Our indoor meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month from September to May and are held at St Andrews Church Hall, Newmarket Street, Skipton starting at 1930.

There is ample free car parking in the main car park behind Skipton Town Hall to the north as well as the small car park to the east of the hall and on Newmarket Street itself. Car parking in front of St Andrews Church Hall is limited and will be restricted to disabled persons, our speaker and those needing close access e.g. with boxes etc. If you need to drop someone off, please remove vehicles as quickly as possible. Please respect these requests.

You will be made very welcome whether or not you have been before. If it’s your first meeting please introduce yourself to any one of the committee members. It’s nice to see new faces and meet new friends!

Entrance Fees: Adults £2.00 Children 50p

Tea/coffee/soft drink and biscuits included at indoor meetings.

Below is a list of our meetings in the current progamme. A full programme is avalable for download here.


SEPTEMBER 12th 2007

The Jewel in the Crown… Wildlife of Northern India

Mike McKavett

This talk is based on three trips to northern India in 1984, 1986, and 1990. It includes the spectacular bird life of Bharatpur, including many birds of prey, and also the Tigers at Ranthambore. Mike describes himself as a serious amateur wildlife photographer specialising in birds for nearly 40 years. “Having seen a shortened version of this talk and one of Mike’s other presentations I can tell you that the word “amateur” is a misnomer. His photographs are as good, if not better than any I have ever seen”.

OCTOBER 10th 2007

The Birds of Bempton Cliffs and Their Future

Jim Wardill

Jim spent much time doing voluntary work at Bempton before taking up a full time job with the RSPB in Environmental Education. He now manages the Northern Region Community Team, working to promote bird conservation and the work of the RSPB to the people of Northern England. Jim is a life long birder and his commitment to conservation was shown whilst training as a teacher he organised and led an expedition to North Sulawesi, Indonesia to look for endangered endemic bird species and stayed working in conservation there for 5 years. The talk aims to give an inspiring view of Bempton and an insight to its birds and their fascinating life-styles, but also to look at their future in the context of wider marine conservation issues and make us aware of what is needed to safeguard their future.

NOVEMBER 14th 2007

Scottish Delight

Paul Hobson

This tour of Scotland starts in the Spey Valley, but also includes visits to Handa Island and South West Scotland. But the best part is the magical northern isle of Shetland. Paul, who writes regularly for “Derbyshire Life”, is an environmental science lecturer based in Sheffield. Many of you who saw his previous two talks to our group will not be surprised to learn that his photographs have been published in BBC Wildlife Magazine and other birdwatching journals. Since his last visit to our group Paul has switched to digital photography. Those of you who think that digital can never equal the quality of film will find that this presentation goes a long way towards dispelling that belief.

DECEMBER 12th 2007

Birds of the Washburn Valley

Peter Riley

This is a talk based on many years of birdwatching in this beautiful and less well known, but very accessible dale. The talk will feature both common and scarcer species and will include observations on for example behaviour and population trends and is based on personal observation. Peter has been President of the Wharfedale Naturalists since 2003, is Chair of Otley Wetlands Nature Reserve Trust and also Chair of the Burley Village Wildlife Group which includes the management of the Sun Lane nature reserve. Peter is also author of a book “A Guide to The Birds of the Washburn Valley” and led a field trip for our group in that area in 2004.


JANUARY 9th 2008

Lesvos in Spring

Steve Knell

Steve has visited our group many times in the past and has thrilled us with his superb photography. Long established members will know that he won the 1994 “Bird Photographer of the Year” award. In 2006 he was runner up in the “Birds in Flight” competition. “Lesvos in Spring” is based on two visits there, the first in May 1995 and again in April 1997. Because of its geographical location on the north coast of the Mediterranean just in the Aegean Sea, it is excellent for north bound migrants but with a taste of eastern birds thrown in.

FEBRUARY 13th 2008

50 years of Bird Photography

Clifford Heyes

This marks the return of a favourite speaker. Clifford has been to our group three times in the past, but hasn’t visited us for some while. Given that this year we celebrate the 21st year of our group, and which feels to have lasted a lifetime, someone talking about 50 years of bird photography rather brings us back down to earth. Clifford took up bird photography at the age of 12 and his photographs have illustrated books and all the leading bird magazines. In 1977 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and he is President of the Bolton Field Naturalists. In this presentation Clifford reflects on his lifetime passion for photographing wild birds at close quarters in places ranging from the Algarve to the Arctic and from the Greek Islands to the Florida Everglades.

MARCH 12th 2008

Birds of the Fylde Coast

Alan Stamford

This PowerPoint presentation will be a full tour of Fylde Coast sites well known for producing good birds. It will feature both common and rare species, with the emphasis on waders and endangered birds, looking at local success with campaigns designed to increase numbers of birds on the Red Data list. Alan has for 18 years been the leader of the Blackpool and Fylde RSBP Local Group and has for the last 8 years worked for the RSPB at Leighton Moss in the retail and education departments. Given that this followed on from 26 years working in tourism in the Blackpool area, who better could we have to talk about birds of the Fylde Coast?

APRIL 9th 2008

Ghana. Birding West Africa

John Topham

John is a local birder who has been involved with the Bradford Ornithological Group since its inception in 1987 and he was recorder for that group for 13 years. As well as working on local projects he also enjoys worldwide birding. This presentation is the account of a birding trip made with his wife in February 2006. It covers the salt pans and lagoons of the coastal area along the Gulf of Guinea, then moving north through primary and secondary Upper Guinea Forest, finally reaching the Savannah belt at the Mole National Park in the north.

MAY 14th 2008

Special Evening of RSPB Irish Films

A Craven and Pendle RSPB special

“Cry of the Mountain” and “Birds of the Grey Wind”. In all the 21 years of our history the group has never had a presentation featuring Ireland. This is put right with this double header of RSPB Irish Films. “Cry of the Mountain” features Ireland’s birds of prey, sensitively photographed, against the ever-changing hills of this beautiful country, by Eamon De Buitlear for the Irish Wild Bird Conservancy with music by Michael O’Suilleabhain. “Birds of the Grey Wind” shows that Northern Ireland’s gentle countryside is a patchwork of fields, woodlands and lakes important for many resident and visiting birds in the summer. But winter is the really spectacular time, when huge flocks of wildfowl gather on the welcoming waters of Lough Neagh and Strangford Lough.


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