Events

All events are open to any bird watcher or nature watcher. Generally our outdoor events are not suitable for children under 12, but exceptions may be made. Up to the age of 16, children should be accompanied by an adult.
The coach trips last all day and usually travel to distant reserves outside the range of a normal day's birding.
The Bins and Boots walks are leisurely walks of up to two and a half hours in the Stoke area led by an experienced local bird watcher.
The car sharing trips are to reserves outside the local area but probably within 60 miles of Stoke-on-Trent. We want to be flexible about these and suggestions about these trips are welcomed. If you can offer a lift or would like a lift please contact Geoff Sales by telephone at least a week before the trip you wish to attend so that he can put interested parties in contact with each other. These trips usually continue into the afternoon so remember to bring a packed lunch.
If you are interested in taking part in our outside activities but do not have binoculars, we have three pairs to lend on a first come first served basis for the duration of the activity.
Appropriate clothing and footwear to guard against the elements are recommended for outdoor activities.

April 2020

Wed
15

April Indoor Meeting 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

FLORIDA BIRDING HIGHLIGHTS
PAUL HOBSON
Originally from Manchester, Paul went to Sheffield to study for a degree in Environmental Science in the late 1970's where he specialised in wildlife conservation. He trained as a teacher and worked as a lecturer in Environmental Science in Sheffield for 20 years before becoming a full-time wildlife photographer.
When Paul was at university he was out on the Peak's moors recording bird nests for the BTO when he met a bird photographer. A chance conversation led to a session in a hide focussing on a redshank's nest - he was hooked! He spent the next few years working from hides where he learnt much of the field craft that is vital to become a successful wildlife photographer.
Paul has written four books so far: 'Wild Derbyshire', 'Wildlife Photography Field Skills and Techniques', 'The Art of Fungi Photography' and 'The Life and Times of Henry Seebohm' (a Victorian ornithologist, traveller and steel maker). If you are shivering in Britain, why not come with us this evening to the warmth of Florida. Although well-known for its tourist attractions, it can offer superb birdwatching opportunities too. The birds can be amazingly tame, which makes it one of the best places in the world to practise your bird photography.
SPONSORED BY BENTLEY'S CATERING FOR ALL OCCASIONS
Tel: 01782 554200; Mob: 07879 675198

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
26

Birdwatching Trip to Rutland Water 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Rutland Water, near Oakham, Rutland
Postcode: LE15 8BT (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
This extensive reserve has a variety of habitats, including three large lagoons, providing suitable haunts for a wide variety of waders and wildfowl throughout the year. On our last visit, the warden's introductory talk was interrupted by the appearance of tree sparrows right in front of the visitor centre window. There are more than thirty hides to make use of on the reserve.
Areas of willow scrub and young plantations attract warblers, nightingales and other passerines. There are ancient hay meadows, small areas of ancient woodland and hedges which help to encourage species of wild flowers, butterflies and moths that are rare elsewhere. The highlight of our last visit was the breeding ospreys and we hope to see them again on this visit as they start nesting.
Facilities include toilets and shop. Refreshments and hot drinks are available.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Tue
28

Bins and Boots Walk - Dimmingsdale - 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Dimmingsdale, Alton - O.S.Ref. SK062432
Meet and park on visitors' car park of the Rambler's Retreat, Red Road, between Oakamoor and Alton.

Postcode: ST10 4BU (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Dimmingsdale is a wooded valley with a series of dammed lakes along the course of a small stream, with the usual ducks, Canada geese, coots etc. Much of the lower part of the valley is covered by coniferous forestry plantation with rhododendron undergrowth (gradually being removed). However, the walk will take to the valley sides, which have more natural vegetation and deciduous trees with a good chance of seeing buzzard, kestrel and sparrow hawk. The start and finish will be the Ramblers Retreat Tea Rooms which has several bird feeders attracting the typical woodlanders including all the usual tit species plus the rarer marsh/willow tit and perhaps pied flycatcher.
Leader: Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

May 2020

Sun
17

Birdwatching trip to RSPB South Stack 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: RSPB South Stack Cliffs, Anglesey
Postcode: N25 7RX (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Our main destination for the day is RSPB South Stack but if time allows we may pay a brief visit to see black guillemots in Holyhead harbour before going on to see the auks and choughs on the sea cliffs. Enjoy a close-up view onto a wonderful cliff-side nesting colony where guillemots, razorbills and puffins can all be seen. There is now excellent RSPB provision at South Stack with a full range of hot and cold food available. There is also a shop. There are no hides at South Stack so please bring suitable clothing in case of inclement weather.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Wed
20

