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.

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

Swift Walk, Swift Pint

Monday 22 July and Wednesday 24 July

The annual ‘Swift Walk, Swift Pint’ events in Bungay and Beccles are scheduled for Monday July 22nd and Wednesday July 24th respectively.
In Bungay, meet at the Butter Cross (junction of Earsham St, Bridge St and St Mary’s St) at 6.30pm; for Beccles, meet at St Michael’s Church Tower, New Market at 7pm.

The idea is to split into groups and walk the town centres, counting all Swifts you see, and noting nest sites if you can. This will take about 60-90 minutes, then meeting up at the Green Dragon, Broad St (Bungay walk) and the Waveney House Hotel, Puddingmoor (Beccles walk) to tally up. Any other birds of interest seen on the walks will be gratefully received, hoping to beat Stevie Howell’s Whimbrel over Bungay of two years back.

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.
We’re encouraging WBC members to come along (particularly those who are used to counting tightly-packed, fast flying birds!) to either or both events. The final counts will be run through the WBC Great Quantifier to arrive at totals we can send to the BTO.

Leader: Paddy Shaw
Bungay 22nd July Meet at the Butter Cross 6:30 pm
Beccles 24th July Meet at Sy Michael’s Church Tower 7pm

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

Rutland Bird Fair

Sat 17 & Sun 18 August

“The world’s largest international birdwatching event”

Described as the birdwatcher's Glastonbury, Bird Fair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. This is the event of the year if you're into birds and wildlife. There are hundreds of stands selling the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts.

You'll find everything, from scopes to sculptures, binoculars to bird food, eGuides to eco-holidays!
A packed programme of events is offered each day including a fantastic variety of lectures. The Events Marquee hosts quiz shows, question and answer sessions, exclusive book launches and family-based entertainment. The Birdfair Auction offers you the chance to bid for a whole host of lots, donated by our exhibitors, ranging from holidays, to artwork, to unique one-off experiences, with all the monies raised going directly to the Birdfair project.

Those who have attended recent WBC tours will be keen to renew acquaintances with local leaders such as Dimiter and Minko (Bulgaria) and Leio (Northern India) and well as getting ideas for future venues.

WBC has hired a minibus to ferry people to and from Rutland Water leaving from various pick up points in NE Suffolk from 7.30 a.m. onwards on Saturday and Sunday.

Cost £15 per person plus entrance fee (£13.50 if booked in online and £6 for students). Please send monies preferably by BACS transfer to Kathy who will also sort entrance fees. BACS No: 776611 64437560

Leaders and drivers: Jon Evans (Saturday) and Donna Dean (Sunday)

Venue: Time and pick up points to be agreed with Kathy

Birdfair

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

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

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