Trip reports

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes

Thursday, 27 February 2020

The water levels at the Flashes were at their highest for many years. Indeed, the road itself had been flooded a few days before, which would have made access difficult. However, eight hardy souls braved the cold breeze and occasional wintery showers and were rewarded with some good sightings. More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Slimbridge

Sunday, 23 February 2020

It was a very wet start last Sunday, with most people staying in their cars in the Michelin Car Park, until the coach arrived. Although recent weather conditions, involving high winds and rain had resulted in serious flooding in some parts of the country, conditions at Slimbridge were not causing any issues and the forecast promised dry weather. No sooner had we started the journey than we discovered that the M6 was closed at Junction 10 due to an accident. Breakfast was taken at The Hollies truck stop, (with fast service and good value meals), before taking a diversion via Wolverhampton. Despite the detour we arrived at the WWT Slimbridge reserve at 10.30am, to be met by clearing skies. Whilst members were heading from the coach to the visitor centre a peregrine falcon was seen flying over the car park, surely a portent of good birding to come! As usual the group divided into small groups to explore the reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Westport Lake

Thursday, 30 January 2020

There was an excellent turnout for this walk, with nineteen people attending, including the welcome addition of a family group with two young lads. Those that remember Reg Davies, long time organiser of past Bins'n'Boots walks, were saddened to learn of his recent passing, following a long illness. Ian Woodward, leader for today's foray, set off anticlockwise around the lake and soon we were ticking off common and not-so-common bird species..... More...

Birdwatching Trip to Whisby Nature Park

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Although the forecasts for the day promised sunshine, it was a very misty and murky start for the 39 people that boarded the coach for our Sunday trip to Lincoln. As the coach passed Uttoxeter the fog began to clear and by the time we stopped for breakfast at Donnington Park there was clear blue sky and sunshine. This weather was to remain with us for the rest of the day. We arrived at the reserve exactly at 10.30 am to find the car park almost full as others took the opportunity to enjoy the good weather. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Tittesworth Water

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Despite the poor weather forecast, eight people turned up at Tittesworth Water, where we were pleased to welcome two new 'Bins & Boot'ers to the group. Following age old birding wisdom, i.e. 'never leave the Car Park', from the word go, we spotted some brilliant birds using the feeders immediately opposite the Visitor Centre...... More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Frampton Marsh

Sunday, 17 November 2019

There was a marked improvement in numbers attending on last month's trip, with 27 members turning out for this coach trip to the Lincolnshire coast. Although cold, the weather was dry as we set off from Stoke, the forecast promising a dry day. After a breakfast stop at Donington Services, we headed across country where we saw the evidence of the recent, heavy rainfall. We arrived at Frampton Marsh at 10.20am where, as usual, members headed for the warm visitor centre before their exploration of the reserve.... More...

Bins & Boots Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Thursday, 31 October 2019

We had a fine day for the walk, though it was quite cold and breezy. Of the 13 people who turned out, four were new to our field trips, and two of these were new to the group. So what did we see..... More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Blacktoft Sands

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Despite the forecast for good weather only 25 members attended this months coach trip. Breakfast was taken at Tibshelf Services by which time the sun had risen to reveal fine, blue skies. We arrived at the reserve in good time, well before the planned time of 10.30am, and members soon headed towards the main hides. Near to the visitor centre, feeders attracted greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch and tree sparrow.... More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Martin Mere

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Only 23 members attended the group's first coach trip of the 2019/2020 season. As the coach made its final pick up in, what could only be described as, damp and unpromising conditions the intention was to spend the morning at RSPB Marshside before moving on to Brockholes. Breakfast was taken at Lymm Services, where the roads were dry and patches of blue sky appeared, however this was not to last. As we approached Southport a message was received from Brockholes stating that we would have to cancel our visit due to the access road being flooded and impassable. The group identified WWT Martin Mere as the ideal alternative. We arrived at the reserve at 10.00 am and were relieved to find the site open. The group soon dispersed around the reserve to make their explorations.... More...