May Indoor Meeting 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

BORN TO REWILD? THE IMPORTANCE OF REWILDING & RESTORATION IN THE UK
HARVEY TWEATS
Harvey is a young wildlife campaigner who has been fascinated by the natural world for as long as he can recall. He has spent the last two years studying wildlife across the UK, chasing one beast in particular across the countryside - the Eurasian beaver. Harvey has worked on the Devon beaver trial, assisting the scientists in their research as well as captive breeding a variety of European protected species. He has also volunteered for the Wildlife Trusts and written articles for the RSPB Wingbeats magazine.
Beavers went extinct in Britain about 300 years ago, yet they are ecosystem engineers, organisms that actively change the environment, benefiting many other species. In this presentation Harvey will use the example of beavers to demonstrate the ability of the natural world to regenerate itself and how reintroducing this and other species can repair, restore and 'rewild' the environment.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Thu
21

Bins and Boots Walk - Greenway Bank Country Park 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Greenway Bank Road, Knypersley OS Ref: SJ889551
Meet at the Visitor Centre car park (NOT the Lakeside).
Take the A527 towards Biddulph. After passing through Brindley Ford village turn right by the old Matador Pub and follow the brown signs. Turn into the visitor centre, the first car park on the left, off Greenway Bank Road. Toilets available on site.
Latitude/longitude: 53.093263,-2.166839 (Google map)

Situated less than two miles from Biddulph and only five miles from the centre of the Potteries, the Country Park offers a wide range of attractive scenery and wildlife. This park is the remains of two 18th century estates now managed by Staffordshire County Council. There are 150 acres of mature woodland with two connected dammed lakes, streams and a small waterfall.
We will be looking for wildfowl on the two lakes as well as the many woodland birds that abound. At this time of the year we should see spring migrants such as chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap and hirundines as well as water birds and there may be a chance of spotting dipper, kingfisher and willow tit.
Leader - Peter Durnall

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

June 2020

Tue
2

Bins and Boots Walk - Manifold Valley 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Car parking on Old Rail Track, OS Ref. SK091577, Explorer map OL24.
From Leek take A523 towards Ashbourne. Turn left at crossroads for Onecote just past the speed camera(50mph) Pass through Onecote and Warslow, turning right just beyond Warslow for Hulme End. Go over the Manifold bridge and turn right by the Manifold Hotel, drive for about 300yds and turn right. Follow the road for about 2 miles until you come to Swainsley Tunnel. Do not enter the tunnel but turn sharp right and park in the car park about 200 yards down the track.
Latitude/longitude: 53.116921,-1.865378 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. The Manifold is a tributary of the River Dove and, for part of its course, runs underground. Dippers are common together with both spotted and pied flycatcher, redstart, dipper and the elusive wood warbler. Possible raptor sightings might include goshawk, peregrine or even hen harrier. Little, barn, tawny and short-eared owls are also known to be present. Numerous red kites were seen in 2012, while several pairs of ravens were present in 2014. Please be aware that the terrain may be difficult in wet weather.
There will be an option to have lunch at the Manifold Hotel.
Leaders - Peter Durnall/Geoff Sales

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
7

Birdwatching Trip to Paxton Pits 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Paxton Pits, Huntingdon
Postcode: PE19 6ET (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Paxton Pits lies near Huntingdon and from a small nature reserve in the 1980's it has become a very popular reserve for birds and people. Birds, especially nightingales and lesser whitethroat at this time of year, are the main source of interest for many visitors but throughout the summer Paxton Pits is alive with insects, including butterflies, moths and dragonflies. It is also ablaze with wild flowers. The most shy group are mammals, many of which appear only before most visitors arrive or after they've gone. Bucking the trend, though, are otters which sometimes can be seen right through the day.
Facilities include a visitor centre where a range of light refreshments can be purchased. Toilets are available.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

