Programme of Events for 2019

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Notes

Please notify the Events Officer, Helen Gooderham, of your intention to attend scheduled events, or if you have to call-off at late notice. It is important that walk leaders know who to expect and for you not to be left behind if late. Where feasible, walk leaders’ mobile numbers will be provided to attendees in the case of last-minute emergencies.

Unless otherwise stated, please bring a packed lunch and enough liquid (particularly for Spring/Summer events).

As for all birding, subdued coloured clothing please, and suitable clothing/footwear for the time of year/terrain.

If you know of other WBC members who will be attending from your area, please car-share where possible.

Members of the walk leaders’ group may occasionally notify at short-notice by WBC email of extra walks (such as a Summer evening walk, if the weather is set fair). These will be impromptu events, and don’t need any notification of attendance – just meet up at the suggested site and time.

Where events involve group travel and overnight stays, members will be alerted well in advance. Your place can be secured by paying a non-non-refundable deposit to Events Officer Kathy Piotrowski (subject to space still remaining on the trip). The event will be closed two weeks before travel to give Kathy time to book suitable transport and accommodation.

AGM and Members night

Tuesday 19 March

Once the formal business of the night is completed we would like to invite six interested Club members to give fifteen minute presentations on a birding topic of their choice. A bell will be rung when time is up!

Entries will be sought a few weeks before the meeting or express your interest to Helen Gooderham at any time.

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7.30pm start

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 11.32.33

India - Eagles Nest

Wednesday 27 March - Tuesday 9 April

FULLY BOOKED

Bird Ringing Demonstrations - NT Dunwich Heath & RSPB Minsmere

Sessions start Thursday 11th April at RSPB Minsmere

Waveney Ringing Group (WRG) is a team of friendly individuals with a range of bird ringing expertise. The team consists of trainees, C-permit holders and A- permit holders, with training endorsements, all who are dedicated to our voluntary role of studying birds.

Waveney Ringing Group showcase bird ringing at National Trust Dunwich Heath (Tuesdays) and RSPB Minsmere (Thursdays) from Easter through to the Autumn migration period.  It's a great opportunity for youngsters to see birds close up - bring the family along to say hello.

Session Details:

National Trust Dunwich Heath Sessions : At Heath Barn on Tuesdays 08:00-12:00

RSPB Minsmere Easter Dates : In the Discovery Centre on Thursdays 10:00-16:00

 

No booking is necessary at either venue but birds are early risers so there is often more to see earlier in the day.  The sessions are weather dependent - we cannot bird ring in very wet and/or windy conditions so please check before travelling.

Find out more about the Club's bird ringing activities here

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WRG-1

Photo © Jon Evans

Dawn Chorus walk

Good Friday 19 April

The Dawn Chorus walk this year is around the Dunwich area. We will first walk south taking in Greyfriars wood where Firecrests breed. Then on to Broom Hill to listen for Nightingales, Woodlarks, and the many Warblers that frequent the area.

We will stop for tea and coffee before driving on to Westleton Heath where we will look for Nightingales, Turtle Doves, Woodlarks, Dartford Warblers and maybe Stone Curlews.

Leader: Keith Watkins
Meet at Dunwich Beach car park for a 7am start
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Photo of Turtle Dove © Jon Evans

Photo © Jon Evans

North Wales

Wednesday 24 to Monday 29 April

This WBC tour to the Welsh Borders and the North Wales Coast should be one of the most exciting of the year and we will undoubtedly see upland and coastal species that are absent from lowland England.  We will explore The Great Orme where we should expect Chough, Raven, Peregrine, Wheatear and hopefully some passing migrants and The Little Orme for nesting seabirds.  There will be an excursion to Anglesey to look at seabird colonies at South Stack where we hope to find Puffin and Black Guillemot and tern colonies further along the seashore.  The North Wales coastline is famous for its wide open, sandy mudflats, which are a haven for migrant waders and we will birdwatch at a number of roosting spots for close views.  If time allows we will go to Bets-y-Coed for riverine and woodland birds. The highlight of the tour may well be a moorland visit where we should witness lekking Black Grouse, Red Grouse and Hen Harrier.

We will travel by minibus and accommodation will be booked according to numbers going, so please get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Mervyn Jones
Book with Kathy Piotrowski.

