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 2021

Wed
21

April Indoor Meeting 2021 - ZOOM PRESENTATION

Location: On line ZOOM Presentation

RSPB BEMPTON CLIFFS
WILL SCOTT
Will is currently in his final year studying Ecology and Conservation at the University of Lincoln and has had a passion for birds as long as he can remember. He is very interested in bird migration and has had ample opportunity to witness this, living as he does on east coast of North Yorkshire. He has also been involved in activities such as bird ringing, migration watches and nocturnal acoustic recording for migrants from his own garden. Will has visited Bempton his whole life and has volunteered there since 2016. Over the last few years he has been lucky enough see eastern-crowned warbler, find a sooty tern and see the black-browed albatross earlier this year, as well as some amazing migration spectacles.

This presentation about Bempton Cliffs will cover a year's wildlife activity on the reserve, talking about the different species that are typically on site as well as rarities that appear from time to time.

Contact Joan Hudson to receive your invitation to this ZOOM presentation.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Free

Booking essential

Telephone: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
25

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Ynys Hir 2021 CANCELLED

Location: RSPB Ynys Hir. Nearest town: Machynlleth, Powys
Postcode: SY20 8TA (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
We see this beautiful reserve in late spring after most of the migrants have arrived. Ynys Hir mixes Welsh oak woodland with wet grassland and salt marshes. In the spring the ground is carpeted in flowers and birdsong fills the air. You might see pied flycatchers and redstarts emerging from the nestboxes. Previous visits have given excellent views of wood warbler and cuckoos. We might also expect to see birds such as lapwings and redshanks and also some very special butterflies. Likely birds of prey include peregrines and red kites, together with distant views of nesting osprey. There are two main circular trails one 1.5 miles and the other 3 miles, giving access to five hides.
Facilities include toilets and a small visitor centre offering hot drinks and snacks.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Tue
27

Bins and Boots Walk - Deep Hayes Country Park 2021

Location: Park Lane, Nr. Cheddleton OS Ref: SJ960533
Meet at the Visitor Centre Car Park.
Take the A53 from Stoke on Trent Towards Leek. After passing through Endon in 2 miles turn right at the old New Inn pub in Longsdon. Fork left after ¼ mile and continue to a T-junction. Turn right crossing the canal and railway bridges. The entrance to the park is up a steep slope on the right just over a second canal bridge. Toilets available on site.

Booking required - Please contact Roger Birch via email. Rule of Six protocols will be followed.
Postcode: ST13 7JS (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
The Country Park is on the site of a former reservoir which provided compensation water to the River Churnet. It was drained some years ago and a series of small lakes was created, linked by streams and a couple of waterfalls. Many species of waterfowl are present together with Spring migrants. The mature woodlands hold most of the common species typical of this habitat and there is always a chance of seeing kingfishers, dippers and wagtails along the streams.
Leader - Peter Durnall

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Booking essential

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

May 2021

Thu
6

Bins and Boots Walk - Dimmingsdale - 2021

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:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
19

May Indoor Meeting 2021 - ZOOM PRESENTATION

Location: Online ZOOM Presentation

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 missing the sunshine 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.
http://www.paulhobson.co.uk/
Contact Joan Hudson to receive your invitation to this ZOOM presentation.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Free

Booking essential

Telephone: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
23

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Newport Wetlands 2021 - CANCELLED

Location: Newport Wetlands, Newport , Wales
Postcode: NP18 2BZ (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with viewing screens at intervals. You will enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round. Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.
During Summer grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonfly, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found on the site. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Look out for bearded tits, cuckoos, warblers, hirundines and waders.
Facilities include a new RSPB visitor centre with a café serving drinks and snacks and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

June 2021

Thu
3

Bins and Boots Walk - Greenway Bank Country Park 2021

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 - Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Sun
6

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Bempton Cliffs 2021 - CANCELLED

Location: RSPB Bempton Cliffs, near Bridlington, North Yorkshire
Postcode: YO15 1JF (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers
Bempton Cliffs is easily the best place in England to see, hear and smell seabirds! More than 200,000 birds at any one time (from April to August) make the cliffs seem alive, with adults bringing food to their nests, or young chicks making their first faltering flights. With huge numbers to watch, beginners can easily learn the difference between gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars. And the easily recognisable puffins (here between April and July) are always a delight to visitors. The birds are easy to see during breeding season - creating a fantastic seascape and bird spectacle. Only eight target seabird species breed here, so learning to identify birds is simple. There are five cliff-top viewpoints and a bird feeding station. Breeding tree sparrows, whitethroats, grasshopper warblers, sedge warblers, skylarks, linnets, reed buntings, rock and meadow pipits can be seen within 200m of the visitor centre and car park.
This trip will call at Flamborough Head on the way to Bempton and, if you are feeling energetic, you can take the walk along the cliffs between Flamborough and the reserve.
Facilities at Bempton include toilets, a tearoom offering hot drinks and snacks and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

July 2021

Fri
23

Butterfly Walk - Silverdale Country Park 2021

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!
Leader - Geoff Sales (Mobile 07397 169452)

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

Price: Free

Telephone:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

September 2021

Wed
15

September Indoor Meeting 2021

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: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
19