July 2020

Fri
24

Butterfly Walk - Silverdale Country Park 2020 - CANCELLED

Location: Cannel Row near Silverdale Enterprise Centre OS Ref: SJ812469
Directions: Take Scot Hay Road out of Silverdale, passing over two mini-roundabouts. You shortly come to a set of traffic lights, turn right (signposted Silverdale Enterprise Centre) onto Kents Lane, then right again onto Cannel Row. Park towards the end (it's a dead end).
Postcode: ST5 6SR (Google map)

Weather permitting, an al fresco lunch (bring your own picnic), will be followed by a two hour walk around Silverdale Country Park led by Geoff Sales. The area provides suitable habitat for a range of blues, browns, coppers, skippers and vanessids together with day-flying moths such as the 5-spot and 6-spot burnet moths. Then there are the dragonflies... So come along and enjoy an afternoon out of doors with plenty to see!
Geoff Sales' Mobile 07397 169452

Time: Picnic 12.45 pm onwards; Guided Walk 1.30 pm.

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

September 2020

Wed
16

September Indoor Meeting 2020

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

SHETLAND TO SCILLY - BIRDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES
ASHLEY GROVE
Brought up in the Warwickshire countryside, it was hard for Ashley not to develop an interest in wildlife, and in particular birds. Those early years of birding gave him invaluable experience when he turned wildlife photographer in 2005. Now a full-time photographer covering a wide range of subjects, Ashley says, 'now at least I have an excuse to get out and about more and further enhance my portfolio of wildlife and landscape images.' In addition, Ashley owns the business 'Experience Nature', which specialises in wildlife watching and photography holidays.
As the title suggests, this presentation takes the audience on a journey all the way from Shetland, right down to The Isles of Scilly. Basically, it's a good excuse to show us some of Britain's most wonderful bird life. Over 130 species make an appearance during the talk, so come along this evening and hear about Ashley's latest exploits in search of wildlife and experience an array superb photographic imagery.
http://www.experiencenature.co.uk/

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
20

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Conwy 2020

Location: RSPB Conwy, Conwy, North Wales
Postcode: LL31 9XZ (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Situated on the banks of the Conwy estuary, with magnificent views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, this reserve is delightful at any time of year and is of particular interest for waders . More than 200 different species have been seen at this reserve. The autumn highlight species are black-tailed godwit, whimbrel, shelduck and buzzard. Certainly something to look forward to. RSPB Conwy is very popular and has three hides and four viewing screens. You can have a good day's birding without leaving the visitor centre where there are toilets and an RSPB shop besides an excellent well-provisioned café.
In the afternoon we have the opportunity to visit Llanfairfechan, a coastal location where birds can be observed on the shoreline as well as further out to sea.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Thu
24

Bins and Boots Walk - RSPB Consall Woods 2020

Location: RSPB Consall Woods, (off A522 near Cellarhead). Meet at the Visitor Centre car park
Landranger: SJ993485
Postcode: ST9 0AF (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Consall Woods are situated within the beautiful valley of the River Churnet. Part of the reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and here the emphasis is on nature conservation, whilst at the same time welcoming the public to enjoy the paths and wildlife. Toilet facilities may be open. Some parts of the walk may be steep.
Leader: Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

October 2020

Sat
10

Bins and Boots Walk - Trentham Estate

Location: Trentham Monkey Forest Car Park - Grid Ref: SJ869391
Follow the A34 from Newcastle towards Tittensor, turn right at the roundabout where the Monkey Forest is signposted.
Latitude/longitude: 52.949459,-2.1964087 (Google map)

From the car park, we'll walk across a meadow by the side of woodland before entering the wood. The path weaves upwards, eventually reaching the monument. From there, we'll meander along other tracks through woodland (which dominates the walk), before descending again by a different track.
Great spotted and green woodpecker are often seen in this woodland, while lesser spotted woodpecker isn't impossible. We can expect other woodland birds too including jay, various warblers, mistle and song thrush, nuthatch, rook, kestrel, along with the usual tits and finches.
Leader - Geoff Sales

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
21

October Indoor Meeting 2020

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

A LANE IN BRAZIL
MIKE LANE
Mike is a full-time, Midlands based wildlife photographer specialising in birds and mammals. He carries out informative and fun workshops across the UK and supplies a wide range of photography accessories. Brazil is a country that he has visited three times. Each visit has included time spent in the amazing Pantanal, a huge wetland area full of birds such as hyacinth macaw and it is one of the best places to see and photograph the elusive jaguar. The presentation also includes pictures of the giant river otter, capybara and nut cracking capuchin monkeys, as well as a multitude of colourful birds.
An opportunity not to be missed to experience some of Brazil's magnificent wildlife through Mike's lens.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
25

