Cheltenham Bird Club

    Field trips 2017 / 2018

    Sunday September 24th – Splatt Bridge, Frampton. With Autumn migration in full swing a visit to this productive area of marshes, wet pasture and woodlands is likely to give us a good start to the new season of trips. Warblers, waders, waterbirds and raptors are all possible. Meet at the bridge at 9am (SO742067) – suggest parking in either the small car park by the bridge or elsewhere safely on the roadside not blocking farm or house entrances.

    Saturday October 21st – Titchfield Haven nr Southampton. Our first coach trip of the year will take us to to this old favourite on the Solent. Titchfield is a relatively small reserve, very accessible and with a variety of scrub, reedbed and other wetland habitats plus the opportunity to scan the Solent for sea duck, geese and grebes. Titchfield is a noted Godwit site (both species), possible Bearded Tit, Water Rail and in late October some migratory movement (incoming and outgoing) will still be happening. Coach will be booked with a 7am start from Bournside School.
    NOTE – this trip is on the second weekend after we restart the talks programme so please be ready to book up in the first weeks.

    Saturday November 18th – Sherborne. The Sherborne estate has seen a number of Bird Club walks in recent years so to have it featured on the BBC Spring, Autumn and Winterwatch has been especially interesting. This walk will be between the last two series and will give us the chance to catch up on the farmland, river and woodland birds much featured. Meet at the Ewe Pen Barn car park (SP158143) at 9am for what should be a pleasant morning walk.

    Sunday December 10th – Forest of Dean. By ever popular demand we shall return to the Forest for an energetic walk to work up an appetite for a meal at the Belfry Inn in Littledean. We shall meet in Newnham and go on to an area hopefully featuring a speciality or two. Recent years have seen us catch up with Crossbills, Great Grey Shrike and Hawfinch so who knows what 2017 will find. Meet in the car park at Newnham on Severn at 9am. Grid Ref SO694120.

    Sunday January 28th – Guscar Rocks.  A return to the west side of the river for a morning winter walk on the river bank. Depending on the tide there should be waders (including some of the large Curlew flock) and waterfowl plus possible raptors and other farmland birds. Dress up warm – this is a very exposed site!! Meet at the kennels/railway line at 9am at the end of the road down through Plusterwine (ST601991)

    Saturday February 10th – Steart Point. A return visit to Steart as it develops into a major wetland site just down the M5 for us. Again some guesswork on tide times so hopefully more waders, estuary and farmland birds plus raptors in attendance. Transport for this trip may need to be confirmed later and we may combine as before with a trip into the Somerset Levels (Starling roosts,   Egrets, etc). 

    Saturday March 10th – Upton Warren. With relatively few sites to the North of Cheltenham it is inevitable we go back to Upton regularly but it is a great site. Some early spring migrants may be back on site and the varied habitats here guarantee a good day – Snipe (Common and Jack are regular), Water Rail and Bullfinch suggest lots of opportunities and spotting the Peregrine on the masts is a must try!. Permits will be needed – costs to be advised. Suggest meet at Bournside at 8am to travel in shared cars.

    Sunday April 22nd – Rutland Water.  A return visit to this massive reservoir in the East Midlands and a great day birdwatching guaranteed. The osprey will be back on site, waterfowl will be in abundance and many spring migrants will add to the mix. A great time of year to visit and certain to be a popular trip. Meet at 7am at Bournside for the coach.

    Saturday May 19th – either Lakenheath or Dungeness. In the last couple of years we have had a long trip by minibus to new sites and for 2018 we shall try one of the options noted – venue to be decided by those interested. Lakenheath is the huge RSPB wetland site in Cambridgeshire with Common Cranes, March Harriers, Bittern and many other species whilst Dungeness in Kent is a unique area by the sea with its open stony habitats, constant bird movement and frankly who knows what might be found. Travel will be by minibus and full details to be confirmed later.

    Sunday June 10th – The Wiltshire Downs.  Recent visits to this area have been hugely enjoyable with Quail (not seen!), Curlew, Redstart, Corn Bunting and Cuckoo as well as numerous Butterflies and Wildflowers. A relaxed trip travelling by shared car leaving Bournside at 8am.

    July 2018 – depending on interest and the birds being on site we may organise a Club trip to the Osprey Centre in West Wales, Stunning views of these iconic birds plus Kites aplenty on site and on the journey and we can combine with other sites to make a great day. To be discussed and confirmed later.

    The charge for the coach trips will be £20 per person for Club members for this year (£25 for non-members part refundable on taking out CBC membership).  Coach trips leave at 7am from Bournside School returning at 6-7pm. Bring all you need for a day. Car trips are sometimes all day as well so bring food and everything else you may need for the day. Some local trips are often morning only but many people stay for longer. For coach trips early booking advised with full payment – see Tim Fretter at evening meetings or contact on 01594 544042 for full details of all trips.