Programme of Events for 2021

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All events are cancelled at present and will be reviewed in the light of forthcoming government guidelines

IMPORTANT - CORONAVIRUS 

Please read these notes that relate to the new arrangements in response to Covid 19:

Indoor events/talks will be reviewed nearer the time.

All events are to be booked in advance with Helen Gooderham.  There will be two Leaders on each outdoor event with a maximum of five in each group (6 including the Leader), taking differing routes where feasible - separated where not.  Radios will be used to keep in contact and report notable sightings.  Should more than 10 people apply to join a walk then they will be notified that they are on a waiting list.  The Club will endeavour to organise a third leader.  A register of those attending on the day will be kept by HG.

Any Club member turning up on the day without having made a booking with HG will not be able join the event.

Abberton Reservoir followed by birding Hotspots

Thursday 14 January

Abberton Reservoir is justifiably considered one of the UK’s most important water bodies for wintering wildfowl. It holds thousands of duck each winter, along with a wide variety of other water birds such as grebes and waders. We will spend most of the day viewing the vast expanses of the reservoir and, if time allows, finish  our trip with a visit to a nearby coastal marsh to add an extra dimension to the event.

Use own transport.
Meet at Essex Wildlife Trust Abberton Visitor Centre at 9am

Leaders: John Grant and Bob Findall

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

Carlton Marshes

Thursday 18 February

This should be a good time to visit Carlton. Peto’s and Share marshes are now looking excellent habit for wintering ducks, geese, raptors , egrets and owls.
We hope the centre will be open for refreshments.

Meet 9am at Carlton Marshes car park
Leaders: Keith Watkins and Chris Mutimer

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

Redgrave and Lopham Fen

Sunday 7 March

Redgrave and Lopham Fen is the largest valley fen in England and one of the most important wetlands in Europe.  It was designated a RAMSAR site in 1991. The Fens lie at the headwaters of the Waveney and Little Ouse rivers. Perhaps best known for the population of Fen Raft Spider, we will be too early to see them, unless it is a warm spring.

At the end of winter, there should be a good number of duck still present, along with winter Thrushes and the resident raptors; Buzzard, Harrier, Kestrel and Barn Owl. Bearded Tit breeds here and if the wind is light, we should catch up with them on the walk. We may also be lucky to hear the first ChiffChaffs of the year.

Meet at Redgrave and Lopham Fen at 9.30

Leaders: Graham Dawson and David Hodkinson

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

Redgrave and Lopham Fen

Photo © Ted and Jen, CC-BY-2

The Brecks

Sunday 21 March

The Waveney Bird Club’s traditional annual venture (now in its eighth year) will be targeting several key species some of which can be very hard to come across elsewhere in the region.

During the morning we will be going to sites such as Santon Downham, Lyndford Arboretum and Mayday Farm where we will be looking for rare and scarce birds including Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Goshawk, Firecrest, Crossbill, Hawfinch and Mandarin.

In the afternoon we will travel down to Lackford Lakes SWT, a superb inland wetland site, where there should be ducks and gulls aplenty with perhaps a few waders on offer along with a well-deserved hot drink.

Finally we will end the day at Cavenham Heath where there may be one or two early arrived Stone Curlews along with an outside chance of a Wheatear.

Leaders: Andrew Green, Keith Watkins and David Hodkinson
Meet at the Forestry Commission car park in the centre of Santham Downham at 8am

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

Photo of Firecrest © Craig Shaw

Photo © Craig Shaw

AGM

April

This event will take place on Zoom again this year. 

The pass code will be provided nearer the time for those Members wishing to attend.

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 11.32.33

Outney Common and Bath Hills

Thursday 22 April

Outney Common provides a number of environments in a small package – a 2 mile walk round follows the Waveney, overlooks grazing meadows, passes over grassland and scrub and in April will be hosting many of its familiar migrants – surveys in 2020 regularly turned up around 50 species.

For those on a tight rein and only wishing to devote a morning, the walk is circular; for those wanting more, we will cross over to Bath Hills, through woodland, alongside Earsham Gravels and the pits and returning to Bungay across the meadows from Earsham village.

Meet at Waveney Golf Course car park (the public section, before the gates) at 8 a.m.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Keith Watkins

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

 

Outney Common

Dawn Chorus Walk - Thorpness and Aldringham

Saturday 1 May

Interesting habitat lies just to the north of Thorpeness, including the scrub, bushes and light woodland around the area known as the Old Caravan Park, through to the heathlands of the Aldrinham Walks. Obviously, the focus of this trip will be on bird songs and calls and a (relatively) early start is recommended. 

The meeting point will be the grass by the edge of Thorpeness Meare at 7.30am; parking is available on-street by the Meare, or in the pay-and-display car park across the road.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Mark Broughton

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

 

Thorpeness

Photo © Ade46, CC-BY-ND-2

North Warren

Thursday 13 May

North Warren RSPB is a gem of a site and very suitable for a leisurely morning exploring the marshes, gorse, grassland and the more wooded area along the old railway line to the rear of the reserve. 