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Conwy 2021

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
30

Bins and Boots Walk - RSPB Consall Woods 2021

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

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

October 2021

Sat
9

Bins and Boots Walk - Trentham Estate 2021

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:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
20

October Indoor Meeting 2021

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: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
31

Birdwatching Trip to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve 2021

Location: Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, near Coventry
Postcode: CV3 3GW (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Brandon Marsh is a superb mosaic of open water, wetland and grassland which attracts a wonderful variety of wildlife. It is especially important for birds throughout the year. At the end of the nineteenth century the area was enclosed farmland with two small woodlands and small wetland areas in the flood plain of the River Avon. Today the landscape is totally different due to coal mining causing subsidence which led to the formation of "Brandon Floods", a large lake linked directly to the river, which first attracted wetland birds and birdwatchers to the site. Then from the 1950's to the 1980's quarrying creating further areas of open water and opportunities for wetland plants to colonise. Birdwatchers worked alongside the gravel company to enhance the area's wildlife value. In 1973 the importance of the site was recognised through its designation as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Then in 1981 Warwickshire Wildlife Trust entered into a formal agreement with the gravel company and has worked in partnership with the volunteer group and the company to create the marsh of today. Quarrying ceased in 1989 and today all that remains is a superb wetland nature reserve.
Facilities include visitor centre, tea room, eight hides, toilets and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

November 2021

Thu
4

Bins and Boots Walk - Rudyard Lake 2021

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:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
17

November Indoor Meeting 2021

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

MOTHS - THE NEW BIRDS
DAVE EMLEY
Known to Local Group members from 'Butterfly Walks' that he has led, Dave Emley BEM worked at Keele University as a technician for over 40 years until he retired in 2016. During that time he contributed an enormous amount of effort in showcasing the natural history and beauty of the campus - in addition to his day job - coming up with the idea to turn the campus into an arboretum and inspiring generations of staff, students and visitors. He continues to run free guided walks around the campus in his retirement. Dave's work has also encompassed involvement with natural history and conservation organisations outside the University - he has been Editor of the West Midland Bird Club's Annual Report since the early 2000's and also acts as Moth Recorder for Staffordshire - his wide knowledge of the world of both plants and animals makes him a true "Natural Historian".
'Moths - the New Birds' - very intriguing! This is a must - come and hear what Dave has to say.

Time: 7.30 pm

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

Telephone: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
21

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Martin Mere 2021

Location: WWT Martin Mere, near Burscough, Lancashireh
Postcode: L40 0TA (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Those of you who are regular trip members need no introduction to Martin Mere. This WWT reserve, featuring nine hides, is best known for the thousands of pink-footed geese it attracts each winter and for its internationally important numbers of migrant whooper swans. You may also like to take a leisurely stroll through the extensive series of enclosures featuring wildfowl collected from all around the world.
The feeding station (i.e. the restaurant) is extremely comfortable and sells a wide range of delicious goodies.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

January 2022

Wed
19

January Indoor Meeting 2022

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: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
23

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor 2022

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 thte 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 2022

Thu
3

Bins and Boots Walk - Downs Banks 2022

Location: Downs Banks (National Trust)
Landranger: SJ900365
Take the A34 South towards Stone, just after the Darlaston Roundabout/A51 Junction, turn left at next (new) roundabout onto Meaford Road, then right at next new roundabout. Bear left over the canal bridge onto Wash Dale Lane. Car park 1 mile on left, shortly after the ford.
Latitude/longitude: 52.926086,-2.149882 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Downs Banks is owned and managed by the National Trust. It's an area of woodland and heathland, with the Downs Banks Brook running through its glacial valley. It extends to 166 acres/67 hectares, with far-reaching views from its highest point. It was given to the NT by John Joule (of Joule's Brewery) in 1950. Summer-grazing cattle are employed to control bracken, etc. At this time of year a range of finches, tits and other woodland birds as well as heathland species can be expected.
Leader - Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
16

February Indoor Meeting 2022

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: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
20

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss 2022

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 righth 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 2022

Tue
1

Bins and Boots Walk - Doxey Marshes 2022

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:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com

Wed
16

March Indoor Meeting 2022

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: 01538 751460

E-mail: joan.hudson1@gmail.com

Sun
20

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands 2022

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

April 2022

Sat
16

Bins and Boots Walk - Apedale Country Park 2022

Location: Meet at the Energy Station Visitor Centre, Blackbank Road OS Ref: SJ822477
From Knutton (which is about a mile NW of Newcastle), take High Street then Blackbank Road (B5367) which is the road to Halmer End. After about a mile you will see two wind turbines to the right; these are at the Energy Station Visitor Centre where we will meet (free parking). Toilets available on site.
Latitude/longitude: 53.026813,-2.266123 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Apedale Country Park is one of Staffordshire's newer reserves, as recently as the 1990's some areas of the park were part of an open cast mine. However the area has been landscaped and restored and now provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. There are some 184 hectares of land, criss-crossed with footpaths and tracks leading to breezy heights, open meadows, secluded woodland glades and silent pools inhabited by water voles and great crested newts. There is an abundance of insect and bird life including skylark, lapwing and grey partridge.
Leader - Geoff Sales

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone:

E-mail: roger_birch@btinternet.com