Advance Notice: Autumn Residential Weekend

NORFOLK MEMBERS’ RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND:  Fri 13 to Sun 15 October 2017 – Leader Thelma Caine

Book your place now for the autumn weekend! This year, we will be based once again at the Caley Hall Hotel, Old Hunstanton, Norfolk. Website: The weekend will run from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Costs including bed, breakfast, evening meal and packed lunches will be £185 for a shared room and £225 for single occupancy. People wishing to book additional nights at the hotel are requested to make private arrangements by contacting the proprietors. (Tel: 01485-533486 or email: Travel to and from Norfolk will be in cars with lifts arranged where required. Visits will be made to several Norfolk reserves. Possibilities include Holme, Titchwell, Snettisham, Holkham or Cley. Over a hundred species are expected. This area regularly attracts exciting species. Birds seen on previous visits have included Red-throated Divers, Avocets, Snow Bunting, Bearded Tit, Pink-Footed Geese, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Marsh Harriers, Great Grey Shrike, Yellow-browed Warbler and Brambling to name a few. For booking forms contact Thelma Caine (Email:; Tel: 01372 468432). A deposit of £30 per person is required with cheques payable to the SDBWS.


Welcome to New Members

I would like to offer a warm welcome to the following new members who have joined (or re-joined) the club over the past year. They are Chris Wilkinson, Elizabeth O’Brien, Elliot Newton (re-joined), Graham & Valerie Craig, Sue Elford & Chris Birch, Reg Norman, Philip & Lorraine Hellen and Darren Spragg. If I haven’t met you yet come over to the Membership Table on arrival and say ‘Hi’. Our meetings are open to all so bring along a friend and let them see what we do. I have a club business card that can be handed out to prospective new members. As ever ‘Join us and Join in’!

Gary Caine, Membership Secretary


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.


We need to record our House Martins! – can you please help!

The BTO need our help with their House Martin Survey. Last year 2015, with supporters help, they collected data on how the population as a whole is faring. This year the BTO is taking a detailed look at nesting House Martins to investigate breeding success in different places and habitats. They need all the help they can get, so if you have House Martin nests near you, please take part by using the link:


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.



Records from members are from within the club’s recording area, TQ16 extended on two sides. The Recorder has asked that sightings outside of this area are not submitted as they are not appropriate as club records. A map of the recording area is shown here


Email addresses

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ to want to enjoy unusual birds locally. If you missed out on the waxwings, at Horton Country Park or the egrets on the Hogsmill, why not let us have your email address and you can be added to the Hot News circulation list. But please remember to let us know when it changes. Email addresses and comments to both Gary Caine (to add to the membership list) and Tony Quinn (for the Hot News service).


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.


Do you live in the Elmbridge area?

There have been frequent attempts to build in the area, often to the detriment of local wildlife. Our conservation officer, Tony Quinn, is keeping an eye on things and making representations on the club’s behalf where we think there will be a significant environmental impact, but it isn’t always easy to be aware of all planning applications. So if you live in the area and see an application in your local newspaper or posted on a community boards or pole that you think warrants our attention, PLEASE let Tony know. He can be contacted on: 020-8241-6087 or Thank you.


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 FarmTQ 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.