Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

The Falklands, Islands of Kings, Tyrants and Giants
by Mike Read

Date: Thursday 15 September 2016 at 19:30


Forty people attend the first meeting of our 2016-2017 season.

Mike Huddy, our Group Leader, explained that we need to appoint a new Group Leader to take over in May 2017. Mike is relinquishing the role, at the end of his fifth year, at the AGM in April 2017. If you are interested in this role, please contact Mike on 01494 571716 for an informal discussion.

We welcomed our speaker, Mike Reid, who was making a return visit to Maidenhead after several years. Mike gave an excellent presentation, with superb photography, on the wildlife of the Falkland Islands.

The story began with a British air force jet escorting the flight from Birmingham into Stanley airport! Five specie of penguin, two of albatross, three of dolphin, two of caracara. Flightless logger ducks, small birds of the tussock area and the only endemic bird to the Falkland, Cobb’s Warbler. Killer whales, South American sea lions and elephant seals were all shown in a high quality photographic display.

Mike’s presentation was full of interesting facts and delivered with a touch humour, making for a most entertaining evening.

Peter Gaines reported on What's About in our area:

  • Dorney Wetlands - Yellow wagtails, redstarts, stonechats, Cetti’s warbler
  • Widbrook – 3 spotted flycatchers
  • Eton Wick – Little stint
  • Lower Farm – Great white egret
  • Moor Green – Curlew sandpiper
  • Various sites – 7 Tawny owls calling
  • Passing through – Hobby
--- Original Programme Information ---
Kelp Goose
Kelp Goose

Since the 1982 conflict, the Falklands have become a popular wildlife watching and wildlife photography destination.  In this talk, which mainly visits three smaller islands, Mike Read will show some of the fabulously tame and approachable wildlife that lives and breeds there. 

Gentoo Penguins against an orange sky
Gentoo Penguin

Birds include Black-browed Albatrosses, five species of penguin, three species of geese plus other wildfowl, smaller birds including the endemic Cobb’s Wren.  Marine mammals include Orcas, Southern Elephant Seals, South American Sealions and Commerson’s Dolphin. Mike will also show a few of the flowers.

Commerson's Dolphin pod in the surf
Commerson's Dolphin

The talk is light, entertaining and informative and is based on a number of photography tours Mike has led to these islands.


Mike Read

Mike Read has been working as a professional nature and landscape photographer for over 30 years and has travelled widely to build up an extensive library of stunning images.  He is also a tour guide taking people on wildlife watching and photographic tours to various overseas locations for Travelling Naturalist.

Mike has also been giving illustrated talks to various societies for over 40 years.

As a photographer and as a writer, he has contributed to a wide range of wildlife, photography and other magazines and has written and co-authored several books including The Robin, The Barn Owl, New Forest Moods, Red Kite Country, Perfect New Forest and The Countryside Companion.

Mike sells his photography through a number of photographic agencies as well as supplying work directly to various outlets himself.  His stock library consists of over 80,000 digital images and this is still expanding rapidly.


Roaring Southern Elephant Seal
Southern Elephant Seal