Butterfly Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Friday, 19 July 2019

Despite a pretty abysmal weather forecast, which must have deterred many, we were actually granted a rain-free 90 minutes; and so it was that the 'Foolhardy Five' sallied forth.... More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Sunday, 9 June 2019

An early start for thirty-one expectant birders who set off for Titchwell on this final coach trip of the season. After breakfast at the farm shop at Sutton Bridge, some people spotting red kite and barn owl en route, we duly arrived at the reserve at about 10.30 - and the sun was shining! There was a muntjac sitting in the grass right in front of the visitor centre, red admiral and blue butterflies fluttered, dragonflies and blue damselflies danced over the pools, then there were the birds...... More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Whitemore Nature Reserve

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Six members assembled at the start of the walk and common bird species were quickly notched up including house martin, goldfinch and jay. Walking down the road to the Nature Reserve there was an excellent sighting of male greenfinch, which glowed yellow-green in the bright sunshine. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - RSPB Coombes Valley

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A warm, fine day attracted a group of eleven to RSPB Coombs Valley, with a couple of attendees joining the RSPB on the day (recruited by our own Neville Jones who volunteers at the Visitor Centre every Tuesday). Sitting by the bird feeders next to the Visitor Centre, as the group assembled, proved worthwhile, with sightings of great, blue and coal tit, goldfinch, chaffinch and jay. Then out into the reserve.... More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Ynys Hir

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Thirty-two members made an early start for the coach trip to the RSPB Ynys Hir reserve, in West Wales. Although it was an overcast and rather cool start to the day, following our breakfast stop at Telford Services, blue sky soon appeared in the west. We passed through beautiful Welsh countryside with wooded slopes and open fields and the occasional sightings of red kite. We arrived at the reserve at 10.40am and parked outside the entrance gate. As the group walked down the lane towards the reception many stopped to view pied flycatcher and wood warbler, both of which were calling clearly. As usual the party split up into smaller groups in order to explore the reserve. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to RSPB Sherwood Forest

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Only three of us made the pilgrimage to see the Major Oak at RSPB's new Sherwood Forest reserve. None the less, we were all duly impressed by the magnificence of this 1,150 year old tree, as well as the architectural lines of the brand new Visitor Centre, with its shop on the upper floor and spacious café on the lower level. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss

Sunday, 28 April 2019

It was a damp start to the day for those members who boarded the coach for our trip to the RSPB Leighton Moss reserve, south of the Lake District. As predicted, the skies began to clear as we passed over the Manchester Ship Canal and by the time we had reached the exit for Carnforth, the sky was bright and promised a warm sunny day. Nearly half of the group were dropped off before we arrived at the visitor centre allowing them to explore the coastal region from the Eric Morecambe Hide. The remainder continued to the reserve where we were given a brief overview of current sightings. As usual the group soon split up to explore the reserve in small groups. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Ladderedge Country Park

Thursday, 25 April 2019

In my endeavour to try out new venues, we visited this beautiful area just outside of Leek. The park consists of two contrasting areas, each side of the A53 road, at the bottom of Ladderedge Hill. There were only five attendees, probably due to Easter being very late this year, but the weather was kind and the forecast rain stayed away until the afternoon. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Parkhall Country Park

Thursday, 28 March 2019

On the weather front, we couldn't have wished for a better day. It was great to see that work on the new visitor centre is well under way; the structure looks to be fireproof, so it shouldn't suffer the same fate as its predecessor! More...

Birdwatching Trip to Far Ings

Sunday, 24 March 2019

A bright blue sky greeted those members who boarded the coach for our trip to the Far Ings reserve on the Humber Estuary. Following a good breakfast en-route we reached the reserve at 10.30am precisely. Although the weather remained fair it soon became obvious that the prevailing wind from the west was far from slight especially when walking on the flood defence barrier along the River Humber. As usual the group soon split into small groups exploring the reserve with many noting that the nearby hotel had reopened and was offering afternoon tea.... More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The warmest February day ever recorded greeted thirteen of us to the flashes, quite a contrast from the storms and heavy rain of previous winter visits! The water levels were down on normal and indeed the shallow pool opposite Elton Hall Flash had dried out! More...

