Indoor Meetings about Birds and Wildlife

The Birds of the Camargue
by Jonathan Forgham

Date: Thursday 19 September 2019 at 19:30


Camargue map


The presentation The Birds of the Camargue takes a look at all the hot spots within the whole National Park Reserve. It details paths that can be taken, distances, birds that may be found in specific areas, public transport details, car hire, flights and advice on hotels.

There will be advice on entering reserves. The two specific reserves in the area are, one east of the largest lake (Etang de Vaccares) and one on the western side. The whole area is extensive and I tend to use public transport and hire a push bike, or walk long distances (25 miles is not unknown), but car hire offers access to areas further afield.

As often with birding, certain times of the year are better than others and I shall highlight these times and where the birds in question may be found.

I have visited The Camargue on nine occasions in the last 11 years and have become known to many of the locals, the daft Englishman that walks for miles just to see birds!

Greater Flamingo


I am a lifelong birder, first becoming interested in a particularly colourful bird I noticed whilst on holiday in Devon, far from my back street Liverpool home. My parents bought me the Observer Book of Birds and we discovered the bird in question was a male chaffinch. From then on, I was hooked. A member of the YOC in the 1960’s and early 70’s, I went on four YOC holidays to Northumbria, Essex, Yorkshire and Slimbridge. By the age of 14 I travelled alone to The Pyrenees and my birding travels from then on have been annual or more. I have now birded in most European countries apart from Scandinavia, visited Sri Lanka on seven occasions in the last five years as well as a visit to Australia in 1992. A long 10 day walking/birding trip to The Crimea had been planned for 2015 but the invasion of the area put a halt to the plan that had been 18 months in the making!

I visit Dungeness and North Norfolk at least once a month on birding days out, along with trips to other sites within 100 miles of my East Herts home. I have spent 10 years studying the whole natural history of Little Hadham parish, recording 109 bird species and over 750 moth species along with plants, butterflies, insects, mammals etc. These records made up a book, published in 2012. An update is due when I find the time.

Away from birding, I was a teacher for 30 years before setting up my own Science educational enhancement company which ran for 10 years. I have now retired and in October 2018 decided it was time to settle down and get married for the first time!

In 2003 I was the UK delegate to Physics on Stage, an eight day conference held at the European Space Agency in The Netherlands. Here I was on the committee discussing the dissemination of scientific methods across the EU.

I enjoy red wine, cricket and the music and words of Bob Dylan. I am a level 2 ECB cricket coach, write a fortnightly nature article for the local newspaper, Bishop’s Stortford Independent and am a voluntary warden of a community wood in our village of Little Hadham. Recently, I have established a learning centre in Galle, Sri Lanka where children and teenagers from poor backgrounds can attend free English lessons. Presently we are in the process of setting up a volunteer programme.

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