NATURAL HISTORY (PREVIOUSLY BIRDWATCHING 2)
See also:
Bird Watching 1
WHEN:
Start time varies - Third Monday of the month
WHERE:
Varied locations in and around Bath and further afield
Photo of Lucy.jpg

PLEASE NOTE: The group is full and has a waiting list.

Lucy, our convenor, writes:

“My group, previously entitled “Birdwatching Group 2”, studies all aspects of wildlife, including insects and flowering plants, and a change in our title better reflects what we study on our days out. The group remains at capacity and I regret that we are currently unable to add names to a waiting list, but do please contact me, because members leave the group from time to time.

Our meetings re-start on 19th April subject to Covid restrictions and some adjustments to the programme (members have been informed of these adjustments). A new programme for 2021/22 should be published at the end of June

I aim to visit a wide variety of habitats during the 12−month programme, with eleven outings and a social lunch and get−together in July. One of my favourite locations is the Somerset Levels, in particular Ham Wall RSPB reserve where, in Spring and Summer, we look at all aspects of wildlife.

My over−riding objective as group convenor is to help members improve their bird identification skills and encourage a wider interest in all natural history, including butterflies, moths, dragonflies and flowering plants.”

AIMS

 ● To learn to identify birds visually and by calls and songs
 ● To learn about bird behaviour including migration
 ● To look at other wildlife, including dragonflies and butterflies
 ● To visit a bird observatory to see how birds are monitored

METHOD

As a group, we will visit nature reserves, different habitats, perhaps including urban and suburban to watch birds, listen to their calls and songs, whilst not ignoring other wildlife such as butterflies and dragonflies in the Spring and Summer months. If weather is particularly unfavourable, the scheduled meeting may be cancelled and an alternative indoor meeting arranged. Lunch will be either packed food and drink or a pub/cafe lunch. Some meetings will only be half−day morning. Meetings may require walking of 1 to 5 miles, depending on location.

INITIAL SKILL LEVELS AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

None. If you do not have a pair of binoculars, the Group Convenor would be willing to lend a pair on the day. The Group Convenor has a telescope and tripod, and others in the group may also have this optical equipment which everyone can use during the meeting. The Group Convenor will have a range of field guides.

CLOTHING

Always dress for the weather conditions and take plenty of warm layers for winter months. Meetings will generally require walking shoes or boots, sometimes wellingtons. Members should be aware of ticks during the summer and wear light coloured long trousers.

TRANSPORT

Transport will be by members’ own cars, with car−share encouraged including sharing petrol costs, 20p per mile.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

 ● All members should be responsible for their own safety and note any hazards on the day, depending on the terrain.
 ● Members with any medical condition should ensure they have all medication with them, as needed.
 ● Anyone with any particular disability should inform the Group Convenor in advance.
 ● It is advisable to carry a mobile phone in case of an emergency.
 ● Nobody should leave the meeting without first telling the Group Convenor.


Programme for 2020-21 (a new programme will be released soon)
17 August 2020
9:30am
Finish approx.3:00pm
Langford Lakes Wiltshire Wildlife Trust reserve off A36.
Packed lunch
Target species: Migrant waders, warblers, water birds, dragonflies.
10.15am. Car park
Landranger map 184
SU 0370370
SP3 4NH
21 September
9:00am
Finish approx.3:00pm
Chew Valley Lake (change of venue)
Packed lunch or restaurant
Target species: Migrants - Yellow Wagtail, whinchat, waders, warblers, raptors
10:15am at Herriott's Bridge
Landranger map 172 ST 572581
19 October
8:30am
Finish approx.11:30am
Elm Farm near Burnett/Keynsham
- courtesy of Philippa and John Paget
Lunch not applicable
Target species: Autumnal moths, finches, and farmland birds
9:00am at Elm Farm
Landranger map 172 ST665652
BS31 2TF
16 November
9:00am
Finish approx.3:00pm
Stourhead
Packed lunch or restaurant
Target species: Woodland birds, Tree Sparrow, Crossbill, Siskin, Thrushes
9:45am in reception building
Landranger map 183
ST 775339
BA12 6QD
21 December
HALF DAY
9:30am
Finish approx.1:00pm
Chew Valley Lake
Packed lunch or restaurant.
Target species: Wildfowl, Herons, Egrets, Marsh Harrier
10:15am at Herriott's Bridge
Landranger map 172 ST 572581
18 January 2021
HALF DAY
9:30am
Finish approx. 12:00
Newton St Loe
Target species: Woodland birds, Kingfisher
10.00am in farm shop car park
Landranger map 172
ST 704647
BA2 9BT
15 February
9:30am
Finish approx. 4:00pm
Avebury and Barbury Castle
Packed lunch
Target species: Tree Sparrow, finches, raptors, partridge, brown hare
10;30am in NT car park
OS Explorer map 157
SU 009696
SN8 1RD
15 March
9:00am
Finish approx. 11:30am
Heaven’s Gate, near Longleat
Lunch not applicable
Target species: Woodland bird song, tits, raptors, Stock Dove – target Firecrest.
9:45am in Nockatt car park
OS Explorer Map 143
ST 828423 off Horningsham Road
19 April
9:00am
Finish approx. 2:00pm
HALF DAY OPTION
Blagdon and Chew Reservoirs – Blagdon with warden Nigel Milbourne
Packed lunch
Target species: Migrant, woodland birds, wildfowl and wetland birds and Spring flowers and butterflies
10.00am in car park within the reservoir site at the dam end of the lake
Landranger Map 182
ST 5008595
17 May
9:00am
Finish approx. 3:00pm
Newport Wetlands and Goldcliff
Packed lunch or cafe
Target species: waders, warblers, cuckoo, bearded reedlings
10.15am in RSPB reserve car park W, Nash Road
OS Explorer map 152
ST 334834
NP18 2BZ
21 June
9:00am
Finish approx. 12:00pm
Caen Hill Locks, Devizes, Wilts
Packed Lunch or eat in café
Target species: sedge warbler, kingfisher, red kite, yellowhammer, dragonflies and other insects
10.00am in Canal and River Trust car park off B3101 Marsh Lane
Map 173
ST 986616
SN10 1QS
19 July
12:00 noon
Blathwayt Arms, Lansdown
Social pub lunch
Discuss past and current programme, future venues etc.
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If you are interested in joining this group, please see the newsletter for contact details.

Some of our photos
All photographs courtesy of, and ©, Tom Pinckheard

Photo of Newport Wetlands hide
In the hide at Newport wetlands
Photo of male Siskin
Male Siskin
Photo of male Blackcap
Male Blackcap
Photo of pintail
Pintail
Photo of bittern
Bittern
Photo of bearded reedling
Bearded Reedling
Photo of lapwing
Lapwing
Photo of Clouded Yellow butterfly at Portland
Clouded Yellow butterfly at Portland
Photo of Firecrest
Firecrest
Page last updated 5/4/2021