Newsletters

The Newsletter is now available as a pdf file on the Newsletter-PDFs drop down menu. Newsletters will not be added to this page in future. However any Trip Reports will still be added separately on the Trip-Reports page.

The Newsletter is prepared each month by the Newsletter Editor with input from the committee and the membership. The majority of Bird Group members now receive it by email. A printed copy is available at each of our Indoor Meetings for people who do not have email access. The content is mainly of interest to BG members; extracts which may be of wider interest are published here.

NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2018

TONIGHT'S MEETING (Friday 23rd November)

This evenings talk is by Paul Hobson and will show his photographs on his trip to Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa.

Paul started photography about 40 years ago with a Pentax SLR using slide film. This seems a bit like the Stone Age today but it did teach him a lot about how to operate a camera well, there was no checking on the back screen then!

Paul has won a number of prestigious international awards. He has been highly commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2008), a category winner and highly commended in European Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2010 + 14) and Festival de l'Oiseau et de la Nature (voted the public's favourite image in 2013) and has had numerous images featured in British Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2009-14).

I am sure that we will all enjoy this evening’s talk and photographs.

FIELD TRIPS

Our next coach trip is this weekend on Sunday 25th November to Attenborough Nature Reserve near Nottingham, departing from the Guild at 8am.

The reserve is primarily wetlands formed from restored gravel extraction works, although there is a substantial woodland cover as well. All the usual wetland and woodland birds should be seen. Feeders attract many small birds, particularly tree sparrows. There are usually bitterns present but of course very hard to see. There is a Nature Centre with a café and shop on the reserve. We last visited the reserve in 2014.

Book your seat at the desk.

Our December outing is a local car trip to Pennington Flash followed by our Christmas lunch (see next item)

CHRISTMAS LUNCH

The Christmas Lunch is booked for 1230 on the 15th December at the Rope & Anchor, Paddock Lane, Dunham Massey, WA14 5RD. Prior to the meal we are going for a morning bird watch at Pennington Flash - meet at Wilmslow Guild at 0815 or at Pennington Flash main car park (pay & display) at 0900.

Can those attending the lunch please pay any outstanding balance at the indoor meeting on the 23rd November and also select your choice if you haven't already done so. Thanks.
ANNETTE R

WEEKEND AWAY – Final payment for Minsmere
As our December meeting is looking extremely busy, it would be a great help if as many of our members as possible could pay at the November meeting. As I am unable to be there, Jenny will be collecting the cheques (please make cheques payable to WILMSLOW GUILD). If there are any queries I’ll deal with them on my return.
BARBARA P

COACH TRIP TO SPURN – 21 OCTOBER 2018

See Trip Reports section click here

NEXT MONTH’S MEETING

Our next indoor meeting is on Friday 7th December at 7:30pm when our speaker will be yours truly with a slideshow and talk about a birdwatching trip to Panama.

Following the talk we will have our Christmas Buffet which will also include the Group’s 50th anniversary celebration. There will be a nominal cost of £2 per head to cover the cost of the food, cake, and a celebratory (alcoholic) drink.

Hope to see you all then.

CAWOS INDOOR MEETINGS 2018  2019

All meetings are held in the hall at St Vincent's Roman Catholic Church, Tatton Street, Knutsford, WA16 6HR on the first Friday of the month, unless otherwise stated - please check the programme. There is a large and free car park off Tatton Street close to the hall.

An entrance fee of £2.00 to members and £4.00 for non-members will be charged at all meetings except the AGM when there will be free admission. A coffee break is taken halfway through the evening. The doors open at 7:30pm for a 7:45pm start.

Details of the next meeting are as follows –

7th December 2018
‘COSTA RICA - PARADISE OF THE NEOTROPICS’ by Keith Offord

Keith will explore the extraordinary array of birds and other wildlife found in Costa Rica. Forests drip with tanagers and warblers, and echo to the exotic utterances of Montezuma Oropendolas, while whole new families of birds can be discovered such as foliage-gleaners, antbirds and woodcreepers. Perhaps the most memorable are the iridescent hummingbirds which whiz around like large insects, pausing only to feed from nectar-producing flowers. High in the trees, fabulously coloured trogons might be spotted along with the aptly named Resplendent Quetzal. This talk covers the wildlife of the key habitats from cloud forests to coastal plains.

