Field Trips

NEXT FIELD TRIP

St. Abbs Head 16th June  10.30 – please note change of time

Sunday, 16th June 2019 St. Abbs Head National Nature Reserve.( National Trust for Scotland). Meet at the Reserve Car Park at 10.30 (O.S. NT913674) about a mile north of Coldingham on the minor B6438 to St Abbs. Walk to the headland for spectacular views of the seabird communities including Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills, a few Puffins and the new overspill colony of nesting Gannets( first chick recorded in 2017). Other wildlife interest might include cetaceans, butterflies and a profusion of wildflowers. Wear stout shoes/ walking boots and bring a packed lunch (alternatively there are cafes at the reserve centre or nearby village of St Abbs.)
[*N.B.£3 car parking charge for non-National Trust/NTS members, but access to the Reserve and Centre is free]

Leader: Richard Poyer

Please click on the link below: – All participants on field trips must study and adhere to the following risk assessment.  NNBCRiskAssessment

 

DAWN CHORUS
Sunday, 12th May 2019 at 5 a.m. Dawn Chorus on the Ford & Etal Estates. Our Annual visit to the beautiful grounds of the Estate nestled in the Till Valley, seeking out the rich bird life including migrants such as Spotted Flycatchers, Wheatears, White-throats and other Warblers. Afterwards, Lady Harriet will kindly provide breakfast at Etal Manor for those who wish to partake (donation to local charity) with an opportunity to look round the woodland gardens of the Manor. Full details in the May News-letter. Leader: Lord James Joicey.

West Loanend Field trip 15th April 2019

On a cool, windy morning sixteen members gathered at West Loanend ready for Martin to lead us on a circular walk that would take us down to the River Tweed, along the riverside path to the Chain Bridge and then back to the house. The way down was with hedges and cropped fields on either side and here there were Yellowhammers – at least eight -, Skylark, Tree Sparow and Grey Partridge. Reaching the river we found pairs of Mallard and Goosander but the birds that caught the eye were the Sand Martins. For many of us the first sighting of year and there were at least fifty, skimming back and forward just above the river. Another first was the Common Sandpiper which flew across the river as we disturbed it. Also disturbed was a Grey Heron – flying downstream.  A surprise bird on the riverside was a Jay, perched in a willow, whilst a Buzzard flew over the woods at Paxton.

 

The greatest concentration of birds was, not surprisingly, around the southern side of the Chain Bridge. Here there were feeders  in the gardens as well as a large group of trees.  Within 20 metres we heard or saw Bullfinch, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Great -Blue and Coal Tits, Tree Creeper, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Siskin, Kestrel and on the river, Little Grebe.

After the excitement of those birds the way back to West Loanend was very quiet, in fact silent apart from our chatter! In all we had a total of 46 species.

Many thanks to Mary and Martin for leading us on such an interesting and varied walk.

Friday 22nd March 2019 at 10.00a.m. John Muir Country Park, Dunbar.

Despite a forecast of 40+ mph winds followed by rain , a total of 14 bird club members joined leaders Phil and Marge Noble for our monthly field trip.
We were returning to the John Muir Country Park near Dunbar to look for waders, ducks and whatever else was on the move!
With a howling gale it initially proved difficult to pick anything out of the violently waving branches of the Scots pines , but this group was nothing if not tenacious and so Siskin, Crossbill, Goldfinch,Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were soon added to our list.
The tide was well out, though on the turn ,and we added Red Breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Curlew, Redshank and Grey Lag to our growing list.
The photos attached suggest the morning was spent relaxing, chatting and eating in various different sheltered spots!Not so!These walks are also an excellent opportunity for a catch up and for getting to know our new members too!
Onwards and with the wind dropping slightly, we were serenaded by Skylarks , active over the grassy areas where , during winter walks , we have seen Shore Larks too. Overhead flew a Little Egret.
Another pause at a suitably sheltered log, gave us a magnificent male Stonechat before we headed back to the cars and lunch at the picnic tables at the children’s playground, where a sudden movement in the trees behind alerted us to a pair of Tree Creepers just a few metres away.
A short car journey and we were at a small pond a short distance away where once we saw Great Northern Diver. Not this time however, but we added Tufted Duck, Canada Goose, Little Grebe,Grey Heron,Moorhen and Coot to our list .
Three magnificent Eider drakes were also seen close in to the sea wall attempting to curry favours with the females in the group.
All in all it was a great day with a total of 53 species counted!Many thanks to our leaders Marge and Phil.

