet here or you can reply to our Facebook post here. Alternatively photo's can be emailed to Only one photograph per person will be accepted and please make sure to include your name.

This competition is open to everyone and it's just for fun. Please remember we're looking for the best 'birding' photo's and not necessarily the best technical quality. All entries must be received by midnight on Friday 14th May, any photographs sent after this date will not be considered. Good luck!


Cuckoo April's BoE saw Steve, Steve & Matt discuss bird photography, the equipment they use and some of the pictures they've taken. We share photographs sent in by viewers and members of Essex Birdwatching Society and there's a round up of some of the spring migrants arriving in Essex during April. Also discussed are Ravens, Turtle Doves and White-tailed Eagles - a bumper show not to be missed!


Click the thumbnail below to begin, when the video starts playing click YouTube for a larger view.


Turtle DoveNational Turtle Dove Survey 2021

The Turtle Dove is in critical decline in the UK with numbers down by around 95% over the past 25 years and these beautiful birds need our help. The RSPB has contacted EBwS to ask whether any members would be able to assist in the 2021 National Turtle Dove Survey. This survey is vital in determining the population and breeding habits of Turtle Doves and is used to assess the effectiveness of current conservation efforts, and to help with future strategies to preserve this iconic species' breeding status in the UK. 

A series of 1km squares are selected for survey, a sample of which can be found here. Ideally, participants are required to conduct two surveys during the breeding season lasting approximately two hours each, with a minimum four week gap between surveys. Full details of the methods by which the survey is conducted and how data should be recorded along with a guide to the type of habitat you should look out for can be found here.

If anyone is interested in participating or wants any additional information please contact Simon Wotton, Senior Conservation Scientist for the RSPB at:   


RookEBwS 2021 Rookery Survey. A Citizen Science Project

I had a shock last week on returning home from a walk past my local Rookery.  Twenty seven nests remained of the sixty three active nests I found there on 23 March in 2020.  

The importance of the Rookery Survey we launched in our YouTube, 'End of Year Birds of Essex Review' became ever more pertinent.  And affords something we can do wherever we are within the county - during an exercise walk, run, cycle or an essential drive. Read more..



Grid Reference Finder




How To... Report Ringed Birds

Steve Grimwade shows us how to report a ringed bird and explains why it's so important. 

Click the thumbnail below to begin, when the video starts playing click YouTube for a larger view.


Latest Highlights

Monday 10 May
Mersea Island: 2 Egyptian Goose
Sunday 09 May
Writtle: 1 Kingfisher
Blake's Wood, near Danbury: 1 Spotted Flycatcher
Old Hall Marshes NR RSPB: 1 Golden Oriole, 5 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Spoonbill
Beckton: 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Arctic Tern, 1 Cetti's Warbler
Friday Wood: 1 Firecrest
Wrabness: 2 Turtle Dove, 1 Bullfinch
Heybridge Basin: 1 Black Brant, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Goose
Rochford: 1 Woodchat Shrike
Stanford Warren: 4 Cetti's Warbler

Latest News

Stay at Home Wildlife Recorders Club

The British Naturalists Association have set up this online club to record all the sightings in gardens during the Covid-19 crisis. This is a great opportunity for everyone to take part in a BNA Citizen Science Project watching and recording nature in your garden. Full details are below.


1. Record only those species of birds, butterflies, wild flowers etc. that you see in your garden or from your garden or house.

2. Birds that you see flying that do not land in your garden can be recorded as can animals, deer etc. that you might spot from your garden in a nearby field so long as you can see them without leaving your garden or house

3. Any wildlife you spot whilst taking exercise away from your house or garden should not be included in your records.

4. Only record on your chart a species once, the first time you see it.  If you see for instance a robin on a number of occasions in your garden do not record it on your chart every time you see it.

5. A chart is provided for you to keep a record of your own individual sightings, but feel free to produce your own chart.

6. Encourage others in your area to record wildlife sightings and then set up an online community group.  Nominate a co-ordinator and send your sightings to that person to combine sightings onto one chart.

7. We have a team of experienced naturalists who can help identify difficult species. Please take a photo and send it to and we can help you



Websites to help with identification


Butterflies:   also  

Wildflowers:  also



Also for a range of species:

RSPB Old Hall Marshes car park closure

The RSPB have decided to no longer open the gate to RSPB Old Hall Marshes at the weekend, as of the 1st of February 2020. It will remain open as normal during the weekdays. It will still also be able to arrange access for organised groups wishing to access the reserve at the weekend.

Attached is a note that explains why they are doing this - as a result of a review of into the amount of resource put into maintaining a 7 day week operation at the reserve. By removing this they will be able to put more resource and time into carrying out vital conservation tasks and still maintain site security and prevent anti-social behaviour occurring on the reserve.

Old Hall Marshes Car Park Closure