THE BEARDED TIT (REVISITED)

A couple of years ago I wrote in the newsletter about my experience of seeing the Bearded Tits at Leighton Moss in the autumn when they come out of the reedbed to forage for grit. A friend and I went up to Leighton Moss early last month to try to repeat the experience – and we certainly did!

Bearded%20Tits.jpg

We arrived at the car park just before 9am, to find that it was already half full. After a quick toilet stop we headed straight down to the public causeway where the RSPB have positioned some grit trays in a clearing in the reeds. I set up the camera on the tripod and settled down to wait.

While we waited we were entertained by a colourful cock pheasant that stomped around in the clearing by the grit trays. Also there were not one but two Water Rails present along the edge of the reeds at the far side of the clearing. It’s usually hard enough to see just one Water Rail, so to see two together was a rare treat.

We had about 45 minutes to wait before an excited but hushed buzz went round the crowd and two Bearded Tits, a male and a female, emerged from the reeds onto one of the three grit trays. It was fortunate that we had a pair on view as we could compare the more colourful male with his blue head and striking black moustache (not beard!) with the more plainly coloured female. Both birds were well ringed, with two coloured rings on each leg. By this means the RSPB can identify each bird individually and monitor the health of the population.

The birds initially stayed together on the same tray feeding avidly on the grit, heads down most of the time. Eventually they separated onto different trays then spent time circulating between the trays, sometimes together and sometimes apart. This was no fleeting glimpse of the Bearded Tits – they were on view for an incredible 17 minutes. Then they hopped into the reeds and they were gone.

Otter.jpg
Bearded%20Tit.jpg

We could have stayed to see if there were any other sightings, but we were both well satisfied with the views we had had so we moved along to the causeway hide where we had heard Otter mentioned. There was a massive crowd of photographers gathered at the far end of the hide. Apparently the otter was on the bank just 6 feet in front of the hide. However I couldn’t get near it because of said crowd. However, within a few minutes it was swimming and diving in the open water in front of the hide giving us a good view. It then caught an eel and swam back towards the hide, this time to the end where we were sitting. It stopped by a clump of reeds 25 feet out and proceeded to eat its catch so I now had the opportunity to get a few photos. Probably the closest Otter encounter I’ve ever had.

Leighton Moss is a remarkable reserve at any time of the year but well worth a visit during the Autumn months.

ROBERT D

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS

Still required – your articles for the newsletter. Tell us all about that birding holiday of a lifetime or that unusual visitor to your garden bird table.

Deadline is the Friday before the meeting.





NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2018

TONIGHT'S MEETING (Friday 19th October)

Tonight we welcome the return of Mike Roberts with a talk entitled “Plains, Cranes and
Autovians”.

Mike currently works as the Trees and Woodlands Officer with St Helens Council and
has worked within the environment for many years, including with the Mersey Valley
back in the Eighties. Through all of that time he has been a wildlife photographer and
has photographed a wide range of wildlife especially birds. He says that he has been
lucky to travel to many places, including Nepal, India, Costa Rica, Uganda, and Canada
but in recent years has concentrated his efforts in Spain. Mike has visited us on several
previous occasions, the last being in November 2015.

Please join me in welcoming Mike for what I am sure will be a very entertaining evening.

FIELD TRIPS

Our first coach trip is this weekend on Sunday 21st October to Spurn nature reserve on
the Yorkshire coast, departing from the Guild at 7:30am.

Over the years Spurn has proved to be a very successful destination for our first trip
because this reserve can be exceptionally good at this time of year - just about anything
can turn up here while migration is in full swing. A good variety of seabirds, waders and
wildfowl can be found on the coast and pools, while migrating passerines can be found
on the extensive scrub and bush area. There are toilets and a café available on site.
The next coach trip after that is on Sunday 25th November to Attenborough reserve
near Nottingham, departing from the Guild at 8am.

Book your seat for both trips at the desk.

CAR TRIP TO WOOLSTON EYES – 7th JUNE 2018

See Trip Reports section click here

BIRDING FROM LA MANGA (SPAIN) – APRIL 2018

Please visit Peter's Page on the Group website click here

CAWOS INDOOR MEETINGS 2018 - 2019

All meetings are held in the hall at St Vincent's Roman Catholic Church, Tatton Street,
Knutsford, WA16 6HR on the first Friday of the month, unless otherwise stated -
please check the programme. There is a large and free car park off Tatton Street
close to the hall.

