V-talk - Wild Ethiopia

Watch Steve Cale's excellent talk on the birds & wildlife of Ethiopia with superb photographs throughout.

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: Turtledovesurvey@rspb.org.uk   


Please join us for the next BoE YouTube monthly review which will be here on Friday 19th March at 8pm. 


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




Birds of Essex - February 2021

Steve, Steve & Matt from EBwS catch up with what's been happening bird-wise over the last month in Essex including recent sightings, field guide reviews, photographs and general bird-related chat. 

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


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.


Naze Protection Society information appeal

The NPS need your reports and sightings from the Naze.

The Naze needs urgent protection from erosion caused by the sea and the Naze Protection Society are asking members to submit statements detailing bird sightings along with mammals, insects and flora.

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

If you wish to submit a statement please send via email to Mike Cooke at dogandwabbit@aol.com


Birdwatching and the Police

Following a recent incident at Wat Tyler where a member was warned about birdwatching by Police another of our members wrote to the Police Fire and Crime Commisioner (PFCC) to clarify the situation regarding birdwatching. Here is the reply he received:

The Health Protection Act regulations that apply to the current lockdown does not include birdwatching as a reasonable excuse for a person to leave their home. Whilst walking is considered as exercise frequently stopping to view birds would make this activity a recreation as opposed to exercise.

I am aware that angling has been declared an exercise but I am unaware that the same has been done for birdwatching. 


Sam Shippey - 20th September 1933 to 1st December 2020

by Howard Vaughan

On Tuesday night - I lost my third Granddad.  I was fortunate to grow up with a full suite of Grandparents all of whom lived to a ripe old age, so to inherit another one was one of those rare bonuses that life throws your way.

Sam being silly on Scilly in 2009 - (Jono Lethbridge)
Sam being silly on Scilly in 2009 - (Jono Lethbridge)

I suspect I knew Sam for something like 35 years starting from early visits to Dagenham Chase when I was under the wing of Ken Barrett and then through my fervent 1990s birding scene when I was also asked to become art editor for the Essex Bird Watching Society.  Sam, like me, was one of the artistic contributors and I remember asking him for specific pieces to put into the publications. Read more...

Big County Birdwatch 2020

Matt and the two Steves review last year's Big County Birdwatch


Latest Highlights

Monday 08 Mar
Westley Heights: 1 Lesser Redpoll
Shrub End: 1 Red Kite
Hatfield Broad Oak: 1 Great White Egret, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Red Kite
Mersea Island: 1 Purple Sandpiper, 13 White-fronted Goose, 1 Merlin
Abberton Reservoir: 1 Cattle Egret
Sunday 07 Mar
Thorndon CP (South): 2 Goosander
Thorndon CP (North): 1 Egyptian Goose
WigboroWick Farm, St Osyth: 3 White-fronted Goose
Heybridge Basin: 4 Cetti's Warbler
Little Baddow: 1 Kingfisher, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 10 Egyptian Goose

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 chairman@bna-naturalists.org and we can help you



Websites to help with identification

Birds:  www.rspb.org

Butterflies: www.butterfly-conservation.org   also  www.ukbutterflies.co.uk  

Wildflowers:  www.seasonalwildflowers.com  also www.wildflowerfinder.org.uk

Dragonflies: www.dragonflysoc.org.uk

Bugs: www.britishbugs.org.uk

Also for a range of species:  www.first-nature.com

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