Birdwatching Trip to Spurn Point 2020

Location: Spurn Point, Humberside, East Yorkshire
Postcode: HU12 0UB (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Spurn is one of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's most iconic nature reserves. It is a wildlife-rich mosaic of beach, mudflats, saltmarsh, dunes, grassland, open water, saline lagoons and native sea buckthorn scrub.
Curlew, grey plover and knot use the saltmarsh to roost at high tide. Look out for merlin and peregrine which cause panic among the flocks of roosting waders when they start to hunt. Shelduck and brent geese are conspicuous on the mudflats at this time of year. Due to its prominent position, huge numbers of birds pass through Spurn during the autumn migration. The number and type of bird present varies literally from week to week and is influenced by the weather conditions.
At the crossroads, before you turn towards Spurn, there is the Spurn Heritage Coast Visitors Centre which has a small café. At the entrance to Spurn Point Nature Reserve is an information centre and bird observatory and the last toilet on Spurn.

Time: All day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

November 2020

Thu
5

Bins and Boots Walk - Rudyard Lake 2020

Location: Old Station Car Park, Rudyard. OS Ref: SJ 955578
From Leek take the A523 Macclesfield Road. After 1.5 miles turn left onto the B5331 and after passing under the old railway bridge, turn sharp left up the slope to the car park (free at present but charges may apply).
There are no toilets in the car park, but facilities are available at the Dam Head.

Latitude/longitude: 53.117954,-2.06771 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
We will explore the wetland areas below the dam along the feeder and around the River Churnet looking for winter migrants as well as the usual woodland and farmland birds. Kingfishers are also often spotted in this area. There is always a chance of seeing goldeneye, wigeon and other ducks on the reservoir itself.
Leader - Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
18

November Indoor Meeting 2020

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

THE WILD WOOD
KEITH OFFORD
Keith has visited us many times and never fails to entertain and interest us. Whilst Keith needs no introduction to our members, he may not be as well known by general visitors to this venue. Keith established a passion for birds at an early age, and a childhood of birdwatching led to a particular interest in birds of prey. He studied raptor hunting behaviour at Liverpool University as part of his zoology degree. Although primarily a field ornithologist, he is also a keen photographer and has a wealth of images to illustrate his talks. Each title is a careful blend of science, anecdote and humour and will appeal to both novices and experts alike.
Tucked away in the hilly country bordering Shropshire and Wales there is a beautiful old 13-acre woodland, once inhabited for over 50 years by an old hermit. Massive stands of beech, oaks ash and cherry, dating back hundreds of years provide the perfect natural habitat for a wide variety of species. This talk explores the changing faces of this wood through the seasons, examining the rich spectrum of wildlife from pied flycatchers to elf cup fungi. The story also follows the management of the wood which includes the creation of glades and dead wood areas plus an extensive nest box scheme, further enhancing its attraction to wildlife. Against a backdrop of disappearing habitats, this is a truly uplifting subject, reminding us that good things really are happening in the UK.
Whether or not you have heard Keith speak before, come along and have a wonderful entertaining and interesting evening exploring 'The Wild Wood'.
http://www.keithofford.co.uk/

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
22

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Fairburn Ings 2020

Location: RSPB Fairburn Ings, Castleford, West Yorkshire
Postcode: WF10 2BH (Google map)

This is a coach trip organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
The three main trails at Fairburn Ings take you through a variety of habitats allowing stunning views of birds such as willow tits and tree sparrows in the woodland and lapwing, snipe and redshank in the wet grassland. Along the course of the nature trails there are five hides and a viewing platform.
In winter Fairburn hosts an array of swans, ducks and geese on the main lake, so there is always something to see. Large flocks of wigeon graze on the wet grassland. Flocks of wintering waders take to the skies when a peregrine appears on the lookout for a meal.
Facilities include toilets, RSPB shop and a café where one can buy hot drinks, cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