An entrance fee of £2.00 to members and £4.00 for non-members will be charged at all
meetings except the AGM when there will be free admission. A coffee break is taken
halfway through the evening. The doors open at 7:30pm for a 7:45pm start.

Details of the next meeting are as follows –

2nd November 2018
‘SCILLY PELAGIC MAGIC’ by Jim Almond
Jim is now officially a ‘veteran’ of pelagic trips from St Mary's on the Isle of Scilly! With
44 trips under his belt (33 of them during the August seabird passage season!) he has
plenty of images and stories to tell from his time on MC Sapphire. A heavy sea in a
small boat is not to everyone's liking so sit back, relax and enjoy. From the ever present
Gulls, Fulmars and Gannets, the interest notches up a gear with Skuas, Petrels and
Shearwaters. It's not just about the birds either with Dolphins and Sunfish on offer, plus
some of the Blue Sharks landed for tagging studies. Find out how the birds are
attracted, the magic of ‘chum’ (without the smell) and some of his most exhilarating
birding moments ever, including an epic encounter with a Fea's Petrel.

CHRISTMAS LUNCH REMINDER

This year’s Christmas meal will be at the Rope and Anchor, Paddock Lane, Dunham
Massey on the 15th December for 12:30pm following the morning car trip to Pennington
Flash [apparently our favourite venue at Pennington Flash, The Raven, is closing
down!].

The cost is £23.00 for 2 courses or £28.00 for 3 courses
It is a £15.00 deposit per person which is due to be paid at the October meeting with
final full payments being due at the meeting on the 23rd November.

Copies of the menu will be available at Friday’s meeting.

ANNETTE R

NEXT MONTH’S MEETING

Our next indoor meeting is on Friday 23rd November at 7:30pm when our speaker will
be Paul Hobson with a talk entitled “Africa – Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya & South Africa”.

Hope to see you all then.

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS

Still required – your articles for the newsletter. Tell us all about that birding holiday of a
lifetime or that unusual visitor to your garden bird table.

Deadline is the Friday before the meeting.

Black-necked%20Grebe%20at%20Woolston%20Eyes.jpg

Black-necked Grebe at Woolston Eyes





NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2018

TONIGHT'S MEETING (Friday 28th September)

A warm welcome to all as we begin the 51st season of the Wilmslow Guild Birdwatching Group. As usual your Committee has been working hard to assemble an exciting programme of indoor and outdoor events that we hope will both entertain and educate the members over the coming year.

In a change to the advertised programme, John Gardner has kindly stepped in at the last minute to replace Brian White. The subject of John’s talk will be “Iberian Birding”.

Please join me in welcoming John for what I am sure will be a very entertaining evening.

FIELD TRIPS

Our first coach trip is on Sunday 21st October to Spurn nature reserve on the Yorkshire coast, departing from the Guild at 7:30am.

Over the years Spurn has proved to be a very successful destination for our first trip because this reserve can be exceptionally good at this time of year - just about anything can turn up here while migration is in full swing. A good variety of seabirds, waders and wildfowl can be found on the coast and pools, while migrating passerines can be found on the extensive scrub and bush area. There are toilets and a café available on site.

The next coach trip after that is on Sunday 25th November to Attenborough reserve near Nottingham, departing from the Guild at 8am.

Book your seat for both trips at the desk.

WEEKEND AWAY 22 - 24 FEBRUARY 2019

Continuing in the by now well established tradition, your committee has decided this year to return to Minsmere and the small family run hotel which made us so welcome last time. We will be staying at the Furzedown Hotel, Great Yarmouth.
Booking Forms are available tonight.

COST £174 per person sharing.
We have only 3 single rooms at £194.
Supplement for single occupancy of a double room is £40; total cost £214
£70 per person DEPOSIT payable by 19 October 2018
£104 per person BALANCE + any supplement + packed lunch money payable by December meeting – 07 December.
For non members of Birdwatching Group there is also a £15 supplement.

Cheques payable to WILMSLOW GUILD please.

The terms we have obtained from the hotel are very competitive, representing an excellent discount for the weekend on the current published rate.

INCLUDES Coach Travel
2 Nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

HOTEL Furzedown Hotel, 19-20 North Drive, Great Yarmouth. NR30 4EW
01493 844 138

As usual Single rooms are limited, so it would be helpful if singles would be willing to share.

