FIELD TRIPS: MARCH TO SEPTEMBER 2024

Our field trips are open to anyone – beginners and experienced birders, new participants and regulars. Dark waterproof clothing and footwear are strongly recommended.

Trips are graded: “A” generally level walking, “B” some gradients, “C” steep in places. The approximate distance is given and “WC” indicates that toilets are available at or near the trip start point.

Please check our website for details of the trips and links to Google Maps for help in finding the meeting place for own-transport trips.

For trips marked with an asterisk (*) booking in advance is essential. To apply for places please contact johnmccarthy593@gmail.com, or phone tel. 07706 894707with your request and give a contact phone number.

For minibus trips fourteen places are available on a shared cost basis, payable on completion of the trip. Departure is at 8am from the Britford Park and Ride site (free parking) on the A338 Downton Road.

•Return to Salisbury is generally by 6.15pm

• Should you have to cancel, please notify John McCarthy on 07706 894707 as soon as possible or, if on the morning of the trip, phone Steve Oakes on 07851 199601 after 7am.

THURSDAY 21 MARCH   

Keyhaven and Pennington                                                           

am/optional pm extension – own transport.                                            

A superb area of the Hampshire coast. Our visit is timed both for remaining winter visitors and the first of the spring migrants, which may include Wheatear and Garganey.

3.5 miles, A, WC

Meet: 9.30am Keyhaven public (pay & display) car park (SZ306915)

Google Map

THURSDAY 28 MARCH     – CANCELLED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER                                                                                                   

RSPB Arne – minibus*   

The wonderful mix of Dorset heathland and Poole Harbour offers Woodlark, Dartford Warbler, possible returning Osprey, waders and wildfowl.                                                                                                                         

4 miles, A/B, WC

WEDNESDAY 17 April Foxbury Plantation, New Forest

am only, own transport

A gentle stroll around this National Trust site aimed at enjoying heathland residents, which may include Dartford Warbler, plus early spring migrants such as Tree Pipit and Redstart. 

3 miles, A/B  Meet: 9.00am Half Moon car park SO51 6AQ (SU298177)

(Turn right off the A36 1 mile east of Plaitford into Blackhill road)

SUNDAY 21 April Normandy Marsh

am only, own transport 

A four-hour walk around this attractive area of the Lymington coast to look for spring migrants.                    

2 miles, A,WC    Meet: 9.30am Bath Road pay and display car park, Lymington (SZ334950)

SUNDAY 28 April Haxton Down, Salisbury Plain

pm only, own transport

An afternoon walk to look for spring migrants which may include Grasshopper Warbler and Whinchat.

2.5 miles, A/B Meet: 1.00pm Large car park, off the minor road from Netheravon to Everleigh, just south of Everleigh village (SU204525)

THURSDAY 2 May Pulborough Brooks RSPB Reserve – minibus*                                                                  This top-class reserve features Nightingale as a breeding migrant, together with warblers and wetland birds.

2 miles, A, WC

SUNDAY 19 May Millyford Bridge & Acres Down, New Forest

am only, own transport 

A walk through mixed woodland and open heathland to the top of the Down looking forresident species and summer migrants including Spotted Flycatcher and Woodlark, plus soaring raptors.

3 miles, A/B   Meet: 8.30am Millyford Bridge car park (SU267078)

MONDAY 3 June Somerset Levels – minibus*

Ham Wall RSPB and Shapwick Heath NNR will be visited to enjoysummer visitors, including possible Cuckoo and Hobby plus a wide range ofwarblers, breeding Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier and possibleBittern.

3.5 miles, A, WC

SATURDAY 15 June Pig Bush, New Forest

am only, own transport

A wonderful area of heath, woodland and wetland providing habitat for Dartford Warbler, Woodlark and Hobby.

3 miles, A/B Meet: 8.30am Pig Bush car park (SU362051)

WEDNESDAY 3 July Foxbury Plantation, New Forest 

evening only, own transport

A gentle stroll around this National Trust site aimed at looking for and listening to Nightjars. Bring a torch and insect repellent

1.5 miles, A/B   Meet: 8.15pm Half Moon car park SO51 6AQ.    (SU298177)  (Turn right off the A36 1 mile east of Plaitford into Blackhill road)

WEDNESDAY 10 July Durlston Country Park – minibus*

Breeding seabirds, summer migrants, butterflies and flowers on the superb Dorset coast.

3-4 miles, B/C, WC

TUESDAY 13  August Bentley Wood

am only, own transport                                                                                                                                 A visit to this extensive local woodland for breeding birds such as Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher and Tree Pipit, plus an impressive range of summer butterflies.                                                                                    3 miles A     Meet:  8.30am Hawks Grove car park. Follow the Howe Farm Track into Bentley Wood, where the roads from Farley, East Grinstead and Winterslow meet at SU234288. The car park is 250m up the track on the right hand side.

TUESDAY 27 August Birds of Poole Harbour Cruise – minibus*

An afternoon cruise in Poole Harbour to look for Ospreys and other raptors, plus autumn passage waders. Tickets are £28 per person. Under 16s: £14; under 4s: free. Minibus departs Britford Park and Ride at 11.45am, returning at approx. 6.45pm

WEDNESDAY 4 September Pagham Harbour – minibus*

Autumn migration will be under way at this favourite West Sussex reserve with both waders and passerines passing through.

2 miles A, WC

TUESDAY 24 September Keyhaven and Pennington Marsh

am/optional pm extension – own transport

A great time of the year to enjoy coastal migration, including the first returning wintering wildfowl.

3.5 miles, A, WC   Meet: 9.30am Keyhaven pay and display public car park (SZ305915)

SHORT AND SLOW BIRDING WALKS

The following Short and Slow walks are designed for those members who find our mainstream field trips too long and tiring. These walks are short in both length and duration, and slow in pace.

All walks commence at 10am.

FRIDAY 17 MAYLangford Lakes WWT Reserve

For spring migrants and wetland residents.

Meet: 10am in the reserve car park in Steeple Langford (SU038369).

Duration: 2 hours

WEDNESDAY 17 JULYRSPB Winterbourne Downs Reserve

For Stone Curlew, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Skylark and hedgerow/scrub warblers, plus chalk grassland butterflies.

Meet: 10am in the reserve car park located off the minor road from Allington to Newton Tony (SU214401)

Duration: 2 hours

FRIDAY 2 AUGUSTFishlake Meadows Reserve

For autumn passage migrants, which may include Osprey, plus wetland residents.

Meet: 10am Fishlake Meadows reserve car park. Take the A3057 north from Romsey, turning

right into Fishlake Meadows Road at the Esso garage roundabout. Take the first left into Oxlease

Meadows. The small car park is at the end of the first turn off this road (SU 361224)

Duration: 2 hours