An 8am start should ensure the sun remains behind us when surveying the north and south marshes. Parking is available opposite the old ruined cottage on the Aldeburgh to Thorpeness road (where we will meet) or in the pay-and-display car park on the beach side to the south of the reserve.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Mark Broughton

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

Sedge Warbler

Photo © Kev Chapman, CC-BY-2

Redgrave and Lopham Fen and Dickleborough Moor

Sunday 23 May

A different season for a second visit to this reserve, also taking in a visit to the still developing Dickleborough Moor.

Leaders: Graham Dawson and David Hodkinson

To book, contact Helen Gooderham

 

Cuckoo

Photo © Andy Morffew / CC-BY-2.0

Beccles to Geldeston then Geldeston-Barsham-Beccles

Thursday 27 May

This walk takes in both the Norfolk and Suffolk banks of the Waveney and passes through a number of habitats, including riverine woodland, grazing marshes and farmland, providing the possibility of a considerable day list. It is, however, about 6 miles, but will be taken slowly. It progresses on the Norfolk bank, from Beccles through Dunburgh to Geldeston, crossing the river near The Locks pub and returning via the Angles Way on the Suffolk side through Barsham.

The meeting point is just on the Gillingham side of the old bridge (by the former pub on the edge of Beccles on the Gillingham to Beccles road) at 8am. Parking is available via Beccles car parks – please note the usual car park (end of Beccles quay, past Travis Perkins building merchants) is now a Pay and Display, but is still well-located for this walk.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Mark Broughton

Contact Helen Gooderham

Kingfisher

Photo © Andy Morffew / CC-BY-2.0

Filey and nearby coast

Friday 25 to Sunday 27 June

Filey in the Yorkshire coast offers some good birding at this time of year. The North Cliff and Filey Brigg face northwards into the North Sea, providing interesting seawatching possibilities; Carr Naze on the Brigg itself is good habitat for ‘drop-ins’; Filey Dams reserve is a freshwater habitat, and the incredible seabird colonies of Flamborough and Bempton lie just to the south, which will provide the principal focus of the trip.

Filey provides a number of accommodation options, and – COVID-19 allowing by then – we will base ourselves in the town. Own transport will be necessary and more details will be released closer to the date.

Leaders: Paddy Shaw and Bob Findall

Contact Helen Gooderham

Nightjars

Wednesday 30 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.

Leaders: John Grant and Bob Findall
Meet at Dunwich Heath National Trust car park at 6pm
To book contact Helen Gooderham

Herringfleet

Sunday 4 July

Enjoy a leisurely walk from the Somerleyton Staithe to Smock Mill and see the transformation of old grazing marshes to wildlife friendly wetlands.

This habitat reclamation is part of the re-wilding of the Somerleyton estate championed by Lord Somerleyton.

In the 2019, birds seen included avocet, curlew, wood, green and common sandpipers, ruff, great white egret, bearded tits and a well-watched green-winged teal. Dragonflies and butterflies were in abundance.

Meet at 8am at the Somerleyton Dukes Head. Finish at the Duke’s Head for buying refreshments if required.

Leaders: Chris Mutimer and Paddy Shaw

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Herringfleet

Photo © Ade46, CC-BY-ND-2

Swift Walk, Swift Pint

Thursday 22 July

This is the forth year of counting swifts in Bungay.  Please come and help count and join us for a swift pint in the Green Dragon later.

As well as being a social, this is an important event in terms of assessing local populations and the relative success (or failure) of 2019 as a breeding year. By this time of the month, many of the juvenile birds should be airborne, and feeding up towards the imminent departure for Africa.

Meet at the Buttermarket in Bungay 7pm
Paddy will arrange groups and leader for each route when he knows who is attending.

Leader: Paddy Shaw

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Waders & Gulls 1

Thursday 29 July

Enjoy an evening seeing what’s about.
Meet at East Hide at 6.30

Leaders: John Grant and Steve Piotrowski

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Heveningham Bio-blitz

Sunday 1 August

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.

Meet at the Courtyard, Heveningham Hall at 8.30am

Leaders:  Steve Piotrowski and Matthew Dean

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Heveningham Hall

Waders & Gulls 2

Wednesday 18 August

Enjoy an evening seeing what’s about.
Meet at East Hide at 6.30

Leaders: John Grant and Bob Findall

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Herring Gull

Photo © Nature Photos, CC-BY-2

Sandwich Bird Observatory

Friday 3 - Sunday 5 September

Observatory status was achieved in 1962, when SBBO moved to the present site. 22 acres of land, known as Restharrow Dunes Nature Reserve, was purchased in 1986. Eight years later, the SBBO Trust created a freshwater scrape to attract migrant waders in spring and autumn at Backsand Point, and a second scrape was created opposite Restharrow Dunes in 2002 and this was refurbished during autumn 2019. You can read more about these areas on the Observatory website: http://sbbot.org.uk/visit-us/our-wildlife-reserves/

SBBO continues to monitor bird populations and migration in several ways. There’s a daily log of all birds in the Observatory recording area and a daily ringing programme, conditions permitting, which provide a great opportunity for you to experience a working Bird Observatory. SBBO staff or your tour leader will explain the areas you are free to explore and any areas to avoid during your stay.

