Programme of outings

Forthcoming Outings

Guidance for members

All field outings considered suitable to go ahead will have been assessed to ensure they can be conducted safely. If you wish to attend an outing, please contact the leader to book, before the date of the outing. Please let the leader know if you require a lift.
The field outing leader will provide advice about the arrangements for the visit. Please ensure that you are aware of these before travelling.

 

May 22, Sunday (all day). Dungeness RSPB. Leader: Peter Knox

Meet at the car park for the fishing boats on the NNR site at 09:00. When you contact Peter, he will provide directions for the meeting point. This should be suitable time to see good numbers of migrating birds on the sea (Skuas and Divers) or on the RSPB reserve (Waders, Terns and Warblers). As it is Peter’s intention to spend time sea-watching, it is worth bringing a seat of some sort. He will also be searching the reserve for any rare birds.

 

May 29, Sunday (morning). Horton Country Park. Leader Paul Spencer

Meet Paul at Castle Hill entrance off Filby Road, Chessington at 8.30am for a morning’s stroll around Paul’s local patch. The 71 bus stops at Copt Gilders (300 yards away) and parking is normally available in the dip of Filby Road between the Bonesgate Open Space and Castle Hill local nature reserve.
Paul takes a circular route via woodland, meadows, ponds and farmland hoping to see typical woodland species like Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blackcap and Chiffchaff, hedgerow scrub species such as Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat and farmland birds such as Skylark, Swallow and Linnet. There will be an off-piste look at local Peregrines – at the time of writing this, the female appears to be on eggs as she is laying flat on window ledge. Toilets available at mid-point of walk plus refreshments available from coffee van.

 

June 8 Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Norbury Park. Leader: Mike White 07981-037004

Park at the top of Downs Way or the adjacent Hale Pit Road. (Post code KT23 4BP Grid Ref TQ 145543). Join Mike at 09.30am for a leisurely wander around his local patch, 531 hectares of mixed woodland and chalk grassland. At this time of year, the resident species will have been joined by the summer migrants. Most of the expected species will hopefully be seen, this is also a good site for a wide selection of butterflies. There are no facilities on site.

 

June 12, Sunday (short day). Thursley Common. Leader: Rebecca Dunne 07879 645971 Email: rdunne@blueyonder.co.uk

An interesting walk with a variety of habitats and some heathland specialist birds. Extensive areas of open dry heathland (one of the largest remaining fragments in Surrey), peat bogs, pine and deciduous woodlands. A good place at this time of year for Dartford Warbler, Redstart, Woodlark, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, Curlew and maybe ‘Colin the Cuckoo’ if we are lucky. He is the famous bird who comes down for meal worms that photographers put out, although it is often Woodlarks that eat them, not Colin. On a warm, sunny day we might have Hobbies feeding on the 20 species of damselflies and dragonflies that Thursley is nationally renowned for. If you haven’t visited since May 2020, you will be surprised to find that the well-known boardwalks, which allowed access to the middle of the boggy areas, were destroyed by a wildfire. They have not yet been replaced so we will be taking a longer, circular route around the edge. We will be following sandy tracks and paths which can be a bit uneven underfoot.
Meet: 9.30. Moat car park, on Thursley Road between Elstead and Thursley. Nearest postcode GU8 6LW Grid reference SU899 416. £3.20 voluntary parking charge. Payable by phone or Ringo app – location ref 19079 if you want to pay in advance. No toilets.

 

June 18, Saturday (evening). Nightjars. Leader: Stephen Waters 07949 646987. Email: swaters956@gmail.com

Take the exit on A23 at Junction 10 (M25). Go straight on at the roundabout, second exit, as though to go back on the A3. Take a left on the slip road into Old Road. Meet at 9.00 pm at the second car park on the left (Ockham Forest). Bring bug spray, torch, and something warm to put on when the sun goes down.

 

June 26, Sunday (all day). Rye Harbour NR.  Leader: Thelma Caine 07527 448308. Email: thelmacaine512@btinternet.com

Meet at Rye Harbour Car Park, Harbour Road, Rye at 09.30am. Sat Nav: TN31 7TX (Ordnance Survey Map Ref: TQ 941188). Rye Harbour is a mixture of habitats including shingle beach, saltmarsh, river, grazing marshes and reedbeds. Breeding birds on the reserve include Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Avocets and Shelduck. At this time of year Gulls and Terns should also be feeding young on the Ternery Pool. Raptors including Marsh Harriers are likely and there should be a good variety of passerines including Wheatears. This site is also notable for Orchids, including Bee and Pyramidal Orchids. There are toilets at the car park but no facilities on the reserve.
For more information see: https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/visit/rye-harbour Bring lunch and drinks.