December 2020

Wed
9

December Indoor Meeting 2020

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

MEDITERRANEAN MAGIC - MALLORCA & MENORCA
STEVEN LOVELL
Steve Lovell established his own Garden Design & Landscaping company in 1993. In conjunction with the gardening services, Steve also undertakes Adult Education classes and has given lectures to groups and societies for the last 20 years including work for the RSPB. He has a wide range of talks using the information he has gleaned from his travels worldwide, from his native Lincolnshire to New Zealand via Scotland, Greece, Africa, India and the Caribbean.
In tonight's talk, Steve gives us the lowdown on Mallorca and Menorca - The scenery, it's wildlife and some of its lesser known residents.
http://www.stevelovellgreenspaces.co.uk/

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

January 2021

Wed
20

January Indoor Meeting 2021

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

PEAK DISTRICT RAPTOR MONITORING GROUP
MIKE PRICE
Mike is an Independent Raptor Worker and Bird Ringer based in Derbyshire. He is a member of the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, a small but dedicated group of volunteer field workers who, under licence from the BTO and Natural England, monitor and ring birds of prey and owls in the Peak District and surrounding areas. Their aims are to monitor the birds, participate in national surveys and identify real and potential threats as they arise. Most of the work done by Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, is done during the breeding season between March and September each year and tries to cover as much of the area as possible in the time available, but inevitably they don't manage to locate all the birds breeding in the area.
Find out more about the work undertaken by this group in tonight's in-depth presentation.
https://pdrmg.wordpress.com/

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
24

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor 2021

Location: RSPB Old Moor, Barnsley, Yorkshire
Postcode: S73 0YF (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Situated right at the heart of the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, Old Moor is a wonderful place to come and watch wildlife from the two nature trails. The skies, fields and open water are teeming with birds throughout the year. There are seven hides and two viewing screens out on the reserve and one overlooking the bird-feeding garden. There are two viewing platforms in the pond and picnic area. The bird feeding garden is at its busiest at this time of year, with tree sparrows, greenfinches, goldfinches and tits on the feeders. Spectacular flocks of golden plovers and lapwings take to the air, attracting peregrines on the lookout for a meal. The winter highlights include hundreds of colourful ducks such as teal and wigeon in full breeding plumage, yellowhammers and tree sparrows in the hedges, barn owls hunting during the day as food gets harder to find and watch the berry-covered trees for winter thrushes.
Facilities include toilets, a cafe (open 9.30 - 16.00 providing hot and cold drinks and lunches, cakes and biscuits) and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

February 2021

Tue
2

Bins and Boots Walk - Whitfield Valley Nature Reserve 2021

Location: Whitfield Valley Nature Reserve, Ford Green
Meet on car park by Ford Green Hall, B5051 Ford Green Road between Smallthorne and Norton.
O.S.Ref. SJ888508
Postcode: ST6 1NG (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Whitfield Valley Nature Reserve is one of the largest reserves in the city and boasts a wide range of habitats. The Ford Green Brook flows through the site and there are patches of grassland, hay meadow, heathland, hedgerow, ponds and scattered trees. Ford Green Reedbed, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is located at the southern end of the nature reserve and many ducks and other water birds breed and overwinter here. At the northern end of the reserve the spoil heap from the Chatterley Whitfield Colliery affords great views of the area. Skylark and grey partridge may be seen in the grassland and barn owls and kestrels hunt across the valley. Other notable species include water vole and snipe.
Leader -

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
17

February Indoor Meeting 2021

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

COSTA RICA EXPLORED
IAN BARTHORPE
A lifelong naturalist, Ian grew up in north Shropshire and has spent the last 22 years working for the RSPB in East Anglia. His current position is Visitor Experience Officer, RSPB Minsmere. Interests include birdwatching, general wildlife watching, photography, walking, travel, and supporting West Bromwich Albion Football Club.
With a huge range of wildlife to be seen, including more than 900 species of bird, Costa Rica has enormous potential as a wildlife-focussed tourist destination. Costa Rica does a lot to realise that potential: various National Park reserves, each with their lodges, gardens and/or elevated walkways and excellent, enthusiastic, guides to lead you around them.
So let Ian transport you to this tropical wonderland and learn what Costa Rica has to offer.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
21

