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

Woodland Birds Conference



 Saturday 21st March 2020, Northumberland Lecture Theatre, Writtle University College, Writtle, CM1 3RP

08:45-09:45 Registration and refreshments – with time to view the exhibits and displays                                  

10:00-10:05 Welcome address by GERRY JOHNSON, EBwS Chairman

MORNING SESSION    Chaired by PETER DWYER, EBwS Membership Secretary


10:40-10:50 Beyond the Podium – up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Chris Gibson

10:50-11:25  ”THE BIRDS OF CHALKNEY WOODS”  DOUGAL URQUHART, Warden of Chalkney Woods for over twenty years

11:25-11:35 Beyond the Podium – up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Dougal Urquhart


12:10-12:20 Beyond the Podium up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Ken Smith

12:20-13:40 ’Light’ sandwich lunch break – time for informal discussions with speakers and to view the displays

AFTERNOON SESSION    Chaired by PETER DWYER, EBwS Membership Secretary

13:40-14:15 ”OWLS – SECRETS OF THE NIGHT” MIKE TOMS, Head of Communications for the British Trust for Ornithology

14:15-14:25 Beyond the Podium – up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Mike Toms

14:25-15:00 ”LOOKING FOR THE GOSHAWK – THE LOST RAPTOR” CONOR JAMESON, Author and Conservationist

15:00-15:10 Beyond the Podium – up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Conor Jameson

15:10-15:45 ”WILDLIFE ON THE EDGE” STEVE CALE, Artist, Photographer and Tour Guide

15:45-15:55 Beyond the Podium – up to ten minutes of delegate’s ‘Questions & Answers’ with Steve Cale

15:55-16:30 Summing up by GERRY JOHNSON and ‘Grand Raffle’ draw with so many splendid prizes to be won.

The Big County Birdwatch 70

The Essex Birdwatching Society is celebrating its 70th anniversary and we invite you to go Birdwatching this autumn. Whether it's 7 minutes in the garden, or 17 minutes looking out of your window, or 70 minutes during lunch at work, or a couple of hours in the park or a part day, or a complete day out, over the four days. On your own, with family or friends or on an organised walk at one of Essex's fantastic nature reserves we want to know how many different bird species you can find in the county.

The Big County Birdwatch

'The BIG County Birdwatch70' runs from Friday 20th September through to Monday 23rd September 2019 throughout the rich variety of habitats in Essex. There are organised walks at many different locations including EWT Fingringhoe Wick and RSPB Rainham Marshes over this long weekend and ALL are welcome to take part. 

'The BIG County Birdwatch70' is a 70/70 challenge. The Society is 70 - can you spot 70 species in a single day or over the four days? You can submit your sightings online or download a recording form and let us know how many birds you see, where and when. All entries will receive a certificate to commemorate taking part in this special Essex celebration challenge.

Click Here for More Details

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting

Pictures of a Golden Eagle flying in Cairngorms National Park with an illegal trap clamped to its leg has sparked outrage amongst conservationists and members of the public. 

You can see these shocking pictures on the rarebirdalert website here

A petition has been setup and you haven’t already done so  - please consider signing this petition to Ban Driven Grouse Shooting

Little Terns

The little terns have returned from their winter feeding grounds in West Africa to breed on the Essex coast.

This week we have confirmed our first nest with 3 eggs at the RSPB Old Hall Marshes colony with promises of more as early bird numbers have been encouraging and the birds are nesting around 2 weeks earlier than last year.

We have organised 2 special evening boat trips from West Mersea to view the colony and other wildlife whilst experiencing the ever changing light of an Essex salt-marsh sunset.  Ideal for all nature enthusiasts and photographers.


Thursday 13th June 7.30 - 9.30pm

Wednesday 26th June 7.30 - 9.30pm

Details and booking can be found here:

A discount is available for RSPB members.

BNA Conference 2019

British Naturalists' Association Conference - Saturday 11th May

A diverse day of Marine talks and Forest Wildlife exploration. Lectures include Seabird & Sandeel Research by Sarah Wanless. Sarah’s work is to understand the impact of global change on marine top predators, particularly seabirds. Most of her research is field-based, much of it on the Isle of May. Her current research extends beyond the breeding season and uses traditional and bio-logging approaches to track individuals year round. This work proved essential to the conservation of marine ecosystems and resulted in the ban of sand eel fisheries in the western North Sea. The other lectures feature Maya Plass and Dr Tom Cameron from University of Essex.

For more information about the day and to book your place go to

Winter Birding Day

Winter Birding Day at Fingringhoe Wick EWT Reserve - Sunday 27th January 2019 10.00am - 4.00pm

Come along to Fingringhoe Wick EWT reserve for this annual event with the EBwS and Essex-based Wildlife holiday company ‘Swallow Birding’ for a day with guided bird walks around the nature reserve with expert guides. There will also be help with bird identification, great food and drink in the tearoom during the day and a chance to renew your EBwS subscriptions! Don’t miss out, we hope to see you there for this FREE event.

Hen Harrier Day at Rainham Marshes 2018 - Saturday 11 August, 11am

On Saturday 11th August RSPB Rainham Marshes is hosting an event organized by Birders Against Wildlife Crime to mark Hen Harrier Day 2018 – to celebrate hen harriers and publicise their plight.

We'd like to invite you to join us for this rally, which will include speakers and activities suitable for all, including for families! Speakers confirmed so far include David Lindo (The Urban Birder) and RSPB Director of Conservation Martin Harper. All money raised goes to Birders Against Wildlife Crime and they'll be giving an update about their raptor satellite tagging project too.

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.

The car park will open at 8am, and the main rally with speeches is set to start at 11 am. The speeches will take place in the marquee field near the Marshland Discovery Zone so leave yourself 15 minute or so to wander down.

Join us in saying ‘We want our Hen Harriers back’! Watch this space and @HHDayLondon for more updates. Look forward to seeing you there!

More info here…

Ringing at Two Tree Island Nature Reserve

Essex Birdwatching Society spent an interesting & enjoyable morning with David Wilkinson down at EWT Two Tree Island Nature Reserve. David is a skilled and enthusiastic ringer, today he and his colleagues managed to ring Common Whitethroat, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap and even a Great Spotted Woodpecker. It was an honour for the Essex Birdwatching Society to present a cheque to help with the upkeep of his nets and other equipment.

The photo is of Steve Collins, Vice-Chairman of the Essex Birdwatching Society handing over a cheque to David, accompanied by Mark Bridges the outgoing warden at EWT Two Tree Island

If you have a similar project that involves the conservation of birds in Essex, it doesn’t have to involve ringing, then please get in touch with us at 

Steve Collins, Vice-Chairman of the Essex Birdwatching Society handing over a cheque to David, accompanied by Mark Bridges the outgoing warden at EWT Two Tree Island