Norfolk Birdwatching Weekend Fri 22- Sun 24 October 2021 Leader Thelma Caine. Email:

A birdwatching weekend has been arranged at the Caley Hall Hotel, Old Hunstanton Road, Norfolk, PE36 6HH. Arrival the hotel will be on Friday evening and the weekend will run until Sunday afternoon. Costs per person including bed, breakfast, evening meal for 2 nights and packed lunches (for Saturday and Sunday) will be £175 for a shared room and £265 for a single. For details about the hotel, see:
Covid regulations permitting, it is envisaged that travel to and from Norfolk will be in private cars with lifts arranged where required. This weekend corresponds with one of the dates for the ‘Snettisham Spectacular’ on Saturday 23rd October when tides are particularly high and wading birds in their thousands, wheel in the sky as they are pushed off the mudflats and produce a spectacular sight. Please note, to see this would require an early start before breakfast (therefore will be optional) with arrival at the Snettisham RSPB car park at 6.45am, followed by a walk of around 1.5 miles to the wader watch-point. Visits will also be made to several other reserves over the weekend. Possibilities include Holme, Titchwell, Holkham and Cley. Over a hundred species are expected. This area regularly attracts exciting species. Birds seen on previous visits have included Red-throated Divers, Avocets, Bearded Tit, Pink-Footed Geese, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Marsh Harriers, Great Grey Shrike and Yellow-browed Warbler to name a few. For more details or to book, contact Thelma – email: A deposit of £30 per person will be required payable to the SDBWS. The hotel has advised that with regard to the deposit, this will be fully refundable up to one week prior to arrival. People wishing to book additional nights at the hotel are requested to make private arrangements by contacting the proprietors on 01485-533486 or email:


Want to learn more about local birds and how to take part in bird surveys?

The SDBWS carries out summer and winter bird surveys at 5 Elmbridge Commons sites including the Esher Common SSSI and Molesey Heath and at Home Park including the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Joining a bird survey team is a great way to learn more about our local birds as well as contributing to knowledge about bird populations. If you are able to identify common birds and would like to learn how to take part in surveys, with training provided by experienced members of a survey team, please contact Thelma Caine for more details – email



Take a look at our Facebook page Surbiton Bird Watchers to see some of the wonderful pictures of birds taken by members on our regular outings. Join us  at and share your pictures too. You’ll also find notice of our outings, meetings and other events as well. If you see any bird you can’t name then take a pic, post it and our experts are sure to identify it.


Island Barn Reservoir

Island Barn Reservoir in West Molesey is one of the best bird watching sites in the areas. We were, therefore, delighted to be able to come to an arrangement with the boat club to give those members who want it access to the reservoir. Access will be via a combination lock into the reservoir compound from Ray Road.
We will be paying a total of 150 pounds a year as associate members. This will be split equally amongst all those who want the access. As we are unsure as to the degree of interest it is not possible to be certain how much the annual subscription will be. However, given the level of interest already expressed we expect this to be somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds each.
If you are interested, and have not already done so, please contact Chris Turner on or on 07909 992956. He will then be able to work out the per person subscription. It would also be very helpful if you could state the subscription ceiling you would be prepared to pay.


Newsletters by email

The Newsletter is now available by email a few days before the meeting. It is recommended that this option is taken as it provides colour and saves the Society money.


Recruiting new members

Word of mouth is one of the best ways of expanding membership of the club. Annemarie Stiegler has generated postcard size publicity cards if you can think of anywhere to put them, or people you would like to send or give them to.  See Annemarie for supplies at the indoor meetings.


Records sub-committee – a plea to all members

A recent study of SDBWS records has shown that several sites in the Society’s recording area, which over the years have produced worthwhile sightings, no longer appear to be visited regularly by Society members. Below is a list of species you might expect to see during a birding year at three adjoining sites close to Epsom.


Site + Grid Ref Target Birds

Epsom Common TQ 190 650

Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Woodcock, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, FieIdfare, Redwing, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer

Rushett Farm TQ 173 608

Kestrel, Hobby, Pheasant, Lapwing, Stock Dove, Skylark, Swallow, Fieldfare, Redwing Chaffinch, Brambling, Linnet, Redpoll, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

Stew Ponds TQ 183 609

Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting

As the table shows, you don’t have to travel far to see good birds! Other worthwhile sites not covered on a regular basis are:

 Richmond Park (southern section) TO 198 717

Hampton Filter Beds TO 130 693

Barwell Court and Winey Hill TQ 169 630

Prince’s Coverts TQ 160 610

Fieldcommon (TQ 127 665) and its associated sites

If you live close to any of these ‘forgotten’ sites, please think about visiting them, the more frequent the better, and submit your records.