Programme of outings

Forthcoming Outings

Guidance for members

Members intending to join an outing are requested to contact the leader in advance so that lifts can be arranged where possible and members can be contacted in the event of cancellation. The leader will provide advice about the arrangements for the visit. Please ensure that you are aware of these before travelling.
Members are requested not to join a trip if they have Covid symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid.
Please be prepared to share fuel & parking costs.

 

22 January, Sunday (all day). Slimbridge WWT (Coach Trip)

Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rdunne@blueyonder.co.uk
Bring lunch. Fully accessible site. Large visitors’ centre, shop, cafés and 13 hides. New 360° Estuary Tower hide.
At the edge of the Cotswolds next to the Severn Estuary, this is the wetland that inspired Sir Peter Scott to found WWT. Winter is the time of year for which Slimbridge is really famous as it offers great quality winter birds in very large numbers- 30,000 wild ducks, geese and swans flying and swirling in the sky and using the wetlands as a place to feed and roost. Bewick’s swans fed 3 times a day.
Coach will leave Slimbridge at 16:45 which should give time to go to the 16:00 commentated Swan Feeding Session.
Coach trip pick up points – please arrive in plenty of time Set-down Points in reverse order- Richmond first
1) 07:30 – Surbiton High Street nr The Surbiton Flyer pub
2) 07:45 Teddington – Waldegrave Rd nr old Library
3) 07:50Twickenham – Aragon Rd opposite The Shack bar
4) 08:00 – Richmond – opposite station

 

5 February, Sunday (all day). Blashford Lakes

Leader: Peter Knox Email: gsw9859@gmail.com
Blashford Lakes postcode BH24 3PJ Try to arrive by 0930, at present all of the hides are open. This is an early start as Blashford Lakes is a good distance from Surbiton and the days are still short at this time of year.
Blashford is normally an excellent site for viewing winter finches such as Redpoll, Siskin and Brambling. It is also an excellent place to see ducks and water birds such as Goldeneye and Goosander. We round the day off with a visit to Blackwater Arboretum to see Hawfinches going to roost. Do not forget to bring lunch and snacks.

 

12 February, Sunday (all day). Warnham NR and Buchan Country Park

Leader John Barkham 07803 295555 Email: jbarkham@btinternet.com
Morning car outing to Warnham Nature Reserve in Horsham, West Sussex. This small local nature reserve has easy access paths overlooking a central lake. The reserve is particularly good for bird photography, with several dedicated photographic hides or viewing screens, one being just a hundred meters from the entrance. Feeders attract garden and woodland birds including Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and hopefully wintering Brambling. The lake holds gulls, grebes and a heronry. Water Rail are often seen from a new viewing screen and there are 2 resident pairs of Kingfishers. Broad- walks lead to surrounding wet meadows and woods. The Reserve has 5 hides and 2 viewing screens. There is a Tea Room with toilets at the entrance, including the newly built ‘Discovery Hub’.
Meet 10.00am in the reserve car park, Wareham Road, Horsham, RH12 2RA. The reserve is a 20- minute walk from Horsham Railway Station.
Entry £3: open 10.00am to 4.00pm.

 

15 February, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Barnes WWT

Leader Jonathan Hannam 07745 022695 Email: jon.hannam@btinternet.com
As this is a mid-week trip, we’ll meet by the Sir Peter Scott statue near the entrance at the slightly later time of 10am, to avoid the morning rush. WWT members remember to bring your membership cards! The cost of entrance for adult non-members is £15.50 (£14.09 without gift aid), reduced to £13.00 (£11.81 without gift aid) for those over 65 years old.
This will be a relaxed walk, with plenty of stops. The plan is to start in the Observatory and then to walk along the South Route before returning to the Visitor Centre for a spot of lunch. This can either be bought in their café or you can bring along your own picnic. We’ll then walk along the West Route, with the aim of finishing the trip around 2pm. There are good paths around the site with a number of hides providing good views of the lakes and scrapes. At this time of year, there will be a mixture of winter wildfowl still hanging around and migrants returning early, as well as the residents. 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.

 

26 February, Sunday (all day). Abberton Reservoir

Leader Ruth Shinebaum. Tel: 07985 028861. Email: rshinebaum@yahoo.com
Abberton is about a 2 hour drive from Surbiton, and there are two meeting options. There are 2 causeways which cross the reservoir, one near the centre and the other – Layer Breton causeway – a few minutes drive away on Layer Breton Hill, which is off the B1026, west of the centre. Either meet on the Layer Breton causeway at 9.30am (leaving there at 9.50), or, meet at the Essex Wildlife Visitor Centre when it opens at 10am. This on the B1026, Church Road, Layer-de-la-Haye, CO2 0EU . There is an entry fee (minimum £2) and free parking. There are toilets here, a café, goodies for for sale, good paths and hides.
There are multiple ways to do the site including short walks and car journeys depending on what has been seen where, and we will decide details on the day. Abberton Reservoir is a SSSI Ramsar site wetland of international importance for wildfowl with impressive numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal and other water birds. Goosander winter there in good numbers and by searching hard we should find Scaup along with an occasional Smew, Long-tailed Duck, Grebe or Diver. We could get raptors and a few waders and if we’re lucky the Cattle Egrets and Spoonbills which bred there last year could be back. As always weather will be a factor in what we see, and please note it can be very chilly on the causeways, so bring plenty of layers. Bring lunch unless you want to buy at the centre.