We will be leaving the Guild at 7.30 am on the FRIDAY morning. This will mean that you may wish to take a packed lunch with you for Friday.

Packed lunches from the hotel will be available on the other days if required.
Price £6.50 per person per day if ordered on the Booking Form.

We aim to be back at the Guild early SUNDAY evening – approx. 7.30 pm.

As these trips have proved extremely popular over the last few years we would recommend that you make a firm booking early so that we can give priority to our members. Please see Barbara or Annette tonight with your booking form and deposit money.

Our itinerary for the weekend is as follows.

Friday: We intend to stop at a reserve on the way, spending the best part of the day there and aiming to arrive at the hotel 5.30 - 6.00 pm.

Saturday: Minsmere all day

Sunday: Birding around the local hot spots till about 2 pm. We aim to be back in Wilmslow 7.30 to 8.00 pm.

Don’t forget to bring your RSPB and WWT cards with you this weekend.

For those of you who have not been away with us before, you will enjoy some excellent birding at a number of sites and habitats in the area. Members will be willing to assist those without binoculars or telescopes to ensure that nothing is missed! Birding skills are NOT required as others will be on hand to help with finding and identifying birds for you. Our evening meal is a relaxed, enjoyable, sociable get-together.

Remember, as we will be birding on the way, DON’T put your optics in your case!

As we did last year, we would request that all members fill in the ICE form (In Case of Emergency).

Cancellation charges
After 28 October 2018:
loss of deposit plus a charge to cover fixed costs.
After 01 February 2019: no refund.

Any refund due will be paid after the trip.

Please keep this page for future reference.

Copies of the booking form and ICE form can be downloaded here: Booking Form and ICE. You may wish to print your booking form and fill it in ahead of the meeting.

FIELD TRIP TO RUTLAND WATER 29th APRIL 2018

See Trip Reports section click here

COACH TRIP TO BEMPTON CLIFFS & FLAMBOROUGH HEAD 13th MAY 2018

See Trip Reports section click here

CAWOS INDOOR MEETINGS 2017-2018

All meetings are held in the hall at St Vincent's Roman Catholic Church, Tatton Street, Knutsford, WA16 6HR on the first Friday of the month, unless otherwise stated - please check the programme. There is a large and free car park off Tatton Street close to the hall.

An entrance fee of £2.00 to members and £4.00 for non-members will be charged at all meetings except the AGM when there will be free admission. A coffee break is taken halfway through the evening. The doors open at 7:30pm for a 7:45pm start.

Details of the next meeting are as follows –

5th October 2018
‘WHITE AND WILD - NATURE IN COLDER CLIMES’ by Mark Sisson

Snow, ice and frost make for challenging conditions for wildlife in the winter months and this talk involves a photographic journey from Canada to Japan, Finland to Yellowstone and many more locations beside to see just how this creates both dramatic photographic opportunities, but also the chance to witness just how nature copes when the conditions are white and wild.

CHRISTMAS LUNCH

This year’s Christmas meal will be at the Rope and Anchor, Paddock Lane, Dunham Massey on the 15th December for 1230pm following the morning car trip to Pennington Flash [apparently our favourite venue at Pennington Flash, The Raven, is closing down!].

The cost is £23.00 for 2 courses or £28.00 for 3 courses
It is a £15.00 deposit per person which can be paid at the September/October meetings with final full payments being due at the meeting on the 23rd November.

Copies of the menu will be available at this Friday’s meeting.

ANNETTE R

NEXT MONTH’S MEETING

Our next indoor meeting is on Friday 19th October at 7:30pm when our speaker will be Mike Roberts with a talk entitled “Plains, Cranes, and Autovians”.

Hope to see you all then.

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS

Still required – your articles for the newsletter. Tell us all about that birding holiday of a lifetime or that unusual visitor to your garden bird table.

Deadline is the Friday before the meeting.

THE DARTFORD WARBLER

Datford%20Warbler

You are unlikely to see the delightful Dartford Warbler in Cheshire. Their main UK range is very much in the southern counties. However it is a possible species on our weekend away to Minsmere. They can be found on Dunwich and Westleton Heaths on the northern border of Minsmere reserve. Hopefully we may have an opportunity to look for them.
ROBERT D






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