Birdwatching Trip to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Although foggy at the time of departure the forecast for the day ahead was promising. As we drove down the M6 Toll Road patches of blue sky started to appear and by the time we reached the reserve the fog had disappeared revealing blue sky and sunshine. As usual, on arrival, closing times of the café were established before members started to explore the reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Dane-in-Shaw Pasture

Thursday, 24 January 2019

What a grey day! Nevertheless, following early sightings of a grey heron and a pair of goosander in flight, murky conditions did not deter nine members setting off from The Castle Inn and along the old railway track which runs on an embankment above the course of the Dane-in-Shaw Brook (a tributary of the River Dane). Hazel catkins replaced the sun as a welcome source of brightness, together with cheerful birdsong supplied by robins, blue and great tits and nuthatches. Very noticeable was the fact that the tits were already paired up for the ensuing breeding season. Fields to the east of the old railway provided a highlight of the day in the form of a large flock of redwing in treetops above the hedgerows. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The first trip of 2019 saw only 28 members take to the road. Sadly, winter colds and flu had affected quite a few members. Although cool, the weather was dry and would hopefully remain so for the remainder of the day.... More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Deep Hayes Country Park

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A damp overcast morning greeted eight of us at the park, but fortunately the rain held off for most of our morning walk..... More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Martin Mere

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Thirty-one members made the trip to Martin Mere Wetland Centre on a sunny but chilly autumn day. After a breakfast stop at Lymm Services we arrived at the WWT site at 10.15 and once entrance fees were paid the group dispersed. More...

Birdwatching Trip to YWT Spurn Point

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Only 27 members booked for the trip to Spurn Point. Although dark, the weather was dry and mild as we headed out of Staffordshire towards the M1. Dawn rose with at first a clear orange, then blue sky, which was a very favourable start indeed. After the usual breakfast stop, this time at Tibshelf Service Station, we continued our long journey, arriving at the reserve at 10.10am. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Carsington Water

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The day was one of those Indian Summer days - pleasantly warm and dry. A nice backdrop for a birding trip. More...

BIrdwatching Trip to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Thirty members made the decision to attend the first coach trip of the season despite the threats of heavy rain and high winds during the previous week. Sunday morning however, proved to be dry, all be it with grey skies. As there had been reports of various birds having been blown towards the shoreline by the recent high winds the decision was made by the group to head direct to the seafront at Hoylake before visiting Burton Mere. More...

Butterfly & Botany Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Friday, 20 July 2018

The weather forecast preceding this event was somewhat mixed, so I for one was surprised by the excellent turnout - 22 in total. The weather turned out OK with just the occasional spot of rain. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Lakenheath Fen

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Thirty-seven members braved the early start to join us on the last coach trip of the season. The weather started off fine with blue sky, however this soon degenerated into cool misty conditions. The breakfast stop was completed and the weather still remained misty, however as we passed Cambridge blue sky started to show and shortly after our arrival at 10.45am the sky cleared and the sun came out. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Dimmingsdale

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Due to the Red Road being closed off from the Oakamoor end, things did not start off well! In fact this led to more than half of prospective attendees not getting to the Ramblers Retreat start point and doing a walk in Cotton Dell instead, leaving just three members to do the scheduled Dimmingsdale walk. Nevertheless, for the three of us, there were some fantastic sightings. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Church Lawton Woodlands

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The woodlands were looking at their best on this lovely sunny morning as six of us enjoyed the wealth of birdsong and the majestic mature oak, beech, birch and sycamore now in full leaf. It is always difficult to spot the smaller birds at this time of year as they flit among the branches looking for insects and caterpillars to feed their young, but we kept our eyes peeled. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Newport Wetlands

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Brilliant sunshine. 'Brilliant!!' That was the reaction of the thirty members, dressed in T-shirts and even (in some cases) short trousers, as they eagerly boarded the coach for our first ever group trip to Newport Wetlands. And what a revelation. Arriving ahead of schedule at 10.10 AM the party spilled off the coach and out onto the verdant reserve. Although the site's industrial past and present are very evident (with a coal fuelled power station adjacent and associated electricity pylons crossing the reserve), more distant views inland towards the hills and especially the views from the coastal path were magnificent. Now to spot some wildlife........ More...

