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.

WBC’s infamous Bird Brain of Waveney Challenge and Christmas Party

Tuesday 18 December 2018

This will also be a good opportunity to get together with other local groups to celebrate the forthcoming Christmas festivities. In 2017, BINS wrestled the Waveney Bird Brain Challenge Trophy from WBC in a hard-fought contest but can they retain this prestigious award. As previously, there will be four teams: RSPB Minsmere, BTO, BINS and of course WBC’s home stars. There will be two semi-finals and a final and 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.

Time: 7 p.m. (please note early start)
The Maltings Sports Ground – Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham

Merry Christmas!

The Big Bird Race

Tuesday 1 January

The race is on !
Yes it’s time to dust off you bins, dig your notebook out of the lower drawer and join the Waveney Bird Club for a monster listing day as we travel around Lothingland in an attempt to rack up as many species as we can in one day to Kick start 2019.
Those of you with sore heads from the previous night’s celebrations may not want to start at the crack of dawn but feel free to join us at any time during the day.
We will be looking for several species of wader on Breydon Water along with owls and raptors followed by a short drive to Lowestoft. Here we hope to see the regular birds including wintering Chiffchaff at Leathes Ham, Purple Sandpiper at Ness Point and Peregrine and Shag at Lake Lothing. Here with any luck there may also be one or more of the scarcer species of duck, grebe or diver to be bagged.

Leader: Steven Howell
Meet at the Rugby Club car park, Breydon South Wall, Great Yarmouth at 8am.
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Heveningham Hall Conservation Day

Sunday 20 January

WBC is delighted to continue its commitment to nature conservation at Heveningham Hall by cleaning out the Estate’s 70 Barn Owl and 2,000 small nest boxes.  Again, local scout groups will help, but adults will be needed to supervise, so this is an opportunity for WBC members to introduce youngsters into conservation.  Depending on numbers, we will split into teams to cover the boxes and meet up at lunchtime for refreshments and a quick review of our findings.  As well as cleaning out nest boxes, we will pick up litter and collect any nest boxes that have fallen from the trees and thin out areas that have been over populated with boxes.

More hands make lighter work, so please make every effort to attend and wear boots and protective clothing as it could be cold and wet!

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Chris McIntyre
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

heveningham-heveningham-hall-3891

Indoor Meeting: Costa Rica Explored by Ian Barthorpe

Tuesday 29 January

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

Hollesley and Boyton Marshes

Saturday 9 February

A WBC revisit to one of the best habitats on the Suffolk coast, starting at Hollesley RSPB and walking the two mile wall alongside the Alde estuary and Butley River, overlooking both Orfordness and Havergate Island. The walk is flat and easy, but may be muddy after prolonged rain.

If time/light allows, a later trip to either Shingle Street (for Short-eared Owls) or East Lane, Bawdsey may be feasible.

Leaders: David Fairhurst and Paddy Shaw
Meet Hollesley RSPB car park 8am

PLEASE NOTE: The intention is to meet promptly by 9am in order to organise vehicles moving to Boyton to bring drivers back to Hollesley. It is thus important to know how many we are expecting and that everyone is at the RSPB car park at Hollesley by 9am! If vehicle numbers can be reduced by car sharing, please do so.
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Boyton Marshes

Indoor Meeting: tba

Tuesday 26 February

tba

The Maltings Sports Ground, Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham
7:30pm start

A Tour of the Brecks

Sunday 17 March

The Waveney Bird Club’s traditional annual venture (now in its seventh 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: Steven Howell and Andrew Green
Meet at the Forestry Commission car park in the centre of Santham Downham at 8am
Contact Helen Gooderham to be included on the Leader’s list.

Photo of Firecrest © Craig Shaw

Photo © Craig Shaw

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 ten 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

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.

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 Leader’s 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

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 Gibralter 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 pippets, 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 - TBA

Tuesday 24 September

TBA

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

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 - TBA

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 - TBA

Tuesday 26 November

TBA

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

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