Events

With a decline in the rate of Covid infections and an easing of restrictions, we are planning to return - with care - to a programme of field excursions.

We shall be observing appropriate social distancing and will not be offering to arrange shared travel. For that reason there is no need to meet at a central point in Durham City for the time being, so each outing will have its own meeting point at, or close to, our destination.

For the more distant destinations we will want to ensure that everyone who is intending to take part has reached the correct meeting point, so for the Saturday outings could you please notify your intention to attend and, if possible, provide a mobile phone number to David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk - Tel.: 0191-386 7201.

May 2021

Sat
22

Day trip to Allen Banks

Location: The entrance to Allen Banks is to the south of the A69 beyond Haydon Bridge and about a mile before Bardon Mill. The plan is to meet in the National Trust car park (free for National Trust Members) at 10.15 a.m. - (grid reference NY797641). So we can ensure that everyone who is intending to take part reaches the correct meeting point, please notify your intention to attend and, if possible, provide a mobile phone number to David Sowerbutts.
Latitude/longitude: 54.970635,-2.316960 (Google map)

Birds to look for include Wood Warbler, Redstart, Marsh Tit and Pied Flycatcher, as well as more widespread species such as Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Nuthatch and a good range of warblers and other songbirds. Some of the paths run alongside the river and sightings of Dipper, Goosander, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper are likely, while nearby farmland may be home to a range of passerine species.

Mammals in the woodlands include red squirrel and dormouse, though the chances of seeing either are not high!

The proposed walk may include some uneven ground, so suitable footwear is needed. If time allows, Allen Banks will be combined with a visit to contrasting habitat to increase the range of species seen on the day.

Time: Meet at 10.15 am. We will be returning to Durham between 7.00 pm and 8.00 pm.

Price: Free

Telephone: 0191 386 7201

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk

June 2021

Tue
1

Evening trip to Northwest Durham

Location: Please meet at the Hawkburn Head car park to the west of Smiddyshaw Reservoir (grid reference NZ031454) at 6.30 p.m. Various options beyond this point are still under consideration and the final choice will depend on information to be obtained over the coming days; it is likely that we will drive a bit further before starting the walk, which may be in an area new to the Group or may be somewhere we have visited in past years.
Latitude/longitude: 54.803437,-1.952340 (Google map)

Moorland birds should include a range of breeding waders as well as Red Grouse, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Wheatear - and there is always a chance of Cuckoo. The most likely raptor will be Buzzard. We will also aim to include waterside habitat in the form of one of the small reservoirs and/or a stream, perhaps with woodland.

Time: 6.30 pm

Price: Free

Telephone: 0191 386 7201

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk

Sat
12

Day trip to Alwinton and Harbottle

Location: Alwinton is the 'last village in Upper Coquetdale' in Northumberland, about ten miles beyond Rothbury. Please meet in the village car park (grid reference NT919063) at 10.30 a.m. So we can ensure that everyone who is intending to take part reaches the correct meeting point, please notify your intention to attend and, if possible, provide a mobile phone number to David Sowerbutts.
Latitude/longitude: 55.350960,-2.128270 (Google map)

The Group has visited Alwinton in the past, though not since 2003, when the birds close to the village included Siskin on a garden feeder, Red-legged Partridge, Spotted Flycatcher and Grey Wagtail. Harbottle will be new to the Group. The Northumberland Wildlife Trust reserve at Harbottle Crags includes moorland, Harbottle Lough and conifer plantation and the website mentions Snipe, Curlew, Wheatear and Whinchat on the moorland habitat, with Merlin and Short-eared Owl occasionally seen. Goosander is common in the area and the Coquet, the Alwin and other streams may provide sightings of Dipper, Grey Wagtail and other riparian species.

Time: Meet at 10.30 am. We will be returning to Durham about 8.00 pm.

Price: Free

Telephone: 0191 386 7201

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk

Fri
25

Nightjar Evening

Location: The meeting point for this outing will be by Wolsingham Railway Station (grid reference NZ074368) at 8.30 p.m.
Latitude/longitude: 54.726432,-1.885468 (Google map)

We should have time to observe birds, such as Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Heron on the river, with the possibility of Spotted Flycatcher nearby, before moving on to the Nightjar site. Many Nightjar sites are also good for Woodcock, some of which should still be "roding", and there is the possibility of other crepuscular species such as Tawny Owl. Since Nightjars are not active until after sunset, return to Durham may well be after midnight. Midges can be a problem - insect repellent may help!

Time: Meet at 8.30 pm. Return to Durham probably after midnight.

Price: Free

Telephone: 0191 386 7201

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk

July 2021

Sat
31

Day trip to Teesmouth

Location: Timings and meeting arrangements will be available nearer the time.

A date for your diary. We hope to run our annual visit to Teesmouth sites, including RSPB Saltholme. Further details will be available in due course.

Time: TBC

Price: Free

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk

October 2021

Sat
2

Day trip to Holy Island

Location: Timings and meeting arrangements will be available nearer the time.

A date for your diary. We hope to run our annual visit to Holy Island. Further details will be available in due course, but it will be necessary to leave Durham by 8.30 am in order to reach Holy Island within the safe crossing times.

Time: 8.30 am

Price: Free

E-mail: David.Sowerbutts@dunelm.org.uk