 

July 6, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk. Leader: Thelma Caine 07527 448308. Email: thelmacaine512@btinternet.com

Meet at Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve at 9.30am. This is located between Badshot Lea and Tongham, on the southern outskirts of Aldershot. The best area to park is on the Lower Farnham Road (B3208) near the Pea Bridge (at SU 867490) Sat Nav: GU11 3RD. This nature reserve is situated on the site of the former Farnham Quarry. The habitat consists of open water, gravel islands, scrapes, reedbeds, scrub, woodland, ponds and wet and dry grassland. It has an impressive bird list including duck, waders, gulls, terns, warblers, woodpeckers, birds of prey and migrants, a selection of which should be present. Please note, there are no toilets at the reserve but these are available nearby at Squires Garden Centre, Badshot Lea Rd, GU9 9JX.

 

July 10, Sunday (all day). Knepp Estate. Leader: John Barkham 07803 295555

All day car outing to Knepp Wildlands in search of birds and butterflies. Knepp is a 3,500 acre estate just south of Horsham in West Sussex. Since 2001 the land has been devoted to a pioneering rewilding project. The once intensively farmed fields have been left to nature and animals are now free roaming with most fences removed. It is the biggest breeding hotspot in the UK for Purple Emperor butterflies, which should be in display (dependent on weather conditions). Turtle Doves, Nightingales and Spotted Flycatcher also breed. There is a White Stork reintroduction project, giving photo opportunities of the free flying, first generation birds.

We shall take a leisurely circular walk of about 3 miles. The route is fairly level, but the ground can be uneven. Highlights include several tree-top viewing platforms. After returning to the Visitors Centre, there is an optional late afternoon walk to the bird hide at the Knepp Castle Lake.

From the A24, 2 miles south of the A272, turn right across the dual carriageway into Worthing Road (signed “Dial Post”). After 500m turn sharp right into Swallows Lane. Meet at 9.30am in the Purple Emperor Car Park (RH13 8NN) which is 200m on the right. Charge £5 per car, including map. There are no toilets currently available on site. Bring a packed lunch and drink.

 

July 24, Sunday (all day). Kingley Vale NNR. Leader: Thelma Caine 07527 448308. Email: thelmacaine512@btinternet.com

Meet at 9.30am at the West Stoke car park at Kingley Vale (nearest Sat Nav is PO18 9BS but the car park is before you reach this point!). This reserve is located on the South Downs near Chichester and offers a variety of birds, stunning scenery, and a plethora of butterflies. Around 40 of Britain’s 58 species of butterfly have been recorded here. The site is particularly noted for its ancient yew forest with some of the trees over 2000 years old. The walk features a climb to the top of Bow Hill at 206 metres above sea level giving breath-taking views of the south coast and beyond. Birds recorded on previous visits have included Bullfinch. Firecrest, Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Buzzard and Turtle Dove to name a few. Take the A3 to Milford and then the A286 towards Midhurst. At Lavant take the right turn opposite the church (signed East Ashling and Funtington) and drive a further 2 miles to West Stoke. At the end of the village make a right hand turn into the Reserve car park as the road bends left (SU825088). Please note: there are no toilets at the reserve, so use service stations on route or facilities in Midhurst at the Leisure Centre in Bepton Rd, GU29 9HD, (Grid Ref SU885214). Bring lunch and drinks.

 

August 7, Sunday (all day). Oare Marshes

 

September 4, Sunday (all day). Fishlake Meadows NR

 

September 7, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Richmond Park

 

September 18, Sunday (all day). Thorney Island

 

October 2, Sunday (all day). Langstone Harbour

 

October 14-16,  Norfolk Weekend. Leader: Thelma Caine 07527 448308, thelmacaine512@btinternet.com

By popular request, a members’ birdwatching weekend has been arranged once again at the Caley Hall Hotel, Old Hunstanton Road, Norfolk, PE36 6HH. Arrival at 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 £202 per person for a shared room and £307 for a single. For details about the hotel, see: https://www.caleyhallhotel.co.uk/. Travel to and from Norfolk will be in private cars with lifts arranged where required. Visits will also be made to several reserves over the weekend. Possibilities include Holme, Titchwell, Holkham, Snettisham and Cley. Over a hundred species are expected. This area regularly attracts exciting species. Birds seen on previous visits have included Great Northern, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers, Great Skua, Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter, Avocets, Bearded Tit, Pink-Footed Geese, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Marsh Harriers and Snow Buntings to name a few. For more details or to book, contact Thelma. A deposit of £30 per person will be required payable to the SDBWS. People wishing to book additional nights at the hotel are requested to make private arrangements by contacting the proprietors on 01485-533486 or email: mail@caleyhallhotel.co.uk

 

October 19, Wednesday (morning).Midweek: Hogsmill River & Nature Reserve

 

October 23rd, Sunday (all day). Rainham Marshes RSPB

 

November 6, Sunday (morning). Home Park

 

November 20, Sunday (all day). Cliffe Pools RSPB

 

November 23rd, Wednesday. Midweek Walk

 

December 4, Sunday (all day). Pagham Harbour

 

December 14, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Barnes WWT