Chew Valley

Bird Watching - Variable

The Birdwatching Group is predominantly an outdoor activity group meeting each month to visits sites of ornithological interest. The walks are not necessarily arduous, although a good level of fitness is advisable as we tend to venture off the beaten track. Members should have good outdoor clothing (including waterproofs) and walking footwear as well as a pair of binoculars. On some occasions the Group Leader will have a spotting scope to enable distant birds to be studied in more detail.

No prior knowledge of bird identification is required as the Group Leader has a lifelong experience of studying birds both in this country and various parts of the world.

Meetings are normally in the morning on a Monday with duration of approximately 2 hours although this does vary from time to time dependent on the behaviour of the birds we are trying to view. It is desirable for members to have an email address so that last minute changes and details of locations can be sent prior to each visit. On occasions, we may go further afield for a day’s outing, and on all occasions, we encourage car sharing where possible. On longer trips we also take in lunch at a local pub.

We live in an area where there are several interesting wildlife areas:
• Chew Valley, Blagdon, Cheddar Lakes
• Somerset Levels
• Severn Estuary
• Mendip Hills
Whilst these are not exclusive they represent some of the areas we might visit on more than one occasion during the year. Further afield we might be drawn to visit special sites such as the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge, reserves in the Forest of Dean, Somerset Levels or Bridgwater Bay or those specialising in one or a few bird species such as Abbotsbury Swanery.

We do not restrict our viewing to birds and try to look at what makes up the environment in which they live and cohabit such as plants and butterflies for example.
We are currently at capacity for membership, but should you wish to join a waiting list for the group please contact the Group Leader via e-mail address: chewvalley.u3a@gmail.com.

Chew Valley U3A Birdwatching Group Schedule of potential field trips Jan 2019 – Dec 2019 (subject to amendment dependent on current birding activity)

Date in Month - Venue - Bird expectations

7 January 2019 10:00 – CVL Stratford/Morton ST564584 - Wintering birds

4 February 2019 10:00 - Greylake RSPB Reserve ST399346 TA7 9BP - Waterfowl and Marshland birds

4 March 2019 10:00 - Uphill estuary – (new location) - Waders on rising tide

1 April 2019 10:00 - Shapwick or Ham Wall ST449397 BS6 9SX - Bittern, Marsh Harrier and spring migrants

6 or 13 May 2019 Timing to be arranged - Forest of Dean – Nagshead Symond’s Yat with lunch at Fountains Inn Parkend - Woodland birds and peregrine

3 June 2019 10:00 - Felton Common or Stockhill – evening for nightjar and owls - Summer migrants, skylarks and yellowhammers

1 or 8 Jul 2019 10:00 - Blagdon Lake Top End Ubley Parish Hall Carpark - A popular visit for flowers, moths and dragons

5 August 2019 10:00 - Charterhouse Blackmoor Reserve ST505555 followed by a picnic - Butterflies and late summer birds

2 September 2019 10:00 - Ham Wall or we might try a coastal location – Sand Point or Brean Down - Popular for migrants and some residents

7 October 2019 Timing to be arranged - Newport Wetlands RSPB Reserve – café on site for lunch (new location) ST334834 NP18 2BZ - New wetland habitat to explore now that it is free to cross the Severn

4 November 2019 Tide dependent - New Passage / Pilning Wetland – (new location) -Another new site access to which I am still investigating

2 December 2019 10:00 - Blagdon Lake ST506595 with lunch to follow – probably at the Blue Bowl as for 2018 - Gathering wildfowl, geese, waders

Details of access to each destination will be provided at the previous meeting, by email prior to the visit or by contacting Nigel in advance

Nigel Crocker Group Leader telephone: 01761462678 mobile: 07714446769 nigelberylcorax@btinternet.com Updated 31 December 2018

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More Group Pages
Art Appreciation Bird Watching - Variable
Book Group - monthly Bridge For Fun - weekly
German Heroines in the English Novel
History - monthly Jazz Appreciation
Latin Mah Jong - 2 weekly
Music Appreciation Philosophy
Psychology Pub Lunch Groups
Recorder Group Rediscovering Shakespeare - monthly
Walking Group Wildflower Group
Yoga Group