Car Share Birding Trip to RSPB Middleton Lakes

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Spring was in full swing on Thursday 3rd May, with some sun at last, when seven regular 'car-sharers', together with two U3A members, descended upon Middleton Lakes. The day turned out to be one where all of the senses were well and truly stimulated. Read on...... More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Consall Nature Park

Thursday, 26 April 2018

The weather was kind to us for this outing, and fourteen of us were gathered on the car park. Unlike an earlier outing here, there were no pied flycatchers singing around the car park. For anyone who's never visited this reserve, it's well worth trying out. The path down from the car park passes through woodland, then a vehicular track brings you out by a bridge over the Caldon Canal; next to the canal is a working railway line - steam trains use it on selected dates from Easter-October - and across a level crossing is the Black Lion pub. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Rutland Water

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Some 45 members set out on a clear morning for our trip to Rutland Water. A fine day was promised with only a slight chance of showers. Breakfast was taken at Donnington Services where the service was quick and the prices quite reasonable. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Blacktoft Sands

Sunday, 25 March 2018

It was definitely Spring, as the clocks had gone forward in the early hours of the morning. Although cool, the sky was clear and promised a good days birding. Once more numbers were high with 40 members setting off for a day in South Yorkshire. Breakfast was taken at Tibshelf Services and arrival at the reserve timed at 10.45am. More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Slimbridge

Sunday, 25 February 2018

It appeared that spring was on its way as it was already daylight when 46 members boarded to coach for WWT Slimbridge. Although it was cold the sky was clear and heralded a good day's bird watching. The journey down the M6 and M5 proved uneventful despite the continuing road works. Breakfast was taken at Strensham Services, (where the service was lightening fast), before arriving at the reserve at 10.00am. The group booking facility allowed the party to quickly enter and commence their exploration of this large reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes

Thursday, 22 February 2018

A very cold but dry day greeted the hardy souls who ventured to the Flashes this year, much better conditions this time, after battling 'hurricane' Doris in 2017! More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Ford Green & Whitfield Valley

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

For the Bins and Boots at Ford Green and Whitfield Valley we had fine weather and a lovely mornings birding. There were 17 people in attendance. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Fairburn Ings

Sunday, 21 January 2018

After some late cancellations only 24 hardy souls gathered for our first trip of the year. Whilst waiting for the bus a light sleet was falling which did not bode well for the day ahead. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Astbury Mere

Thursday, 23 November 2017

As usual, the prospect of a pub lunch attracted good numbers to Astbury Mere on Thursday 23rd November. So it was that seventeen of us braved the cold to explore the restored sand quarry and its environs. More...

Birdwatching trip to RSPB Frampton Marsh

Sunday, 19 November 2017

After last month's disappointment, when the trip had to be cancelled due to high winds, it was a pleasure to see 33 members fresh and ready for a day on the East coast. The darkness of night soon gave way to a fantastic dawn sky and the promise of a good days birding. We arrived at the reserve at 10.20 am and were welcomed by the sight of large numbers of wildfowl and whooper swans circling and landing on the main pool adjacent to the visitor centre. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Doxey Marshes

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The weather for this outing was benign - fine and still - and probably had some bearing on attendance, as an excellent 23 of us duly assembled. What was particularly satisfying was to have six newcomers amongst the massed ranks. More...

BIrdwatching Trip to RSPB Conwy & Llanfairfechan

Sunday, 24 September 2017

It was good start for the new season with 36 members on board the coach for our visit to North Wales. The weather was mild with some light cloud. After a breakfast stop at Chester services we made good progress along the coast but the cloud cover became thicker. As we reached Llanfairfechan it started to rain. As there is little or no shelter available it was going to be a wet start to the day. More...

