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.
Saturday 18 March – Newport Wetlands
Meet at 09:30 hrs in the visitor centre car park (ST 334834) which is on West Nash Road between Nash village and Uskmouth Power Station. From M4 junction 23a, take the A4810 towards Magor. Continue on the A4810 through four roundabouts. Take the second exit at the fifth roundabout (the brown ‘duck’ symbol) towards Nash. Follow the brown ‘duck’ signs to the RSPB reserve. We will look for Bearded Tit, ducks and waders. Can be very wet underfoot after rain. In the afternoon we will go on to the Goldcliff marshes, an excellent wader site.
Leaders: Ray & Margaret Bulmer
Tuesday 21 March – Uphill.
Meet at the entrance to Uphill Boatyard. Park either in Thornbury Road – ST 312588, first right after the Uphill Boatyard entrance or at the boatyard entrance itself if there is room. High tide is at about 1200 hrs. The walking is easy but can be muddy and is approximately three to four miles but can be shortened. Telescopes would be useful to view over the estuary, salt marshes and lagoons of the Axe Estuary.
Leader: Jane Cumming
Tuesday 28 March – Gordano Valley.
Meet half way along Moor Lane, Walton-in-Gordano, being a left turn off the B3124 travelling on the Portishead to Clevedon Road. Park in the lane but please do not obstruct farm gates and lift share if possible as parking is limited. A circular walk of about four miles across the Gordano Valley with one steep hill and a few stiles and through pasture and woodland. Could be muddy after rain.
Leader: Geoff Harris
Sunday 02 April – Sand Point
Meet at 0930 hrs in the NT car park (ST 330659) for this morning-only meeting. Leave the M5 at junction 21. Follow the road to Weston-super-Mare for 200 yards then bear left off the dual carriageway towards Worle. At the traffic lights bear right, following the signs for Sand Bay. Drive north along the coast road to the car park at the end. The terrain is rough in places so wear suitable footwear and clothing for this exposed site. We will be looking for early migrants and coastal birds.
Leader: Paul Gregory
Monday 03 April – Mid-week ‘Margaret walk’ – Poole Harbour.
Meet at 10:00 at Lytchett Fields. Do not park in Watery Lane or sewage trucks will get you. Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal reported regularly. Other rarities turn up too. Dartford Warbler possible. May go onto Upton Park (Holes Bay and woodland walks) and/or Wareham Forest. Let the leader know if you want to come for car sharing.
Leader: Alastair Fraser
Tuesday 04 April – Hanham.
A new walk of about four miles through woodland and riverside with an active heronry. Park (and lunch) at the Chequers Inn, Hanham Mills. The walk can be muddy in places with some short steepish, slippery bits but no stiles. We can expect to see a variety of small birds and, of course, the herons.
Leaders: Karen Birmingham, Jean Oliver & Jenny Weeks.
Saturday 08 April – Dundry
Meet at 0930 hrs in the small car park off Downs Road in Dundry village – car sharing would be appreciated. With The Dundry Inn on your left and St Michael’s Church on your right, the car park is about 100m straight ahead. Afterwards why not stop for lunch at The Dundry Inn?
Leader: Dave Nevitt
Tuesday 11 April – Castle Combe.
Meet in the car park at the top of the village. From the B4039 travelling east from Acton Turville towards Chippenham, turn right at the junction for Castle Combe and right again into the car park. Four miles with one steep hill and a few stiles. Could be muddy after rain.
Leader: David Body.
Tuesday 18 April – Chilcombe Bottom, Northend, near Batheaston.
This new walk covers my favourite BBS square and its neighbour so should be between two and three miles long. The first half mile or so is a long uphill slog but not too steep and the views are wonderful. The gentle stroll back down Chilcombe Bottom should produce a few early returning migrants with luck. No stiles, I think (all kissing-gates now), but muddy after rain and a hiking pole may be useful. Parking is limited so please park tidily in the cul-de-sac, Eagle Park, and meet at the bottom of Eagle Road. For those who can carshare and are coming from the north, the A46 has plenty of laybys where you can meet and leave a car – the best is on the left as you approach Bath, just before the dual carriageway starts. There are at least 3 single track roads into Northend none of which are for the faint-hearted, but one starts at the junction just beyond that layby. It may be easier to go through Batheaston (avoid the bypass) and look for the turn sign-posted Northend. There is a slow two mile lane to Eagle Road at the far end of Northend village. The walk will be cancelled if there are gales or heavy rain. So, if in doubt, call Jane.
Leader: Jane Cumming.
Sunday 23 April – New Forest
Meet at 1000 hrs at the Ashley Walk car park (SU187157), by the B3078 east of Fordingbridge. Allow about one and a half hours to drive from Bristol. This will be an all-day meeting, comprising a leisurely walk of about four miles through heathland and woods, with a picnic lunch. Bring food for the day and waterproof clothing/footwear as appropriate, as after rain the New Forest can be pretty soggy underfoot. We hope to see some of the Forest residents such as Dartford Warbler, Hawfinch, and Woodlark, and the first of the summer visitors such as Redstart and Hobby. Please contact Jane to offer or request a lift.
Leader: Jane Cumming
Tuesday 25 April – Kings Wood.
Meet at the National Trust car park at King’s Wood which is off the A38 to the right going south, immediately after a filling station about a mile past the traffic lights at Winscombe/ Sidcot. This is a walk that has not been done for several years through King’s Wood and onto limestone grassland and scrub on the Mendip Hills. Some hills and may be muddy in places. Lunch at the Star Inn.
Leader: Clive Burton.
Saturday 29 April – St. Catherine’s Valley
Meet at 0900 hrs in Beeks Lane (ST 770727) for this morning only walk. Beeks Lane is a minor road running southwest from Marshfield and the meeting point is about half-way to Beek’s Farm. Parking there is rather tricky so take care. The walk covers about four and a half miles through some peaceful and attractive countryside, over fields and alongside the upper reaches of St. Catherine’s Brook. Some steep slopes. Good for a wide variety of resident birds plus possibly some early migrants. Wellingtons or good walking boots are advised as the path may be muddy in places. Contact Robin for further information or if you need, or can offer, a lift.
Leader: Robin Prytherch
Friday 19 May – Highnam Woods.
Full details next month ;
Leader: To be advised
Sunday 04 June – Arne.
You’ve seen it on Autumn Watch and Winter Watch now see it for yourself. The Club is going to Arne by coach in June. Cost will be £16. Arne is a diverse reserve, deciduous and conifer woodland, heathland, farmland, acid bog, salt marsh and mud flats. Marsh Harriers are breeding again and it is a stronghold for Dartford Warbler. We should see Common and Sandwich Tern and possibly Spoonbill. We’ve arranged a guided tour with the RSPB of areas of the reserve not normally open to the public so there will be something new even if you’ve been before. Departure 08:00 hours from the Water Tower on the Downs (to be confirmed). Book through Judy Copeland.
Leader Alastair Fraser
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!
Thursday 16 March – Mya-Rose Craig “Born to Bird”.
Mya-Rose is a 14 year old birder who birds locally at Chew Valley Lake. Her big passion is “World Birding” and to date she has seen over 4,400 species, well on her way to her target of 5,400 (half the world’s species of birds) by the time she is 18.
This is the last indoor meeting until Aug 17, so until the autumn – happy birding.
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.