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss 2021

Location: RSPB Leighton Moss, Silverdale, nr. Carnforth, Lancashire
Postcode: LA5 0SW (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in north-west England and home to some really special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers - you might see deer too. Choose from a selection of trails and hides and get right to the heart of the reedbed. Alternatively take the nature trail alongside two coastal lagoons to see lots of wading and water birds. Rarely have we been to Leighton Moss and not seen marsh harriers. Bearded tits are often seen on the grit trays along the causeway. Even the feeding station at the visitor centre can be exciting and from the Eric Morecambe hide there is a good chance of seeing migrant black-tailed godwits, avocets or even a merlin sitting in its favourite spot. The seven hides at Leighton Moss offer the opportunity to observe plenty of wildlife action - this is a good reserve to visit if you are new to birding.
We will stop before reaching the reserve to allow visits to the Eric Morecambe hide from where it is a very pleasant walk to the visitor centre. Facilities include toilets, RSPB shop and a very fine cafe.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

March 2021

Thu
4

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes 2021

Location: Sandbach Flashes Known as Elton Hall Nature Reserve O.S Ref: SJ727596
Take M6 north to Junction 17. Turn left on to A534. Continue straight on at Sandbach traffic lights bearing left opposite Waitrose, staying on the A534 towards Crewe. After passing through next roundabout in a ź mile turn right in to Elton Lane. In ž of a mile turn right at the junction, pass under the railway bridge and after 1 mile the Flashes are located on either side of the road. Parking is on the verges. No toilets.
Latitude/longitude: 53.132663,-2.412883 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. These flashes (pools) caused by subsidence due to salt mining are one of the best locations for wintering migrants in the area and are all designated SSSI's. There is a dedicated viewing area on the main Elton Hall Flash, the others being from the roadside. Many rare species have been seen here including glossy ibis and Iceland gull. Common species in the winter are wigeon, teal, pochard, gadwall, curlew, lapwing, shelduck, black-tailed godwit, ruff, redshank and snipe. The flash also hosts one of the largest gull roosts in the area.
Leaders: Geoff Sales and Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
17

March Indoor Meeting 2021

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

THE BARN OWL - IT'S PLIGHT AND THE WORLD OWL TRUST
ALAN PEACE
Alan began his working life as a printer but has also been a youth worker and a professional climbing instructor. His high altitude climbing career has sent him around the world to places such as The Alps, Russia, Argentina, Norway, Italy, Morocco, Tanzania and Mongolia.
He spent ten years as a volunteer lorry driver with the German Red Cross delivering humanitarian aid throughout Eastern Europe and for 27 years was the Senior Warden of the Himley Park estate near Dudley. He sits on the Board of Trustees for an international owl conservation charity and is an Ambassador and volunteer fund raiser for Cancer Research UK.
Today he is going to tell us about the barn owl and the World Owl Trust.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £5.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
21

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands 2021 [DATE MAY CHANGE DEPENDING ON TIME OF HIGH TIDE]

Location: RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Wirral
Latitude/longitude: 53.257862,-3.021908 (Google map)

This is a coach trip organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
This is our fifth visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, a newly developed reserve on the Dee estuary. We are going at a good time of the year - early spring with the chance of passage migrants. The reserve is well-watched as many scarce migrant birds have been seen in previous years. Little egret numbers are burgeoning and large roosts make it worthwhile being here just before dusk.
As well as our visit to Burton Mere we may be calling briefly at a nearby coastal birding site at high tide hoping to see raptors.
Facilities on the reserve include a visitor centre with toilets and a refreshments area where you can get a hot or cold drink and a snack. There are also two hides with 360-degree views, several view points and over 3 km of new footpaths to explore.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Sat
27

Bins and Boots Walk - Doxey Marshes 2021

Location: Doxey Marshes (Staffordshire Wildlife Trust) Nr. Stafford OS Ref: SJ903250
On the A5013 Eccleshall Road, very close to M6 Junction 14, look for a brown sign for the reserve and turn into Creswell Farm Drive then on to Wootton Drive. Meet and park at the car park. No toilets.
Postcode: ST16 1PU (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Doxey Marshes is a fantastic place to discover birds, over 200 species have been recorded, with more than 80 breeding species. Lying within the floodplain of the River Sow, which periodically breaches its banks, the marshes are subject to regular flooding. Wading birds love the shallow pools with muddy edges that this flooding leaves behind to forage for food. The reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its nationally important populations of lapwing, snipe and redshank, attracting many rare birds every year, including the first ever cattle egret and river warbler to be recorded in the Midlands Region. Recently the Trust has replaced the old metal hide and refurbished others and has also carried out other major improvements to the site.
Leader - Geoff Sales

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782519801

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com