Ravenshead

Birders

Group Leaders
Graham JukesPhone 01623 798890
Tony WardellPhone 01623 799065
Webpage Editor
Glynne Payze Phone 01623 798102
Meets usually once a month
Group Full? NoStatus Current

Latest information

December 13th visit to Colwick has been cancelled and changed to King's Mill Reservoir on the 20th.

Meet at Sherwood Ranger car park at 9a.m. (NOT 8).

Many decisions regarding 2019's visits and activities will be taken at the social event on January 14th.

End of Latest Information

The Group
The Birders group is open to all Ravenshead U3A members. New members are always welcome, especially those with little birding experience. The leaders are ready and willing to offer help with identification and tips.

The group visits major bird reserves in our locality and beyond. We often visit areas nearby one month and travel further afield the next month. The purpose of the group is to help members identify the birds seen and to discuss how to improve their own birding skills. Recently the group's interests have broadened, so that other wildlife spotted (flowers, insects etc.) are included in our photos and descriptions.

We'll be leaving the Sherwood Ranger at 8 am before each outing (unless notified under "Latest Information" above). The group is usually out for most of the day, and we are usually on our feet for several hours. Respite is available at certain reserves which have hides! The distance that we walk can vary depending on the reserve, so sturdy footwear is advised - as are a good pair of feet! We usually try to alternate a local visit with a more distant one. Cars are usually shared if desired.

What we see will be listed after each meet (see below) so that those interested in joining the group can see the kind of wildlife we're seeing. A selection of photographs taken on the day will also be posted here on the webpage. The names of all of the wildlife in the photos can be seen at the top of the full size photo frame after clicking on the thumbnail.

All information regarding 2017 meets has been moved to a subpage, accessed by clicking on the link "2017 meets" at the top right of this page.

2018
January
6 members went to Cromford/Carsington on a sunny, cold day. There were 47 sightings (a record for a daily count) of which 5 were added to the annual list: dipper, hawfinch, coal tit, willow tit and nuthatch. The annual list has reached 110 (we have two months to go). Today's highlight was that 4 members got a lifer (hawfinch).

February
8 birders on a sunny but breezy day at Rutland Water saw a record number of species sited on an outing (53), and 5 birds were added to the annual total (120): collared dove, great spotted woodpecker, smew, redpoll and red kite. Highlight of the day: red kite flying close up.

March
12 birders set off in warm sunshine and finished up in a bitterly cold wind; the walk was enjoyable. Although we saw 28 species, we didn't see the ones we'd hoped for. We did add one more (fieldfare) to the final month's annual total (121). The annual target was 161. Next month we start our new challenge: a more realistic one of 130. The highlight of the day was two hares boxing.

April
So much rain and mist were around that we decided to cancel the visit.

May
Frampton Marsh RSPB
11 birders drove to Frampton on a cool, breezy and cloudy morning. 52 species were spotted, the highlights of which were a Garganey, a speckled wood butterfly and a green-veined white butterfly. This month we start our annual 12-monthly challenge, this time of 130 species, which is more realistic than last year's target.

June
Padley Gorge
7 birders had an exciting, warm, light cloudy day. We saw 18 quality birds, of which 8 were added to the target (now up to 60): curlew, coal tit, wood warbler, willow warbler, nuthatch, tree creeper, grey wagtail and meadow pipit. Welcome to Sarah Spurry - hope to see more of you. This was also likely to be Jenny Gordon's last time with us, as she expects to be living near Reading if the house is sold. We'll miss you.

July
Cotgrave Wood (butterfly special)
6 birders had a very satisfying walk on a warm sunny day. The first thing we saw though was a linnet. In all 12 species of butterflies were seen namely Large White, Small White, Gate Keeper, Ringlet, Green Vein, Silver-washed Fratillery, White-lettered Hairstreak, Peacock, Comma, Sooty Copper and Meadow Brown. Highlight of the day: a large gathering of 100+ Large Whites.

August
Skylarks / Blotts Pit (Holme Pierrepont)
10 birders including 2 visitors (from France and Wales) on a cloudy pleasant morning came across 30 different birds and song. 12 new birds were added: Egyptian goose, teal, red crested pochard, cormorant, grey heron, common sandpiper, greenshank, lesser black-backed gull, wood pigeon, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker and magpie. Highlight was a line of 22 Canada geese, one was a greylag, so what!

September
Because the weather forecast was so dire (high winds and torrential rain) the group decided to cancel this visit.

October
14 of us spent a warm sunny day at Blacktoft Sands. We saw 31 species of birds of which 9 were added to our annual target: Water Rail, Marsh Harrier, Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Pink-footed Goose, Tree and House Sparrow, Snipe and Redshank. Because of the warm weather, Common Darter and Migrant Hawker were also observed.

November
A windless, cold and misty morning greeted 13 intrepid birders. We saw 43 different birds, amongst which were 6 new species to add to the year's list (now 108), 2 short of target. New ones to list are long-tailed tit, goldeneye, kingfisher, goosander, song thrush and bullfinch. Highlight: the running water rail.

Remaining Programme for 2018

December 20thKing's Mill Reservoir

2019

January 14thSocial gathering 7pm at 11a Lea Road
Please remember: 8am departure from Sherwood Ranger
(unless notified under "Latest Information" above)

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

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More Group Pages
Angling Antiques
Birders Book Reading Group 1
Book Reading Group 2 Bridge for Beginners
Canasta Chess and backgammon
Computing Country and Folk Dancing
Craft Workshops Creative Writing
Cryptic Crossword Current Affairs
Family History French Conversation
French Conversation 2 Garden Group
Guitar Hikers (5 - 8 miles)
Knitting and Crochet Latin
Local History Luncheon Group
Mahjong Music Appreciation Groups
Occasional activities Painting
Pastels Photography
Play Reading Science and Technology
Scrabble Cribbage Spanish
Table Tennis The Weekenders
Thursday Walking Group Wine Group
Yoga (Improvers)