Programme of Events for 2019

(1 page - to stick on fridge door!)


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.

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



Photo © Jon Evans

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

Welcome to my Patch - Paddy Shaw - Outney Common

Sunday 6 October

This is the first of our walks where a club member takes us around their regular birding spot.

Meet at Outney Common golf course car park 8am

Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

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

Northern Tanzania is better known by tourists for its great plains, its abundance of mammals and the spectacular migration of 1.5 million White-bearded Wildebeest. It is one of the easiest places to tick off your Big Five: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, African Buffalo and Elephant, but also Africa’s five cats: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Serval and Caracal. However, it is also an amazing place for birds and with Tanzania’s avifauna amounting to 1,050 species, including 32 endemics, this is the place to go to see a good proportion of Africa’s birds.  Steve Piotrowski and Eddie Marsh from Suffolk joined a team from the Shetland Bird Club on a three-week safari of this region taking those spectacular National Parks such as: Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu and Serengeti Plains. We also visited some of Africa’s most famous geological features such as the Rift Valley, Lake Victoria and Mount Kilimanjaro. A week in the Usambara Mountains gave the team opportunities to catch up with a good proportion of the country’s endemics. Share Steve’s Tanzanian adventures by joining him for this pictorial presentation.

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

Ruppeell's Griffon Vulture

Photo: Ruppeell's Griffon Vulture © Eddie Marsh

Welcome to My Patch, hosted by Gus Hawes

Saturday 2 November

This is the second of our ‘hosted’ walks.

Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Gunton Hall, Saturday Nov 2nd 08:30 hrs to 10:00 hrs. Meet in main car park  Post code NR32 5DF

Pathways Care Farm, Saturday Nov 2nd 10:30 hrs. Leonard Drive, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 4WB

For full details and more photos, please download pdf.


Pathways Care Farm

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

Welcome to my Patch - Graham Dawson Redgrave and Lopham Fen

Sunday 8 December

This is the third of our ‘hosted’ walks.

Home to insect eating plants and the fen raft spider, Redgrave & Lopham Fen is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and the source of the River Waveney and River Great Ouse. A wild, watery landscape of sedge, rush, heath and hundreds of pools, it was created over many centuries by local people as they eked out a living, digging peat for fuel and cutting reed and sedge for thatching.

At this time of the year, the reserve is home to large numbers of wintering wildfowl, and we will look out for the resident Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier that may be seen hunting at close quarters.

There is parking at the reserve. Meet at10am for a 2 hr walk.

It is generally on solid ground, but may be muddy, so walking boots should be sufficient.

Contact Helen Gooderham

Flying Barn Owl

Photo © Ron Knight, CC-BY-2

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