Butterfly Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Friday, 14 July 2017

A group of 19 assembled in rather unpromising weather conditions which, thankfully, improved considerably during the afternoon. The Leader, Dave Emley, made it quite clear that there was to be no looking at birds - unless of great rarity or interest! We were here to look at other things.... More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Colemere, Wood Lane and Ellesmere

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The weather was bright and breezy for this, the last birding trip of the season. Wood Lane itself seemed rather quiet, nonetheless we sallied forth into the reserve. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Sunday, 11 June 2017

There was great support for last trip of the season with some 50 members prepared to take on the long journey to the east coast of Yorkshire. After a greatly appreciated breakfast stop at Tibshelf Services, the coach headed north and east before arriving at Flamborough Head lighthouse at 10.45 am. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Swineholes Wood, Ipstones Edge 2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017

A wet and blustery morning greeted eight of us at Swineholes Wood. It was supposed to be June but felt more like October! However, the rain did relent for a short while, giving the group the chance to view three lovely fluffy tawny owl chicks huddled together high in a Scots Pine. I had been watching this family for a while so knew where to locate them. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Cotton Dell

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Seven of us turned out for the session and the weather remained fine for our walk. Anyone who knows Cotton Dell will know that it is home to dippers and grey wagtails. On this occasion, dippers proved pretty elusive, only granting us a couple of sightings - not what we've come to expect! In comparison, grey wagtails put on quite a show. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Although the weather was forecast to be warm and dry, only 28 members set off for our visit to Leighton Moss. Despite the on going road works on the M6 progress was good and after the usual breakfast stop we soon dropped some of the group at the trail leading to the Eric Morecambe Hide with the remainder of us arriving at the visitor centre at 10.15am. More...

Dawn Chorus Walk - Fenns Farm, Stockton Brook

Sunday, 7 May 2017

A cold but still morning greeted five brave souls at the Fenns Farm, Stockton Brook at 4.30am. A robin tweeted and a distant tawny owl hooted as we were welcomed by our host Mark, who was keen to learn about the various bird songs himself. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

This was the first outing to this reserve by the group, and I think all present would agree that it was well worth it. Nine of us pitched up for the walk - a walk of some five miles in total, but on decidedly flat terrain. Historically, the site was used for peat extraction, a practice finally ended in 1990. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Berry Hill Fields

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

On the morning of our walk it was quite windy around Berryhill. The people attending looked more they were going out on a winter morning than a spring morning. Fortunately the rain stayed off until just after we had finished our walk. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Ynys-hir

Sunday, 23 April 2017

There was an air of excitement on Sunday morning as thirty-three expectant birders gathered in the morning sunshine ready to board the bus for the Dyfi Valley hoping to see the newly returned spring migrants. After our breakfast stop at services on the M54, we sat back and relaxed for the reminder of the journey as the countryside became increasingly picturesque as we progressed into Wales. There were dark skies and a few spots of rain en route, however as we pulled into the car park at Ynys-hir at 10.30 there were blue skies and warm sunshine and that is how it remained all day. Penny and Alan Cartwright had made their own way down and joined us as we alighted the bus. After a brief introduction from the assistant warden the group dispersed into the reserve for the day. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Seven of us were greeted by an uninvited guest to Sandbach Flashes, her name was Doris, not a keen birder but a hurricane. The wind was so strong we could hardly stand or talk to each other by the roadside but got a little bit of respite from the elements beneath the bank at Elton Hall Flash as the heavy rain continued to soak us. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Whisby Nature Park 2017

Sunday, 19 February 2017

On Sunday 19th February, 34 members of the group set off for Whisby Nature Park with the promise of good weather for the time of year. We arrived at 10.30 after a stop at Grantham Services for breakfast. The sky was brightening with a glimmer of sunshine. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Tittesworth Reservoir

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

On a cold but bright morning more than twenty birders gathered at the Visitor Centre car park, the majority walking a circuitous route to the Lazy Trout, our chosen lunch-time venue. Some saved all their energies for social part of the day's proceedings and headed straight for the pub! More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Whilst members waited for the coach for the first trip of 2017 snowflakes started to fall from an overcast sky. As the coach travelled eastwards, however, the orange ball of the rising sun could be seen trying to break through the grey sky. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Hanchurch Woods

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Hanchurch Hills is a rum old place. Most of the time, I see little more than a few crows there, but occasionally it delivers the goods. Back in the spring, I heard up to three cuckoos, with excellent views of one of them. And a month or so back, three of us were up there when seven or eight whooper swans flew over. More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Martin Mere