 

5 March, Sunday (all day). Acres Down

Leader: John Barkham 07803 295555
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. Rendezvous: Acres Down Car Park at 9:30am (nearest postcode is SO43 7GE).
Directions: from the A31 driving west, turn off at Stoney Cross just after the Esso Petrol Station (signed: ‘Emery Down’). Go south 1¼ miles and turn right at crossroads with the signpost: ‘Acres Down’. Continue over the ford and pass the Acres Down Farm Tea Rooms (which are closed). The free car park is at end of the track. The viewpoint has no benches, which is a ½ mile walk over uneven ground. The nearest public toilets are at The Swan Inn or the New Forest National Park Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst (2 miles away). There are also motorway services on the M27 at Rownham, just north of Southampton.
After lunch, we may take a walk locally looking for Firecrest, Crossbill, Siskin, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Woodlark. Or we may relocate elsewhere in the New Forest, to be decided on the day. Bring lunch and a hot drink. If attending, please inform the Leader in advance.

 

15 March, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Papercourt Meadows

Leader: Thelma Caine 07527 448308 Email: thelmacaine512@btinternet.com
Meet at 9.30am at the car park by the Business Centre at the end of Tannery Lane, Send (Sat Nav: GU23 7EF). Park in the visitor parking area on the left, just before Tannery House. The walk starts at the footpath which runs just to the right of Tannery House. Papercourt Meadows is part of the SSI. This walk will take us though the open meadow, scrub and woodland of the nature reserve and along stretches of the Wey Navigation Canal.
Likely species include Stonechat, Linnet, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Red Kite and possibly Kingfisher. The walk should end by 12.30pm.

 

26 March, Sunday (all day). Langstone Harbour

Leader: John Barkham 07803 295555
Langstone Harbour comprises tidal mudflats which are home to large numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl. We might also see the first spring migrants like Garganey, Swallow, Sand Martin or Blackcap. Meet at 09.30 in the car park of The Ship Inn (PO9 1RD), which is on the A3023 just before the Langstone Bridge, the one and only road onto Hayling Island. There are public toilets outside The Ship Inn.
Dependent on the tide and reports of recent sightings, we shall drive to the Hayling Oysterbeds and then probably to Northney or Sparkes Marinas. We will end the day at Sandy Point Nature Reserve which overlooks Chichester Harbour. Bring a packed lunch. Please call or text John to let him know of your attendance.

 

2 April,  Sunday (morning). Family Day, Bushy Park
5 April, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Richmond Park
16 April, Sunday (all day). Newhaven and Seaford

 

23 April, Sunday (all day), Fingringhoe Wick, Essex Leader: Rebecca Dunn (07897 645971) rdunne@blueyonder.co.uk

Cost £30. Voluntary entrance fee to reserve £3. Bring Lunch. Depart reserve at 16.30.
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rdunne@blueyonder.co.uk
Spectacular Essex Wildlife Trust reserve overlooking the Colne Estuary. Best known for its
nightingales each Spring which should hopefully be just arriving! Approx 1% (30-40 pairs) of the
UK population breed here.
Spring also sees adders emerge from hibernation and the return of many other migrant birds inc.
chiffchaff, whitethroat, cuckoo & sand martin. A variety of trails through woodland, heathland,
meadows, scrub, saltmarsh and past ponds.
Map and further details https://www.essexwt.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-08/fingringhoe-site-
map.pdf
Visitor centre, small café, shop, toilets. Essex Wildlife Trust:- “Due to…adders please stick to
paths and wear suitable footwear.”
Pick up points: – please arrive in plenty of time Set-down points in reverse order
07:30 – Surbiton, Victoria Road nr The Surbiton Flyer pub
07:45 – Teddington – Waldegrave Rd nr old Library
07:50 – Twickenham – Arragon Rd opposite The Shack bar
08:00 – Richmond – opposite station
To book coach trips please contact Rebecca – as above – or at club meetings.
• When booking please advise pickup point and provide a contact number (preferably mobile)
• To secure your place payment must be made within 7 days of booking.
• The coach has 52 places, allocated on a first come, first served basis
• For cancellations, please contact Rebecca (07879 645971) rdunne@blueyonder.co.uk .
• Refunds will only be given where we are able to fill your place.

 

30 April, Sunday (all day). Otmoor RSPB & Farmoor Reservoir
3 May, Wednesday (all day). Midweek Walk: Pulborough Brooks RSPB
7 May, Sunday (all day). Dungeness RSPB
14 May, Sunday (morning).  Staines Moor
21 May, Sunday (morning). Horton Country Park
28 May, Sunday (short day). Tice’s Meadow & Crooksbury Common
4 June, Sunday (all day). Stodmarsh
7 June, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Farnham Heath RSPB
17 June, Saturday (evening). Nightjars
25 June, Sunday (all day). Rye Harbour
2 July, Sunday (morning). Tolworth Court Farm
9 July, Sunday (all day). Knepp Wildland
23 July, Sunday (morning). Epsom Common, Butterfly walk
6 August, Sunday (all day). Denbies Hillside NT
20 August, Sunday (all day). Cliffe Pools RSPB
3 September, Sunday (all day). Farlington Marsh
6 September, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Bushy Park
17 September, Sunday (all day). Thorney Island
October (Fri-Sun). Residential Weekend
1 October, Sunday (all day). Pagham Harbour
22 October, Sunday (all day). Rainham Marshes RSPB
25 October, Wednesday (morning).Midweek Walk: Kempton NR
12 November, Sunday (all day). Two Tree Island
22 November, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk
3 December, Sunday (all day). Wallasea Island RSPB
13 December, Wednesday (morning). Midweek Walk: Wraysbury Gravel Pit