Programme of outings

Forthcoming Outings

How to join car outings



Please send photos of outings (birds and people!) to for adding to the website


3 February – Blashford Lakes and Blackwater Arboretum – Leader: Peter Knox

Meet at 07:30 at Surbiton in St James Road. This is an early start as Blashford is a good distance from Surbiton and the days are still short at this time of year. Blashford is normally an excellent site to see winter finches such as Redpoll, Siskin and Brambling. We should also see plenty of ducks and water birds which should include Goosander and Goldeneye and maybe Smew. The day is rounded off with a visit to Blackwater Arboretum to see Hawfinches going to roost.


13 February (Wednesday morning) – Bushy Park – Leader: Mike White 07981-037004

Meet Mike at 10.00am at the Pheasantry Café Car Park for a morning stroll around our local Royal Park. This will be a walk ideally suited to newcomers to the hobby with many of our commoner birds to be seen and also some winter visitors such as Redwing and Fieldfare. We may also see over wintering warblers such as Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Kingfisher is a possibility and if we are really lucky Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Please let Mike know if you are coming. Facilities are adjacent to the cafe. This is a morning trip only.


24 February (morning) – Berrylands Nature Reserve (Raeburn Avenue) – Leader: Elliot Newton 07906 402431 email:

Meet at 9.30am outside the Berrylands Scouts hut which is accessed from Stirling Walk, Surbiton. The post code is KT5 9HY. There is a car park in Meldone Close (KT5 9HQ) which is 2 minutes walk away or park in nearby roads (Raeburn Avenue or Grand Avenue). Local conservationist Elliot Newton is leading the walk around the Berrylands Nature Reserve, (officially known as the Raeburn Open Space Local Nature Reserve). This hidden space in the heart of Berrylands was established as a nature reserve in 1992 but had suffered long term neglect and was for the most part forgotten. However, over the last two years a large scale project has been delivered to enhance the area and engage the local community. Fantastic strides have been taken including restoration of the river, removal of over 150 tonnes of concrete from the site, woodland management techniques combating invasive species and the creation of a new wildlife pond area. This walk will introduce you to the site, showcasing some of the work that has taken place. Bird sightings will hopefully include Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egret, a range of Tit species and hopefully a Kingfisher!


3 March – Acres Down- Leader: John Barkham 07803 295555

This is an all-day car outing to Acres Down, probably the best site in the New Forest for watching raptors. A hill-top ridge provides a good vantage point overlooking a large tract of woodland. The main target species will be Goshawk, who should be “sky dancing” at this time of year. However this is dependent on the weather: if the weather forecast is particularly poor, the outing may be cancelled or an alternative destination arranged. John will not be able to offer lifts from Surbiton, but will co-ordinate lifts, either offered or required. Arrive at Acres Down Car Park at 09:30 (nearest postcode for Sat Navs is SO43 7GE). From the A31 travelling west, turn off at Stoney Cross (sign post: Emery Down). Go south 1¼ miles and turn right at crossroads with the sign post: Acres Down. Continue over the ford, pass the Farm and Tea Rooms and the car park is at end of the track. Viewpoint is a ½ mile walk from the car park. Do call John to let him know of your attendance.


17 March (morning) – Barnes WWT – Leader: Jonathan Hannam 0774 502 2695

Meet for lifts in Surbiton at 8.40am or by the Sir Peter Scott statue near the entrance at 9.30am. Please inform the leader beforehand so that he knows who to look out for on the day. WWT members remember to bring your membership cards! The cost of entrance for non members is £13.00 (concessions £11.04) but for six lucky people, I have vouchers that will get 15% off those prices. Expect to see the normal collection of winter wildfowl and waders and possibly some early returning migrants. If we’re lucky, the Bitterns will still be on site and Water Rail are always a possibility. The paths are easy and there are a number of hides, as well as a cafe.


7 April – Family Day (Bushy Park)


14 April – Otmoor RSPB


28 April – Pulborough Brooks


5 May – Tice’s Meadow and Crooksbury Common


12 May – Stodmarsh


19 May – Devil’s Punchbowl


2 June – Lakenheath RSPB

This is a coach trip organised by Richmond and Twickenham RSPB to which we have been invited. I know it seems a long way off but these trips now book very quickly so please let Rebecca know ASAP if you would like to come (do not wait until the May meeting!) The cost is £20 which is non-refundable unless the trip is full and your place can be resold. RSPB membership cards needed or entrance fee payable.
Lakenheath Fen reserve comprises a mixture of wetland and woodland south of the Little Ouse in Suffolk. The RSPB has converted an area of former carrot fields into a large wetland, consisting mainly of reedbeds and grazing marshes. The new reedbeds have attracted hundreds of pairs of reed warblers and sedge warblers, as well as bearded tits and marsh harriers. With big skies, extensive reedbeds and booming bitterns it is a wetland home for kingfishers, cranes, otters, water voles and fenland plants, dragonflies and butterflies.
Highlights might include Cuckoos calling in the poplar woods, up to 40 Hobbies in the air at any one time as they gather to feed on insects, Marsh Harriers displaying above the reedbed which will be full of singing Reed and Sedge Warblers and Bittern feeding flights.
Pick-up points:
1st at Surbiton Flyer Pub, Victoria Rd, Surbiton KT6 4NS 7.30am (leaves promptly)
2nd at The Library, Waldegrave Road, Teddington 7.45am
3rd at The Shack Bar, Aragon Road, Twickenham 7.50am
4th at Richmond opposite Richmond railway station 8.00am
Booking is essential: Please book at SDBWS meetings or send a cheque made payable to SDBWS to: Rebecca Dunne.
You can also phone or email to reserve a place and pay at the next meeting.
Phone Rebecca 07879645971;  Email:
Please also let Rebecca know which pick-up-point you will be going to.


22 June (Saturday evening) – Nightjars


30 June – Knepp Estate


7 July (Afternoon) – Epsom Common Butterfly Walk


6 August (Tuesday Evening) – Bat Walk


11 August – Oare Marshes


8 September – Langstone Harbour


22 September – Dungeness RSPB


October (Fri-Sun) – Residential weekend


6 October – Two Tree Island


20 October – Selsey Island


3 November – Rainham Marshes RSPB


17 November – Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes


8 December – Isle of Sheppey



Request for photographs

I am hoping to include photographs of the sites we visit whenever field outings are announced in the Newletter. To achieve this, I want to set up a library of site photographs. May I ask leaders to take, or have a photograph taken, of the sites you visit, so that these can be added to the library? I am also looking for photographs of species seen, so that these can be used in future publications. These, also, would be welcome. I will, of course, acknowledge copyright when using photographs.