Peregrine

Photo © Mark Hope, CC-BY-ND-2

Thorpeness

Saturday 4 May

The area around Thorpeness offers a range of habitats and at the start of May it is hoped will produce an impressive list of species.
Park at the pay-and-display opposite Thorpeness Meare and meet on the grass by the Meare itself at 8am. We will then head north on the tracks leading past the old caravan park and allotments towards Thorpeness Common and explore the bushes and woodland between the common and the coast, before moving inland towards Aldringham Walks. With coastal scrub, woodland, open farmland and heath contained in a relatively small area, there should be something for everyone.

The latter part of the day – for those who want to go on – can be spent at North Warren RSPB, or Hazlewood Marshes SWT if the tide times are favourable.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Steven Howell
Meet at Thorpeness Meare at 8am
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leaders' list.

Thorpeness

Photo © Ade46, CC-BY-ND-2

Evening walk SWT Carlton Marshes NR33 8HU

Wednesday 22 May

A circular walk around this fantastic reserve famous for the American Bittern. Work should have begun on the new habitats and visitor centre which should give some idea just how amazing the reserve will be when it is finished.

We will scan the reedbeds and scrapes and listen to the evening chorus. Cuckoo and grasshopper warbler are usually a given here.

On reaching the river we will take the ferry across to Burgh St Peter for a reviving pint before continuing our walk.

Leader: Jane Watkins
Meet at Carlton Marshes car park for a 6:30pm start.
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Carlton Marshes

Heveningham Bio-blitz

Sunday 16 June

The day will start off by collating moths from traps fixed the previous evening, which is followed by breakfast. We then split up into two or three biologically-focused recording groups looking at plants, insects, mammals and birds. We break for lunch and a catch up on what’s been found so far and then continue with an afternoon session. Experts will be on hand to help with identification.

Breakfast and lunch generously provided by Jon and Lois Hunt.

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Matthew Dean
Venue: Heveningham Hall
Time: 8.00 am

Heveningham Hall

Nightjars

Tuesday 25 June

As dusk falls on Dunwich Heath, the magical, other-worldly "churring" of Nightjars echoes across the heather and reverberates amid the birches and conifers. Perhaps the falcon-like silhouette of one of the birds themselves may be discernible as it hawks for aerial insects and flits between the trees.

This is a wonderful way of ending an evening that will begin with a walk from the cliff-top National Trust car park to RSPB Minsmere's East Hide, where waders, gulls and wildfowl should be present in profusion.

On the heath, in the last of the light, we'll be looking for Dartford Warbler, Stonechats, Hobby and perhaps Woodlark.

Leader: John Grant
Meet at Dunwich Heath National Trust car park at 6pm
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Gull Workshop 1

Tuesday 23 July

They often get an unjustifiably bad press and may not be to everyone's liking, but gulls are infinitely fascinating and their specific identifications need not be as daunting as is often feared. In fact, gull-watching can be great fun and we'll be showing you why! After looking for passage waders from RSPB Minsmere's East Hide we'll have a short introductory talk (nothing too technical and definitely not a stuffy lecture!) and then we'll be studying the gulls as they come in to roost. We'll be trying to sort out our Caspians and Yellow-leggeds from our Herrings and Lesser black-backs. Come along - you may be hooked!

Leader: John Grant
Meet at Minsmere’s East Hide at 6pm

Gull Workshop 2

Tuesday 13 August

They often get an unjustifiably bad press and may not be to everyone's liking, but gulls are infinitely fascinating and their specific identifications need not be as daunting as is often feared. In fact, gull-watching can be great fun and we'll be showing you why! After looking for passage waders from RSPB Minsmere's East Hide we'll have a short introductory talk (nothing too technical and definitely not a stuffy lecture!) and then we'll be studying the gulls as they come in to roost. We'll be trying to sort out our Caspians and Yellow-leggeds from our Herrings and Lesser black-backs. Come along - you may be hooked!

Leader: John Grant
Meet at Minsmere’s East Hide at 6pm

Herring Gull

Photo © Nature Photos, CC-BY-2

Frampton Marshes and Gibraltar Point

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September

Following on from a successful two day trip to these sites in 2018 we decided a second trip was a definite. Frampton Marsh RSPB is an excellent site for waders, wildfowl and raptors complete with several modern hides and a smart visitor centre. This reserve is increasingly turning up some particularly rare species now making it one of the premier sites along the east coast of Britain.

