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 Essex Police to clarify the situation regarding birdwatching. Here is the reply he received:

I have been asked to respond to your email that you sent to the PFCC regarding the legality of birdwatching during this current lockdown. I am the Essex Police lead for matters related to the pandemic and have been made aware of the number of changes to the regulations that have occurred over the last 10 months.

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. Referring this question to your MP may be appropriate.

Anyone wishing to contact their MP can find their details on the UK parliament website...Find My MP



Feb 2021 Talk


COVID-19 Update

In the light of the latest government restrictions limiting the number of people that can meet together the society has cancelled ALL field trips for 2020 and indoor meetings for the present time.


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...

Virtual Indoor Meeting #NocMig

SSsssssshhhh! I’m trying to sleep!

#NocMig by David Darrell-Lambert

Held on Friday 20th November 2020 at 8.00pm

Big County Birdwatch 2020

Matt and the two Steve's review this year's Big County Birdwatch


Latest Highlights

Tuesday 26 Jan
Great Totham: 11 Goosander
Lofts Farm GPs, Heybridge: 5 Red-crested Pochard
Walton-on-The-Naze: 1 Kingfisher, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Merlin
Monday 25 Jan
Kelvedon Hatch: 3 Raven
Boreham: 3 Goosander, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Jack Snipe
Copford: 3 Egyptian Goose
TM0325: 1 Raven
Shrub End: 9 Lesser Redpoll
Manuden: 1 Red Kite
Billericay: 1 Bullfinch

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