October 29 – (Morning only) – Papercourt walk and Pyrford finch spot. Leader Paul Spencer
Meet Paul at 8.15 in Surbiton for lifts or prearrange to meet Paul at 9am at the car park on Newark Lane, Ripley near where road bridge goes over River Wey Navigation.
Paul ‘s first walk ( 2 miles max) will take in PaperCourt Lock, PaperCourt Farm and PaperCourt Lake (Polesden Lake GP). He hopes to record waterside birds such as Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Heron, Great Crested Grebe and Mandarin, winter thrushes and if lucky a wintering owl or Red Kite. We will then take a short drive to some arable land off Sandy Lane which attracts winter finches. Earlier in the year Paul saw c.60 Chaffinches at this location and in 2016 a Little Bunting was recorded with Redpoll, Brambling, Linnet and Reed Bunting. Strong footwear recommended as can be muddy!
November 19 – Slimbridge WWT Joint coach trip with Richmond & Twickenham RSPB
Please note the change of date to this outing which was originally planned for Nov 5. This is due to roadworks which will prevent access to the reserve until mid-November.
Members of SDBWS are invited to join this coach trip to Slimbridge WWT which is being organised by the Richmond & Twickenham RSPB group. The fare will be £20 and the pick-up time will be 7.30am from outside ‘The Surbiton Flyer’ Pub, Victoria Road, Surbiton with later pick-ups at Teddington (7.45am); Twickenham (7.50am) and Richmond (8.00am). Entry is free for WWT members provided you bring your membership card with you. For non-members the entry fee is £12.72 for adults (£10.80 group rate); Concessions (65+) £10.00 (£8.50 group rate). This reserve is famous for its wildfowl collection with species from all over the world. As well as this, wild birds at this time of year should include White-fronted Geese, Bewick’s Swans, Pintail, Wigeon, Pochard, Gadwall and Teal. Likely waders include Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Lapwing and Golden Plover. Peregrines can be seen hunting and there will also be a variety of passerines. Facilities on-site include a shop, café and toilets.
This coach trip is now full. Any further applicants will be put on a reserve list, in case of cancellations.
November 26 – Farmoor Reservoir and Otmoor RSPB – Leader Paul Spencer
Meet Paul in Surbiton at 8am for lifts or prearrange to meet at Farmoor Reservoir car park at about 9.30am.
On the vast reservoir basins of Farmoor we should see lots of Great Crested Grebes, Gulls and an assortment of ducks including Goldeneye. The causeway between the basins attracts pipits and wagtails. If lucky we might get a Great Northern Diver which Paul saw in December 2015 ( see pic). The surrounding woodland and farmland is good for winter thrushes, finches, buzzard, red kite, woodpeckers and Marsh Tit.
About 1- 1.30 pm we will move on to Otmoor which is a magical nature reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds, which the bird club normally visit in the spring. It is a haven in winter for thousands of ducks, such as teal and wigeon and a great place to spot harriers, lapwing and snipe. However the biggest reason we are going is to hopefully view a spectacular starling reed bed roost at dusk which can contain up to 50,000 individual birds. Bring lunch and tea and wear warm waterproof clothing strong boots. There are basic toilet facilities at Farmoor but only bushes at Otmoor ( unless we sneak a hot drinks break in at the Abingdon Arms, at Bexley !)
December 3 – Pulborough Brooks RSPB – Leader Mike White
Meet Mike at the visitor centre at 9.30am. (Bring RSPB membership cards).
If you are new to birding this is the site for you, a circular walk, an excellent cafeteria serving a selection of hot meals, toilets, shop for Xmas gifts and a good selection of birds.
All the common finches incl Bullfinch, many hundreds of wintering ducks and geese. Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk all regular. Possibly Short-eared Owl with the chance of Barn Owl later in the day. (2 pairs bred on the reserve this year). Bewick’s Swans often roost on the reserve.
Subject to weather conditions we will start with a walk to Hales View, overlooking the South Brooks, then return to the visitor centre via the heath area. Then out on to the reserve, with lunch taken in one of the hides.
The reserve is located approx. 2 miles east of Pulborough village on the A.283. The reserve is on the right-hand side. Post code RH20 2EL Grid Ref: TQ058164
Mike is unable to give lifts from Surbiton but is happy to co-ordinate lifts offered/reqd. Please let Mike know if you are coming.
Bring lunch and tea
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. Thank you, Norman Ford