Halstead & District

Bird Watching

Group Co-ordinator- Alison Crawford

Do you enjoy watching birds but find it hard to identify those little brown jobs that we see around? Then join me in the newly formed Bird Watching group and we will learn together! We will meet at various venues in the locality with occasional trips further afield, like Minsmere or maybe the N Norfolk coast. We are lucky to have many diverse sites in Essex/Suffolk, so we shouldn't be short of ideas for places to go.
All you need is a pair of binoculars, weatherproof clothing and a bit of patience. Field guides are also useful, although I have a few to share.

January 2019 - Our first visit of the year was to MINSMERE. The plan was to do an afternoon visit so that we were around for the end of the day and hope to see a starling murmuration. Well, the best laid plans.....

OK, so there was no murmuration, but was the visit successful? Initial hopes were not high - we were greeted with "There's not much about today" and at first the reserve seemed very quiet, but we were soon rewarded with an unexpected sighting of a Dartford warbler and from that time the day just got better. Watching a peregrine hunting over the scrape was thrilling and then we saw a well camouflaged snipe. And to top it all we saw 3 otters across the water. An excellent day - just a shame about the starlings!

February - ALRESFORD CREEK guided by Alex Bass - The forecast of cold, icy weather was a bit off-putting for some, but other hardy souls joined Alex for a morning of excellent birdwatching. The tide had just turned and as it went out the exposed mud began to fill up with waders. Highlights of the morning were a huge skein of Brent geese flying overhead and a group of red-breasted mergansers on the water. Oh, and it wasn't as cold as expected!

March - no meeting

April - TOLLESBURY We had a good morning with a good variety of waders, ducks geese and other little birds

May - FINGRINGHOE WICK NATURE RESERVE The first nightingales were heard as we drove onto the reserve and as we stepped out of the car the cuckoo greeted us. We did a lot of listening on this visit - the bird song was beautiful but it was so hard to spot the birds! However we had a good morning searching and some of us were lucky enough to see a nightingale.

June - TIPTREE HEATH

July - DUNWICH HEATH guide by Alex Bass
We had a gorgeous day with beautiful sunshine - perhaps the birds were feeling the weather because it was quite quiet to begin with. We soon saw the Dartford warbler, but other birds seemed to elude us! However we persevered and with Alex's knowledge of the area we moved on to other areas and by the end of the session felt that we had seen a good variety of birds. The profusion of butterflies made up for the lack of birds and once again Alex's knowledge was a great help with the identification.

August - NO VISIT

September - WALTON-ON-THE-NAZE.
It was a dry but windy day with a consequence that there were not too many birds around!!

October - HEYBRIDGE BASIN.
During a week of unsettled weather we were lucky to have a fine day. The tide was in our favour and we had hundreds of birds to try and identify. By the end of the morning we counted 44 species.

Next Meeting - Friday 1st November - ABBERTON RESERVOIR meeting at the Layer Bretton Causeway

Please contact via the blue bird contact button if you have any queries or wish to join us.

Dates for your Diary
Fri Nov 1st ABBERTON RESERVOIR - meeting at the Layer Bretton Causeway

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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More Group Pages
Ambling Biology and Anatomy
Bird Watching Board Games
Book Group 1 Book Group 2
Book Group 3 Bridge Group 1
Bridge Group 2 Canasta
Card Craft Discussion 1
Discussion 2 French Beginners
French Beginners 2 Genealogy and Family History
German German Beginners
Hiking History 1
Knitting for Fun Mah-Jong
Music Appreciation Photography
Photography Field Trips Play Ukulele
Science & Technology Sew and Chat
Sewing Group Social History
Stitch in Time 1 Stitch in Time 2
Stitch in Time 3 Table Tennis
Theatre and Plays Walking