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 27 October – Newport Wetlands ST 334834 NP18 2BZ Satnav 51.545978, -2.9617785
Meet at RSPB car park at 09:00 (high tide is 09:30). Note that there is now a £3 charge for the RSPB car park for non-members so if you are a member, then bring your RSPB card and consider car sharing. We will look out for Marsh Harrier, Bittern, Bearded Tit and Cetti’s Warbler as well as arriving winter raptors and passerines. Wildfowl and waders should be in good numbers on the Severn Estuary.
Directions: Take the M4 over the Prince of Wales bridge towards Newport to junction 23a and take the A4810. After three roundabouts this road is very straight for a long way, past industrial estates and new housing developments. Eventually the dual carriageway curves first right then left. Go straight through the next small roundabout and at the second, larger, roundabout follow the RSPB sign onto the West Nash Road. Keep on this road for about one and a half miles. Watch for a brown-coloured reserve sign on the left indicating the almost immediate right turn into Nash village. Keep on through the village with the power station in full view, the RSPB car park is on the left-hand side. There are brown duck signs at the various junctions but they can easily be missed.
Leader: Mike Jackson
Tuesday 30 October – Elm Farm, Burnett ST 664654 BS31 2TG Satnav 51.38575, -2.483133
From Keynsham take the B3116; turn right at the first Burnett road sign, left at junction, then right into the farm. From Bath, take the A39 and right onto the B3116, fork left on farm drive as you enter Burnett. The farm is 112 hectares in size and consists of 17 hectares of arable crops, over six hectares of woodland and five hectares of crops exclusively for the benefit of birds and other wildlife. Many field margins next to hedges or water are preserved for conservation. The remaining grassland is grazed by cattle, sheep and ponies. No fertilizer is used on the species rich grassland which is managed to encourage insects for the wild birds and bats. The farm is home to a wide variety of birds including Barn owls, Skylarks and Linnets.
Leader: Roger Palmer
Tuesday 06 November – Goblin Combe ST 459654 BS49 4PQ Satnav 51.384547, -2.778410
A new walk. From Bristol take the A370 to Cleeve. Turn left onto a minor road signposted ‘Village Hall, Environmental Centre’. Park by the old quarry. Mainly mixed deciduous woodland, some conifer, farm and open areas. No stiles, one steep ascent, one gradual descent with two steeper sections. Can be quite muddy in parts.
Leader: Alastair Fraser
Tuesday 13 November – Saltford ST 686672 BS31 3EU Satnav 51.403032, -2.451382
Taking the A4 from Bristol to Saltford, turn left at any turning in Saltford and drive down the hill. At ‘The Bird in Hand’ turn right into The Shallows. Park as soon as you can in the free car park by the river. A two to three mile walk over the fields around Avon Farm. There are six stiles in one section but they can be avoided by taking the road for 500 yards. Muddy if wet. Lunch at the ‘Jolly Sailor’, the ‘Bird in Hand’ or the ‘Riverside Inn
Leader: Robert Hargreaves
Tuesday 20 November – Hambrook ST 644790 BS16 1SB Satnav 51.509120,-2.513059
Revived walk. Meet in the car park of the White Horse pub – from the A4174 ring road take the B4058 to Hambrook. The White Horse is on the right as you come under the M4. One of David Tomb’s walks – nothing too strenuous.
Leader: Dave Body
Sunday 25 November – WWT Steart ST 252442 TA5 2PU
Meet at 09:30 at the WWT Steart Reserve car park. We will visit the WWT reserve first and then drive on to the Natural England car park at ST 275459. We will walk out to the north side of the breach although high tide would have been at around 07:40. We will be looking for waders, raptors, owls and anything else that turns up. It is an all-day visit so bring something to eat and drink. There are toilets at the WWT car park. The WWT reserve and hides are wheelchair-accessible but much of the Natural England site is pedestrian only. Take the A39 from Bridgwater towards Minehead. At Cannington take the bypass. At the second roundabout continue ahead onto the new road towards Hinkley Point. At the third roundabout turn left following the Hinkley Point sign. The turning to Steart is marked with a brown tourist sign. Follow the signs to the car park.
Leader: Richard Belson
Tuesday 27 November – Wain’s Hill and Clevedon Pill ST 399712 BS21 7RH Satnav 51.436992, -2.865684
Meet in the car park of the ‘Little Harp’ pub, Elton Rd, Clevedon. Please park on the road nearby rather than in the pub car park, and arrive in time to order lunch if you’re staying. We will walk over Wain’s Hill and around Clevedon Pill – two and a half to four miles depending on what is around and whether we decide to do a longer circuit back into Clevedon. High water is about 09.30.
Leader: Peter Holbrook
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 15th November - Aristocrats of the Air - Keith Offord
Following a boyhood interest in birds, Keith studied Hen Harrier feeding behaviour at university before a career in all-things birds, including contributions to ‘Birdwatching’ magazine. His company, Wild Insights, run bird identification and photography courses as well as overseas tours. Multi-talented, Keith even contributed his guitar-based music to BBC Television’s ‘Life in the Freezer’. His website is at www.keithofford.co.uk
Thursday 20 December Annual General Meeting
Nominations are invited for the officers’ positions and vacancies on the general committee. If you have the time and inclination why not help to run the club and stand for election? Do talk to any committee member to find what it involves. Nominations for committee and officers should be sent to the Chairman, Ken Carruthers (contact details at the end of Club News) by Nov 17
Any motion for the AGM should be signed by the proposer and sent to the Chairman by Nov 17
Awards – Nominations are invited for the Stanley Crick Award 2018. This award recognises a young or novice ornithologist who has shown exceptional enterprise in the pursuit of his/her hobby.
Nominations are also invited for the Club Special Award 2018. This is given to a member who has contributed in a major way to the aims of the Club
Nominations for either award should be sent to the Chairman by Nov 17
Following the AGM Daniel O’Neill and Natasha Ellison will show us their film "To See the Grey" and talk about their trip to Guyana to make the film
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.