 

Coquet Estuary and Alnmouth Bay

Sunday 24th February 10.00 start

Meet in the small public car park by Warkworth Golf Course (O.S:NU255064) . Please share cars if possible. We’ll explore the area for divers, sea-birds, wildfowl and waders. Bring warm clothing, stout footwear and optional packed lunch (or an opportunity to visit one of Warkworth’s cafés and/or pubs afterwards) Leader: Richard Poyer

 FIELD MEETING TO HAUXLEY & DRURIDGE BAY 10/11/2018

Nine members met on a beautiful sunny morning at Hauxley Discovery Centre. For some of the group it was their first visit to the year old centre with its five hides on a circular walk and excellent cafe.
The lakes held the usual variety of greylag. canada’s, tufted duck, mallard, little grebe, grey heron.
The sun was directly behind the birds at the first hide, silouhetting cormorant and snipe.
Moving in to the Skua hide we had good views of a willow tit and male bullfinch – not no skuas!

Can anybody see anything?

After completing our circuit we enjoyed refreshments at the cafe. Whilst there, Alan had a message that twite, snow bunting and shorelark were at the beach at East Chevington, so that’s where we headed next.

 

Goldeneye at Hauxley – Margaret

Unusual view of a Little Grebe – Margaret

Only the twite were left but it was good to see a flock of around 70 feeding on the sand, washing in the burn and swirling around in a flock as they were disturbed by walkers, then re-settling.

Some of the 70 Twite – Gillian

Bathing Twite – Richard

Feeding on seeds – Gillian

We moved up to the north lake at East Chevington and had good views of 800+ golden plover, large numbers of lapwing and then a few of golden eye, whoopers, mergansers and a pair of pintail and goosander.

Scanning at E Chevington – Margaret


With the light fading it was time to head home – a good meeting – 58 species seen –  and many thanks to Alan and Margaret for their leadership.

 

RESIDENTIAL TRIP

May 16th to 23rd 2019 to SPAIN

This is a two-centre holiday with 4 nights in Extremadura and 3 nights in the Gredos mountains. It is a renowned area for birding covering a wide variety of habitats including many birds of prey and the world’s largest population of Great and Little Bustards. Accommodation is in family run establishments and all rooms have private facilities. The Gredos hotel has an award winning restaurant and a cellar of over 500 wines!

This trip is organised through Naturetrek and costs £1545 with a single supplement of £195. This includes flights from Edinburgh to Madrid, accommodation, all food except for lunch on day one, guides throughout and transport.
If you would like to join us or know more about what may be seen etc. please contact Fiona Southern Tel. 01668214481 or email jfs@robincottage.co.uk

Field trips are organised, usually monthly. Locations for field trips can be any of:

  • Local boat trips to see seabirds
  • Lakes, estuaries, bays, mudflats and foreshore for waterfowl and waders
  • Coastal headlands for migrants on passage, divers, grebes, seaduck and seabirds
  • Woodland for early morning birdsong
  • Inland valleys and hills for passerine and other species

Occasionally we go further afield – e.g. a recent weekend to the Cairngorms for Capercaillie and Crested Tit and other Scottish birds.

Everyone is made welcome on a field trip – beginner and expert, young and old, resident and visitors. All you need to bring are your binoculars, some refreshments on an all day trip, and for most trips walking boots or Wellingtons and warm waterproof clothing are recommended. Please follow the directions of the field trip Leader and comply with the Country Code. Non-members joining a field trip are asked to give a donation of £2.

Help with identification is always available on North Northumberland Bird Club field trips.

Each field trip is reported in the NNBC Newsletter.

Please click on the link below: – All participants on field trips must study and adhere to the following risk assessment.  NNBCRiskAssessment