Programme of Events for 2020

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IMPORTANT - CORONAVIRUS 

Please note: all WBC indoor & outdoor events are cancelled due to current health guidelines.

We are sorry to take this step but it was inevitable in the current situation. We hope you all stay well & look forward to seeing you all again when this difficult time has passed.

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.

Carlton marshes Treble - Trip 2.

Sunday 26 April

By all accounts a first for the club, an experimental idea. We will be visiting Carlton Marshes SWT reserve during the spring at roughly the same time each month on three consecutive months to witness the changing bird numbers, bird migration and arrival of summer migrants among which there will be many species of wader, raptor and warbler.

When the three visits are complete there will be a comprehensive round up and trip report with a month by month analysis and comparison of the changes of bird migration patterns and arrivals, complete with a list of contributors.

Leader: Stephen Howell
Meet at Carlton Marshes car park at 8.30am
Contact Helen Gooderham

Indoor Meeting AGM and Members’ Night

CANCELLED - due to current health guidelines

Tuesday 28 April

After the business of the evening is completed it will be followed by supper and the raffle then four fifteen minute talks from members. Last year this proved to be great fun and each talk very different.

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

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 11.32.33

Thorpness and Aldringham Walks

Sunday 10 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.

Leader: Paddy Shaw
Meet on the grass by the Meare at 7.30 am
Contact Helen Gooderham

Thorpeness

Photo © Ade46, CC-BY-ND-2

Carlton marshes Treble - Trip 3.

Saturday 23 May

By all accounts a first for the club, an experimental idea. We will be visiting Carlton Marshes SWT reserve during the spring at roughly the same time each month on three consecutive months to witness the changing bird numbers, bird migration and arrival of summer migrants among which there will be many species of wader, raptor and warbler.

When the three visits are complete there will be a comprehensive round up and trip report with a month by month analysis and comparison of the changes of bird migration patterns and arrivals, complete with a list of contributors.

This is a VIP pre-opening walk accompanied by Matt Gooch.

Leader: Stephen Howell
Meet at Carlton Marshes car park at 8.30am
Contact Helen Gooderham

Nightjars

Tuesday 23 June

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE (WAS WEDNESDAY)

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

Farnes

Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 June

Information to follow.

 
Travel arrangements depend on numbers wishing to go.
 

Leaders: Jon Evans and Steve Piotrowski
Book with Kathy Piotrowski.

Arctic terns, Farne

Be prepared for some close encounters!
Photo © Jason Thompson, CC-BY-2

Herringfleet

Sunday 5th 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 Stephen Howell

Contact Helen Gooderham

Herringfleet

Photo © Ade46, CC-BY-ND-2

Swift Walk, Swift Pint

Monday 20 July

This is the third year of counting swifts in Bungay.  Can the numbers possibly reach those of last year?  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

Contact Helen Gooderham

Waders & Gulls 1

Wednesday 22 July

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

No need to book this event.

Leader: John Grant

Heveningham Bio-blitz

Sunday 2 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.

Leaders: Steve Piotrowski and Matthew Dean
Meet at the Courtyard, Heveningham Hall at 8.30am
Contact Helen Gooderham

Heveningham Hall

Waders & Gulls 2

Wednesday 19 August

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

No need to book this event.

Leader: John Grant

Herring Gull

Photo © Nature Photos, CC-BY-2

Sandwich Bird Observatory

Friday 28 - Monday 31 August (Bank Holiday)

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.

Contact Helen Gooderham.

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory

Photo © John Lawrence, Used by kind permission

Great British Beach Clean

September date and venue to be announced

Join thousands of people this September for the annual Great British Beach Clean. By joining in, you’ll be contributing to a national and global survey, and can meet other people who also want to help keep our beaches clean, too.

Further details to be announced

Contact Helen Gooderham

beach clean

Photo © Karen Roe, CC-BY-2

Frampton Marsh, Freiston Shore and Birding Hotspots

Friday 18 to Sunday 20 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.

Leader: John Grant
Accommodation at The Vine Hotel, Chapel St Leonards
Car sharing
Contact Helen Gooderham

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

Tuesday 29 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

Sunday 11 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

Contact Helen Gooderham

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

Tuesday 27 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

Indoor Meeting: Peru by John Garbutt

Tuesday 24 November

Southern Peru – A talk by John G on his recent holiday: Amazonia and the Andes / Condors, Capybaras and Cusco / Hummingbirds, Hoatzin and Howler Monkeys / Ibises and the Incas / Llamas and Lima / Macaws and Machu Piccu / Nighthawks and the Nascar Lines / Parrots, Pelicans and Penguins / Vultures, Vizcachas and Volcanos – and much more.

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

Abberton Reservoir followed by birding Hotspots

Sunday 29 November

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.

Car sharing
Meet at Essex Wildlife Trust Abberton Visitor Centre at 9am

The afternoon will be spent at local birding hotspots.

Contact Helen Gooderham

Dingle Shore Pools

Sunday 6 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

Contact Helen Gooderham

Flying Barn Owl

Photo © Ron Knight, CC-BY-2

Indoor Meeting: Christmas Dinner

Tuesday 15 December

Join us for a Festive meal and get-together at venue to be arranged.

Further details to be announced nearer the time.

Contact Kathy Piotrowski

Copyright DepositPhoto/irur