Sunday, 20 November 2016

An overcast sky with falling rain provided a disappointing start to the day. This poor weather persisted during the coach journey, however clear blue skies welcomed the group on arrival at the reserve to the relief of all forty members on board. We arrived at the reserve shortly after 10.15am and members soon disembarked and commenced their exploration of the reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Church Lawton Woodlands

Thursday, 27 October 2016

On a dull but mild autumn Thursday morning eleven of us ventured into the lovely woodlands of the old Church Lawton Hall which today has been converted into expensive apartments. It was pleasing to see some members who cannot normally attend on a Tuesday. I will once again include some Thursday walks in the next program. This was a new Bins and Boots venue which most of the attendees had not been to before. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Damp and dismal weather greeted the 34 members who travelled to Brandon Marsh. Not the weather that had been forecast, however conditions did improve during the journey. We arrived at the reserve shortly after 10am and members rapidly disembarked and commenced their exploration of the reserve, (or in some cases the tearoom). More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Neumann's Flashes/Anderton Nature Park

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Nine members turned up for the outing keen to explore the area. On the weather front, the day was cool, and we had two short showers, in short, not bad...... More...

little egret, wading, water

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The first trip of the season proved popular with 42 members choosing to travel to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands on the Dee estuary. Although a little cloudy at the start the sky soon brightened in the west to reveal a blue sky. After the customary breakfast stop at Chester services and an interesting diversion we arrived at the reserve circa 10.10am. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to RSPB Middleton Lakes

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The eight members who came along on this trip couldn't have asked for better weather in mid-September, calm, sunny and pretty warm..... More...

Picnic and Butterfly Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Friday, 22 July 2016

Considering the proposed purpose of the walk, the weather was perfect: warm - a bit too warm for one or two - with a light breeze, and predominantly sunny. This no doubt influenced the turnout, as there were twenty-one of us, with around nine of them being new to me. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Gradbach

Monday, 20 June 2016

The weather had an impact on this trip, and no doubt the forecast deterred some folk. In the eventuality, just three of us ventured forth. It rained for the first hour or so, after which it remained largely showery. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Silverdale Country Park

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

This walk was led by Andrew Hunt, the warden at Silverdale CP, and incorporated snippets of the industrial history of the site, along with recent and ongoing developments. The reserve is still a work in progress, and there have been significant changes during Andrew's five years. Let's see what the next five bring! More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The last trip of the season, as always, involves a reserve on the outer limits of our range. Thirty-two members were eager to make the long trip to Titchwell with the promise of seeing something out of the ordinary. As we progressed on our journey the cloud in the eastern skies began to clear. After an excellent breakfast stop near Sutton Bridge we arrived at the reserve promptly at 10.30am. More...

Bins and Boots Walk PLUS - RSPB Coombes Valley Reserve

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

We had beautiful weather for the jaunt - clear blue skies, but with a cooling northerly breeze. Seventeen of us gathered by the Visitor Centre, where we were given a briefing by the RSPB's Paul Bennett; Paul was one of the speakers at the Staffs Birders' Conference in March. We were told that pied and spotted flycatchers had been seen, as had redstarts, but there had been no sign of wood warbler this season. More...

Birdwatching trip to RSPB South Stack Cliffs

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A bright blue sky saw 33 members board the coach for Anglesey and the RSPB South Stack reserve. As the journey progressed cloud cover increased before developing into torrential rain near Conwy, however on reaching Anglesey breaks appeared in the cloud on the western horizon. We arrived at the reserve at 10.35am and were greeted by blue sky and swiftly receding clouds.As usual the group split into various groups in order explore the reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Whitemore Nature Reserve

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tuesday dawned grey but warm with just a light breeze. Three stalwarts set off to enjoy the morning walk, immersing ourselves in the sights and sounds of nature. What we lacked in numbers was more than made up for by the enthusiasm of those attending. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Parrot's Drumble

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The morning was bright and breezy - very breezy - and cold. This was our first outing to Parrot's Drumble, an area of ancient woodland........ More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Frampton Marsh 2016

