Cheltenham Bird Club

    Field trips 2020


    Wednesday March 11th – Parkgate Marshes on the Dee Estuary. 

    On a really big tide this is described as a real wildlife experience as the tide pushes unseen mammals and birds out of the saltmarsh. These tides only occur on a few days a year so we need to get the date right. NOTE – there was a thought that we might try for Hillbre Island but that would require a ridiculously early start. However we may still be able to get to see the wader flocks disperse post high tide or alternatively we may go to Burton Mere RSPB so this could be a great day. A minibus is booked so 7am start from a parking site to be agreed.

    Saturday March 21st – Keyhaven / Pennington Marshes in Hampshire

    We visited this area a few years ago and were overwhelmed by the numbers of species and individual birds.
    Lots of waders and wildfowl, Stonechat, raptors (even Osprey could be possible in late March) and the last visit we even had a Serin
    singing. A coach is booked so a 7am start from Belmont school.

    Saturday April 18th – Knepp Estates in West Sussex

    This unique estate is home to a major rewilding programme and hit the headlines this year with the first breeding of
    White Stork in the UK for hundreds of years. Much of the area has reverted to scrub and emerging woodland where farm animals and deer live in ‘natural’ surroundings. The estate boasts Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Nightingale and many other farmland / woodland species in
    abundance. Travel will be by coach with a 7am start from Belmont School

    Monday April 20th – Highnam Woods RSPB

    A request has been made for Club access to the car park but access to the reserve is always possible anyway.
    Meet at 7pm at the car park entrance on the A40 – if car park not available then directions to suitable parking
     will be given on the night (suggest check website nearer the time). Hopefully Nightingale will have returned but with numbers once again decreasing let’s hope this is not a final hurrah! Should be plenty of other passerines in the woodland. NOTE: the site can be muddy and obviously it could be quite dark by finish time so maybe a torch useful.

    Monday May 4th – Witcombe Reservoir.

    Farm and woodland birds including lots of spring migrants especially on the reservoir (maybe Martins, Swallows and even Swifts). Meet at the small car park by near to the Roman Villa (SO 899146) at 7pm.

    Monday May 11th - Ashleworth Ham.

    A quick return visit to the Ham but with a completely different cast list. Hopefully more waders with lower water levels (and possibly Curlew breeding in the meadows), possible Redstart and any wetland area in mid May can attract lots of birds. Meet at Stonebow Farm entrance at 7pm.

    Sunday May 17th – Olchon Valley / The Darrens. 

    The last time we went to this site on the Welsh border we lost count of the number of Redstart we saw so let’s
    hope for a repeat. The woodlands, including lots of old age trees, are full of warblers and woodpeckers and the steep moorland hillsides have both Whinchat and Stonechat plus possible Ring Ouzel. On the top by Offas Dyke the heather moorland has produced Red Grouse and there’s always the chance of various raptors. Given good weather this day can be a real delight with the added bonus of excellent birdwatching. Meet at Monmouth Services on the A40 south of Monmouth at 9am.

    Please share cars if possible.

    Note: this site has some hard uphill walking although one can stay in the valley if preferred.

    Saturday May 23rd – Brimpsfield. 

    Slightly different walk to last year but still outstanding Cotswold scenery and lots of different habitats with lots
    of likely farmland and woodland species with spring in full swing. Meet at the free car park in the village at 9.30am– approach via Birdlip and the car park is on the sharp right hand bend at the start of the village. NOTE: the walk is about 4 miles in length with some potentially boggy areas. Highly recommended!!

    Saturday May 30th – Bourton Pits. 

    The breeding season will be in full swing for this return visit to the farmland, woods and waters around Bourton. Meet at 9.30am in the layby at the far end of Bourton-on-the-Water on the left hand side of the road.
    Grid Reference SP180198 – car share if possible (limited parking)

    Saturday June 13th – Forest of Dean. 

    couple of weeks earlier than usual for our annual visit to the Forest with the hope of Nightjar, Woodcock, Owls and mammals including Deer and Wild Boar. Meet at the Coop car park in Dockham Road, Cinderford at 7pm from where we will travel to the best sites on the night. May be a longish walk and remember insect repellent and a torch.

    Saturday June 20th– Hampton Ridge in the New Forest. 

    This is an open heathland site with scattered trees, lots of gorse and birds to match. Hobby,
    Curlew, Dartford Warbler and even more Redstart can make it a great
    day. Travel by minibus with a 7am start from Cheltenham and this will give us flexibility to go to other sites
    if required and of course with lots of daylight no need to rush back.

    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 Belmont School returning at 6-7pm. Due
    to the Club moving its ‘base’ to Belmont School we will be asked
    to pay a car park charge when we use the school for trips – how
    this will be levied is to be agreed but probably by an extra £1 per
    person for full coach trips – minibus days yet to be worked
    out!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.

    - it is the responsibility of those participating in these trips to
    ensure they have sufficient food and drink and appropriate clothing.
    Some of the venues are open and exposed - very cold in winter or very
    hot in the summer whilst some are steep, muddy or rocky (or even all
    three!). Contact Tim Fretter for more details if required. For
    emergency use only on or around the day of the trip contact on