Bird Watching & Natural History Group
Meets on the fourth Thursday of the month. We usually self-drive to local sites for a 10:30 start, or occasionally meet at Wickes at 08:45 for minibus trips further afield. For the latest information, see the 'Stop Press' below.
We visit excellent birdwatching areas (RSPB, Wiltshire and Hampshire Wildlife Trusts, County Nature Reserves etc) and thoroughly enjoy ourselves increasing our ornithological knowledge. None of us is expert and we welcome new members irrespective of previous experience. The best way to find out about us is to come and see. You can be assured of a warm welcome.
The Bird Watching and Natural History Interest Group have had an enforced hiatus for a few months due to ill health. However we have just run our first visit of 2019, a very enjoyable minibus outing to WWT Slimbridge, and we are now putting together a programme of visits for 2019/20. These will be added to the website as each is confirmed and the full programme will be emailed out to members when it is complete. If you would like to organise a visit, or would like to be added to our email contact list, please contact Robert Kemp.
THURSDAY 27TH JUNE 2019 – SLIMBRIDGE
We took a minibus on a summer visit to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. This was quite a different experience to our normal winter visits as the migratory birds and waterfowl had left for the summer. However, the breeding birds including avocets, little ringed plovers and grey-backed shrike were busy raising their young. We were introduced to the newly installed Duck Decoys and even mixed with a dozen or more serious twitchers who had gathered to spot a rare Lesser Bustard which had flown in from Spain (no we didn’t see it!).
Click/tap any picture to enlarge it
THURSDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2019 – LANGFORD LAKES
What better way to remember our past secretary Roger Beaumont than a November visit to Langford Lakes Nature Reserve on the River Wylye in Wiltshire. This will be a self-drive visit, meeting on site at 10:30. Our hardier members may opt to take a winter picnic but the lunch menu at the Rainbow On The Lake Inn which overlooks the Reserve may prove tempting.
TUESDAY 25 TH FEBRUARY 2020 – SWINDON LAGOONS
This recently established Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Reserve, on the site of the old Thames Water sewage works on the River Ray, is managed by volunteers and is not open to the public. There are 15 lagoons on the 23 hectare site. This will be a car-share visit leaving from Wickes at about 09:15 and will be led by the WWT warden. Winter visitors include snipe, sandpipers and shovelers. There are no facilities on the
site but there are a couple of nice cafes nearby
THURSDAY 28TH MAY 2020 – WINTERBOURNE DOWNS
The new chalk mounds, scrapes and pond will now be maturing at RSPB Wiltshire’s main Winterbourne Downs Nature Reserve at Manor Farm in Newton Toney. The wildflower meadows will be full of butterflies and moths, and the downs will be hosting skylarks, lapwings and yellowhammers, as well as red kites and the ubiquitous stone curlews. This will be a self-drive visit, meeting on site at 10:30, and will be led by an RSPB warden. There are limited picnic facilities on site but the nearby Cholderton Estate Farm Shop serves a range of light lunches while the Crown Inn is at hand for a more substantial repast.
THURSDAY 27TH NOVEMBER 2020 – ARNE
Our last two visits to RSPB Dorset’s main Arne Nature Reserve on Poole Harbour have ‘fallen fowl’ of the weather and travel delays, so we will end our 2020 programme with another visit. If we are third time lucky we should see avocets, dunlins and other waders including spoonbills. This will be a full day’s outing by minibus at a cost of £9 per person. There is an excellent café on site.