Sunday, 24 April 2016

It was a dry but cold start for the 33 members who headed for the Lincolnshire reserve of Frampton Marsh. Although the skies started to clear as the coach headed eastwards random, heavy showers were expected. The coach arrived at the reserve at 10.40 a.m. to be greeted by bright sun but a very cold wind. From the car park members had views of kestrel, whimbrel and grey heron. As usual the group split into various groups in order explore the reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Greenway Bank Country Park

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I was surprised when I got to the car park at Greenway Bank to find the amount of people attending, thirteen in all, including myself. The ground was muddy due to a previous spell of wet weather, but fortunately during our walk the rain held off. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Potteric Carr Nature Reserve 2016

Sunday, 20 March 2016

It was a dry but overcast start for the 33 members who made the decision to visit Potteric Carr. As we headed along the A50 the horizon started to clear and on reaching the M1 clear, blue sky prevailed. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Doxey Marshes

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

We were fortunate to have a fine, sunny morning, with just a light, though cold, breeze. There were seventeen of us; a decent number, with at least four first-timers. More...

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Slimbridge

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday dawned mild but overcast as an expectant bunch of birders filled the coach and headed south along the motorway towards Slimbridge. Spirits remained undampened by light rain en route and after a short stop for breakfast at Strensham Services, we arrived at the reserve at 10.15. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Fairburn Ings

Monday, 1 February 2016

It was a warm and dry start for the 28 members who made the decision to visit Fairburn Ings on what had been expected to be a cool day. As we headed up the M1 the cloud cover started to break and promised reasonable bird watching conditions. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A dull blustery day greeted eight of us for our first Bins and Boots of the New Year and what an excellent day, birdwise, it turned out to be. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Blacktoft Sands

Sunday, 22 November 2015

It was a cool start for the thirty-two keen birders who headed off to the Humber Estuary that Sunday morning. We arrived at the reserve shortly after 10.30 AM to find the main reception hide heated by a wood fire. Despite the obvious temptation members soon moved on to explore the reserve. The majority of the hides face towards the north, overlooking a system of pools surrounded by reeds, to the south of the reserve there are open fields hedgerows and stands of trees. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Apedale Country Park

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Ten enthusiastic birders arrived at the car park at Apedale, including one newcomer (attracted by a leaflet deposited in Newcastle Library). Unfortunately, on this occasion, there was no reappearance of the black redstart which I had spotted on the car park a mere three years ago. I guess it must have moved on! Undaunted, we set off to see what the Country Park had to offer. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Spurn Point

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Misty conditions greeted those making the very early start for the trip to Spurn Point, however as the coach headed east we were greeted by a glorious sunrise. The conditions cleared as our journey progressed, rewarding the group with clear blue skies and near perfect viewing conditions. After a short break for breakfast we reached the reserve just after 10.30 AM where, after receiving advice concerning tidal information, the group spread out to explore the extensive reserve comprising shoreline, saltmarsh, brackish water and rough pasture. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Deep Hayes Country Park

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Stunning autumn colours with a little morning mist hanging in the valley welcomed thirteen of us to this hidden gem of North Staffordshire. With not a breath of wind the lakes were like mirrors, reflecting the reds and golds of the trees, the only disturbance of the water being from groups of mallards and the odd moorhen as they went about their daily business. There was no sign at this time of the kingfisher which normally inhabits the larger lake...... More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Belvide Reservoir 2015

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Weatherwise, we had a fine, dry day, offset slightly by a south-east breeze. There were eight attendees, one of whom was new to the group (courtesy of a programme leaflet picked up in Newcastle Library). More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Conwy 2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

It was a misty start to the first trip of the season but this soon cleared to provide a clear blue sky with a few scattered clouds. Following breakfast at Chester Services the sky started to cloud over from the west, however the weather remained dry with a few patches of clear blue sky. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Rutland Water

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The last trip of the season started with an almost clear blue sky and the largest number of attendees so far. After picking up members at Blythe Bridge we made good progress, arriving at the Lyndon Visitor centre at 10.35am. The majority of the group received the informative, introductory lecture provided by a member of staff regarding the history of the reserve's osprey project. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Churnet Valley