For more information about SBBO, including latest sightings and ringing activities, please visit the Observatory website: http://sbbot.org.uk/

Accommodation
Accommodation is at the Observatory, where our group will have exclusive use of the bookable rooms. Facilities are shared. For information about the accommodation, please visit the following page: http://sbbot.org.uk/visit-us/stay-with-us/

Sleeps 14 in twin rooms so no single rooms available on this trip.

Use own transport.

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski, Bob Findall and Mark Broughton

To book contact Helen Gooderham.

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory

Photo © John Lawrence, Used by kind permission

Hazelwood Marshes

Thursday 9 September

With migration in full flow we'll explore the shores of the Alde Estuary in search of passage waders and songbirds. At Hazlewood Marshes we'll watch the incoming tide push an array of ducks, waders and other waterbirds closer to shore as they come to roost during high tide. The pace will be relaxed and depending upon tide conditions we may visit other nearby sites. 

Details of meeting place and time to be announced.

Leaders: David Hodkinson and Mark Broughton

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Black-tailed Godwit

Photo © Craig Shaw

Wash Wader Special

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 September

The trip will start by meeting at Titchwel then possibly on to Snettisham before travelling to the hotel at Chapel St Leonards.  Saturday will be spent at Gibraltar Point and Sunday early morning sea watching before moving on to Frampton.

Leaders: John Grant, Steve Piotrowski and Bob Findall

To book contact Helen Gooderham

The Wash

Photo © Mick Sway, CC-BY-ND-2

Indoor Meeting - 2 Talks:
Wales Trip - Gus Hawes
Ospreys at home and away - Paul Stammers

Tuesday 28 September

We will enjoy two talks this evening, first by Gus on the Wales trip of 2019. After supper and the raffle Paul will speak to us about his work with Ospreys at Rutland water.

WBC Trip to Wales
Gus writes: This evening’s presentation is intended to give a flavour of what is involved in a WBC field trip. From herring gulls to spoonbill, walks around the Great Orme and South Stack. Also a proper visit to Mac Donalds in Holyhead. This is the birding break you missed out on, or not?
Croeso

Ospreys at home and away
Paul writes: Born in Norfolk, brought up in Bungay, after a career in Engineering I decided to retire at the age of 50 and follow my interest in conservation. 1998 was the year I joined The Rutland Osprey Project and spent the next 20 years helping with the re introduction of Ospreys back into Central England. In 2019 became a trustee of the Osprey Leadership Foundation which has the aim of giving young people in West Africa the same opportunities in conservation as those in the UK.
My talk will cover the re establishment of ospreys in Central England and my travels and work in Gambia and Senegal.

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

Paul Stammmers with Osprey

Paul Stammmers with Osprey

Landguard

Saturday 9 October

On this trip we will meet at Landguard Bird Observatory (LBO) at 8.00am, observe the ringing activities and spend a little time sea watching, before moving on mid morning (depending on the bird action) to local birding hotspots.

Meeting Point: Landguard Bird Observatory
Start time: 8.00am

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Eric Patrick

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Indoor Meeting: Black-tailed Godwits and Knot in Suffolk and beyond by Ed Keeble

Tuesday 26 October

Ed is a birder and bird artist based in the south of the county and has been watching waders on the Stour since the 1970s.  In recent years he has been intensively following the Black-tailed Godwits and Knot on our estuaries and further afield on their migrations and in this talk he will share what he has learned about them.  Graphs and statistics will be kept to a minimum, but if time permits we will attempt some wader counting!

The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham

7.30pm start 

Black-tailed Gpdwit with colour rings

Photo © Ed Keable

A day in North Norfolk

Thursday 4 November

November is a great time to be visiting the fantastic North Norfolk coast and – aside from the huge numbers of wildfowl that will be assembled on the salt marshes and grazing meadows by then – there is always the chance of a surprise or two.

Specific sites to be visited, times and meeting place will be announced closer to the time, but come prepared for a fantastic day’s birding.

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski, Moss Taylor and Paddy Shaw

To book contact Helen Gooderham

 

Photo of Pink-footed Geese © DepositPhoto/mikelane45

Indoor Meeting: Tracking migrant birds around the globe - Paul Stancliffe

Tuesday 30 November

Migrant birds undertake incredible journeys around the globe, imagine being able to follow some of them as these unfold. Paul’s talk explores 100 years of tracking, from ringing to the use of the latest technology, following Cuckoos, Nightingales and more as they give us a peek into their travels across borders and through many different countries.

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

Nightingale © Chris McIntyre

Photo © Chris McIntyre

Dingle Shore Pools

Sunday 5 December

Explore this iconic stretch of Suffolk coast.

This circular walk will take approximately 5 hours so please bring a packed lunch.

Meet at Dunwich car park at 8.30

Leaders: Keith Watkins, Chris Mutimer and David Hodkinson

To book contact Helen Gooderham

Flying Barn Owl

Photo © Ron Knight, CC-BY-2