At Gibraltar Point, if the winds are in a favourable north easterly direction, we could find ourselves surrounded by abundant numbers of warblers, flycatchers and thrushes with a chance of a Wryneck or a Red-Backed Shrike.

Also, if the conditions are right, there could be some seawtaching to be enjoyed with good numbers of skuas, shearwaters terns and waders passing, plus an opportunity to witness visible migration in action with overhead movement of pipits, wagtails and finches among others.

Leaders Steven Howell and John Grant
Details of travel, accommodation and cost to be advised on booking.
Book with Kathy Piotrowski.

Indoor Meeting: Costa Rica Explored by Ian Barthorpe

Tuesday 24 September

Take a journey across this amazing Central American country as we travel from the beaches of the Caribbean to the Pacific, via lush lowland and montane jungles. On route we’ll see just a selection of the incredibly varied birdlife, including parrots, hummingbirds and flycatchers, as well as some amazing mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Find out whether we were lucky enough to spot the mythical resplendent quetzal, or the red-eyed tree frog that stars in Costa Rican tourism brochures.

Costa Rica should be high on any birdwatchers’ bucket list, but there’s so much more to appreciate about this beautiful country that it also makes a great family holiday, or somewhere to relax among incredibly tropical scenery.

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7.30pm start

Arenal volcano, Costa Rica

Photo © Ian Barthorpe

Portland Bird Observatory

Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 October

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Jon Evans
Details of travel and accommodation and cost to be advised on booking.

Book with Kathy Piotrowski.

intense seawatch Portland KW

Indoor Meeting - Tanzania by Steve Piotrowski

Tuesday 29 October

TBA

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7.30pm start

Three South Coast Harbours : Pagham, Chichester and Langstone, for wintering wildfowl, waders and much, much more:

Friday 22 to Sunday 24 November

Thousands upon thousands of birds winter in the three great harbours of Pagham, Chichester and Langstone and we will be enjoying the spectacle they offer in this three-day trip. Pagham is renowned as a rarity hotspot, attracting as it has an impressive number of mouth-wateringly rare species over the years. It also regularly holds a wide array of coastal wintering species - grebes, sea duck, raptors and an abundance of waders - and we'll also visit nearby RSPB Medmerry, one of the largest managed realignment schemes ever undertaken in Europe.

Picturesque Chichester Harbour, with the South Downs and Chichester's wonderful cathedral as a backdrop, also holds vast avian interest. At its western edge, where this harbour merges with Langstone, is Hayling Island, usually home to one of Britain's largest wintering flocks of Black-necked Grebes. Langstone itself hosts vast numbers of  wintering Dark-bellied Brent Geese - offering one of the South Coast's greatest avian spectacles - and the harbour's Farlington Marshes, with their grazed grasslands, shallow lagoons and extensive reedbeds, are sure to be worth a visit.

Trip leader John Grant, born and bred in Portsmouth, did much of his boyhood birding in these haunts, and cannot wait to share their delights with you.

Leader: John Grant
Transport, accommodation and cost to be notified once bookings have been taken.
Book with Kathy Piotrowski.

Indoor Meeting - Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve - Now and Beyond 2020 by Matt Gooch

Tuesday 26 November

Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve is under development thanks to public support, Heritage Lottery funding and other funders to become Suffolk Wildlife Trusts biggest most accessible Nature Reserve trying to connect everybody with wildlife and the outdoors through learning.

This includes a whole different angle for our learning team, a fully functional visitor centre as well as the massive Nature Reserve with work of surrounding landowners hopefully to make the wildlife impact even more impressive.

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7.30pm start

Carlton Marshes

Photo © Steve Wright

Bird Brain Quiz and Christmas get-together

Tuesday 17 December

This will also be a good opportunity to get together with other local groups to celebrate the forthcoming Christmas festivities and of course support WBC’s home stars.

The teams will be strictly controlled by Quizmaster, Chris McIntyre. Audience banter and participation will be actively encouraged and there will also be a special prize for the most knowledgeable spectator!
Please come along to barrack/support your team! Christmas supper will be included.

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7.00pm (please note early start)

Copyright DepositPhoto/irur