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Fourteen of us assembled in front of the lime kilns at Froghall on a very bright but cold morning. We were being given the opportunity to look at some private land adjoining the beautiful Churnet Valley. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Manifold Valley

Monday, 1 June 2015

Eight of us arrived at Wetton Mill on the first day of June to not very summer-like conditions. After early morning sunshine, rainclouds threatened, but fortunately the rain did not materialise until the afternoon. However, cold winds prevailed. The Manifold Valley was looking stunningly beautiful after recent heavy rain and the river was very high for the time of year. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss

Sunday, 31 May 2015

After the disappointment having to cancel the trip planned for the 2013/14 season due to snow, it was a relief that we were actually heading for Leighton Moss. Unfortunately, despite being the last day of May, we set off in the cold, under an overcast sky which threatened rain. Shorts and suntan lotion were nowhere to be seen. The journey up the motorway through heavy rain did not bode well, however as we travelled further north the horizon did start to lighten. We arrived at the reserve shortly after 10.30am where we received a short, but informative, introduction to the site by a member of RSPB staff. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Biddulph Grange Country Park

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Heavy rain and hail preceded our walk, but the four of us who braved the elements were rewarded with some excellent viewing. The woods were looking at their finest after the recent rainfall and most of the oak and beech, which dominate this lovely park, were nearing full leaf. More...

Car Share Birding Trip to Cannock Chase

Thursday, 7 May 2015

What a day! Memorable for a variety of reasons. We six intrepid explorers, including one 'first timer', had to delay setting off by 30 minutes because of heavy rain. Several further showers came along to entertain us during the outing, however the birds more than made up for the discomfort. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Berryhill Fields 2015

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A lovely sunny spring morning welcomed seventeen of us to Berryhill. It was pleasing to see a number of new faces including one gentleman from Walsall, a member of the West Midlands Group. Before we set off a wren and a dunnock were singing, but were competing with a concrete breaking machine working at the old high school. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Whisby Nature Park

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Almost a full coach! It was the best turnout this season with 44 members heading off to Whisby in the hope of seeing a nightingale. The journey was uneventful, but there appeared to be little chance of the fine weather that had been present the previous day continuing into the Sunday. We reached the reserve shortly before 10.30 AM where, unusually, the group stayed together for the first 20 minutes or so, firmly rooted to the viewing balcony overlooking Thorpe Lake, where good views were gained of Mediterranean gulls. There were three adults and a first year juvenile and these birds provided a first time sighting for many in the group. Gradually people moved on and began their exploration of what is a fairly large reserve. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Barlaston Downs

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

This outing attracted fifteen participants, two of them new to the group, extremely encouraging given the poor weather forecast. Unfortunately the forecast proved to be accurate and we had to brave two wintry showers, the second one of considerable duration. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands 2015

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The day started well with a sparrowhawk spotted on the Michelin car park before the coach had even arrived. Although overcast, as we headed up the M6, the clouds soon cleared revealing blue skies and plenty of sunshine. More...

Bins and Boots Walk - Rudyard Lake

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

For our February outing Janet and I were joined by six other stalwart group members. The weather remained threatening throughout, but thankfully it stayed dry, although it was cold and windy. More...

Birdwatching Trip to Yorkshire Water - Tophill Low

Sunday, 22 February 2015

It was a dry but cold morning when a stalwart group of members set off for East Yorkshire. Perhaps we should have taken notice of the old saying "red sky in the morning, shepherds warning". We arrived at the reserve shortly after 10.30 and the sky was already starting to cloud over as the group split into smaller parties in order to explore the reserve at their leisure. It had been five years since the group had last visited this location and everybody was looking forward to see how the reserve had been extended and developed. More...

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor

Sunday, 25 January 2015

An international group of birders set off in the cold and gloom, however by the time we had reached Tibshelf Services for our breakfast stop, it had become pleasantly bright. Arriving at the reserve at 10.35, we split up into small parties to explore the site, taking advantage of this brief, somewhat milder, bright spell of winter weather. More...