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

A Naturalist in Northumberland
by Brian Gallop

Date: Thursday 17 November 2016 at 19:30


The meeting was attended by 51 people who heard a talk with a very wide range, considering it was confined to the wild life of Northumberland.

Starting with Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands, moving through the Cheviots and on around the region, the presentation covered the many diverse aspects of the area from coast to hills taking in coastal, wetland, woodland, riparian, heathland and upland habitats.

Brian presented a collection of beautiful photographs including landscapes, birds (of course), butterflies, mammals and plants with which this region of the UK abounds. He provided fascinating insights into the subjects of these photographs; my personal favourite was the notion that you could lift a brooding female Eider duck from her nest, remove some down and apparently place her back on the nest with no adverse effects.

At the meeting there was also a presentation to Sandy Studd for 10 years of service to the RSPB and also recognition for Peter Gaines who has received a badge for 40 years of service from Hugo Blomfield from the Brighton office of the RSPB.

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

  • Dorney Lake - Velvet Scoter
  • Dinton Pastures – Jack snipe, Great White Egret
  • Little Marlow – Ring Ouzel
  • Cookham – Stonechat
  • Wishmoor – Great Grey Shrike
  • Berkshire Downs at Auldworth – Great Grey Shrike
--- Original Programme Information ---
Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island at sunsetLindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow perched, insects in beak


Brian’s talk will concentrate on the wide range of natural history to be found in Northumberland, the most northerly of England’s counties, as well as showing some of the magnificent history and scenery to be found there. However, the emphasis will be on the birds that can be seen.


Brian has been a naturalist, speaker and photographer for many years and whilst his initial interest was in birds, he soon found that the total experience of the complete natural history world became his prime interest. Brian has been fortunate to have visited many countries across the world in pursuance of his interests, both as a visitor and as a tour group leader.

He was Group leader for 15 years at Tonbridge RSPB Local Group, following a spell of two years as a YOC Group leader (the RSPB junior section, now known as Wildlife Explorers).

In his talks, which focus primarily on the Natural History to be found, he also tries to include an overall view of the area, in order that the audience will receive a rounder experience of the place.

All pictures are © Copyright. Do not reproduce without permission from Brian Gallop.