Bristol Ornithological Club

All details of meetings, including a comprehensive programme of mid-week meetings, can be found in Bird News, (the club’s monthly publication for members), or by contacting us. All W/E meetings start at 09:30 and on Tuesdays at 10:00 – unless otherwise stated.


Sunday 21 January – RSPB Greylake & Avalon Marshes – Joint BOC/BNS field meeting

Meet at 12:00 in the car park of the RSPB reserve at Greylake, ST 399346. The reserve is on the A361, which runs from the A39 towards Burrow Bridge and Taunton. Travelling from M5 junction 23 on A39 towards Street, after 5.8 miles turn right to Moorlinch. At T-junction with A361, turn right and the reserve is on the right after two miles. We will visit the hides and walk the visitor trail looking for resident and migrant ducks, waders and passerines. The flooded levels at this time of year should hold a considerable number of birds.
In the afternoon (bring a packed lunch) the intention is then to move on to the Avalon Marshes, probably the Somerset Wildlife Trust reserve at Catcott and/or RSPB Ham Wall. This part of the trip will remain flexible to allow us to respond to recent sightings.
Leaders: Giles Morris

Tuesday 23 January – Coalpit Heath

Park in the Kendleshire Golf Club car park. Take the Westerleigh Road off the A4174 ring road, past the Folly pub and turn left at the first crossroads into Henfield Road. The golf club entrance is on the left hand side. Fairly easy walking, approximately four miles and a few stiles. Come early to pre-order lunch if staying.
Leader: Peter Holbrook

Sunday 28 January – Exe Estuary – Coach Trip

Our annual trip will leave from the Water Tower on the Downs at 08:00 prompt (if you have to cancel on the day phone Judy Copeland on 0781 192 9404). We aim to be back in Bristol around 18:30. If you would like to join the coach, please send a cheque for £15 (payable to BOC) to Judy Copeland (address on last page). The Blue Iris Coach will leave Nailsea depot at 07:20 (please advise Blue Iris 0127 585 1121 if you wish to join here). No pick-ups en route. Depending on the tide (and possible floods), we may go to Dawlish Warren first this year for the walk out along the dunes to the point and the hide. Then the coach will take us to Powderham for a walk alongside the river to the Turf Inn. This trip usually produces a good tally of waders, grebes, ducks and geese. Please bring food and drink for the day, and warm and waterproof clothes and boots. Some BNS members will be joining us to help fill the coach.

Tuesday 30 January – Pensford

Meet at the Pensford Memorial Hall Car Park, Publow Lane, Pensford. A walk of about four miles through fields, woodland and riverside habitats with some hills, stiles, and muddy in places.
Leader: Geoff Harris

Sunday 04 February – Blashford Lakes

This site is located near Ringwood, but poorly sign-posted. On the A338 opposite Ellingham turn onto Ellingham Drove following the water ski sign and then turn right again, meeting at the visitor centre – SU 151079 – at 10:00. It takes approximately two hours driving from Bristol, so please contact Keith to arrange car sharing. We hope to see winter ducks and possibly grebes on the lakes and there should be Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and maybe Brambling around the woods. Bring a packed lunch and warm clothes. Afterwards we will try for a Hawfinch roost for those willing to stay until dusk (~16:30).
Leader: Keith Williams

Tuesday 06 February – Eastville/Stoke Park Estate/Vassals Park.

Meet in the car park in Riverside View, off Broomhill, Frenchay Road, for a walk in Stoke Park/Eastville Park and/or Vassals depending on what is about. We may see woodland and water birds and possibly some species that are scarce in Bristol.
Leader: Rich Scantlebury

Tuesday 13 February – Between Chew and Blagdon Lakes.

Meet at Herons Green on the B3114 between Chew Stoke and West Harptree. Please park in the long lay-by alongside the lake. A four mile walk on quiet country lanes between the lakes, via Breach Hill and Ubley hatchery.
Leaders: Sue and John Prince.

Tuesday 20 February – Greylake RSPB Reserve.

Meet at the RSPB car park at Greylake 10:30. The reserve is on the A361 Glastonbury to Taunton road between Greinton and Othery. It is a mosaic of wet meadows and reed bed. For those who wish to stay on in the afternoon we will either locate the Cranes or drop into Catcott Lows, depending on weather and birds likely to be present. The morning visit will end around 12:30-13:00. Likely to be very wet in places. Please bring lunch if you wish to join the afternoon visit.
Leader: Mark Watson.

Sunday 25 February – Chew Valley Lake

Meet at Herriotts Bridge at the South end of the lake at 09:30 for this morning-only walk. We will be visiting a number of the hides to see what we can turn up. Permits for the day will be available on the morning, price £4.00. These allow access to the hides at Chew as well as a visit to Blagdon Lake and the Barrow Gurney reservoirs.
Leader: Robert Hargreaves

Tuesday 27 February – Bristol City Centre.

Meet at Millennium Square behind @Bristol (suggest you use your bus passes) for an urban walk of about four miles, flat except for road bridge steps, and possibly even mud free. If bringing a car into the centre of Bristol, the @Bristol underground car park is closest but expensive. We may end up at Brandon Hill reserve if Nancy takes us up there – steps.
Leader: Nancy Barrett.

Sunday 11 March – Barrow Gurney Reservoirs

Details next month.

Saturday 24 March – RSPB Nagshead Reserve

Details next month.

 Indoor meetings.

All indoor meetings will be held at Newman Hall (Grange Court Road, Westbury-on-Trym, BS9 4DR) and start at 19:30, unless stated otherwise. They involve presentations and talks on a wide range of bird topics by both guest speakers and our own club members. Donations from non-members are appreciated!

Next Meeting:

Thursday 15 February. The Science and Beauty of Birds – Oliver Smart

Prize-winning photographer and club member, Oliver Smart, asks us to wonder why a raptor has an orbital ridge or what the purpose is of a tubenose on a petrel? Well, in this talk, Oliver will guide us through some fascinating insights to the science of birds, their adaptations, evolution and physiology. Oliver’s talk is split into four sections covering the science of birds, the photography, the aesthetics of bird photography and the rewards. Definitely a date for the diary.

Thursday 15 March – Members’ Evening

This is your evening! The first half will be taken up with talks by members on the Lake Kerkini area of northern Greece and on Morocco, then after the interval there will be a Quiz, organised by Jeremy and Alison Pilling. Judging by the success of the quiz at the 50th Anniversary Dinner, this should be fun – do come and join in.


The attention of members is drawn to the fact that the Bristol Ornithological Club accepts no liability in respect of damage or personal injury occurring during its activities.

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