Day trip by car to Blashford Lakes, Hants

A Blashford Brambling demonstrates the effectiveness of its cryptic plumage in leaf litter

Thursday 20th January, 2022

It is an easy run from the Reading area and is situated just north of Ringwood. This is an extensive area of former gravel pits, surrounded by woodland, carr and scrub, which together hold a wide variety of birds. The lakes here can host all sorts of wildfowl, waders and gulls, with some of the scarcer grebes present for much of the winter. The gull roost in particular may well hold  scarce and rare species, while Great Egret and Bittern are  fairly reliable. The woodland hide provides a feast of small birds and can often reveal a few difficult species. Birds such as Water Rail and Water Pipit are not uncommon and the site boasts a good list of other scarce and rare birds.

Meet at 09.30 a.m. at the visitor centre (SU151 079, BH24 3NU, ///topples.afraid.mingles)


Early morning birdsong walk at Dinton Pastures

A Reed Warbler performs at Lavell’s Lake, Dinton Pastures

Sunday 8th May, 2022

It is an exciting time of year, with up to nine warbler species, Common Tern, Cuckoo and Hobby all possible among others.

Meet at 7.30 a.m. at Lavells Discovery Centre car park (SU786 725, RG10 0SU, ///dragon.dash.spicy) (Parking charge £1.50/hr)

Day trip by car to Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes, Hants

A flock of small waders at Pennington, including Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and Dunlin

Saturday 4th December, 2021

This area offers a mix of marsh, meadow, gorse scrub and sea  – a combination that can produce a huge range of birds. Peregrines often sit on the shingle or marshes between their raids on the many ducks and waders that frequent the area in winter. Merlin is sometimes seen too. Rare waders turn up here often enough to make it worth checking every flock. And don’t forget to check the many Brent Geese too, because they sometimes have an oddity among them. Spoonbills are now fairly regular. Keep an eye out too for Dartford warblers in the gorse, for Rock Pipits on the sea wall, and for divers, sea ducks and rare grebes on the Solent. This is one of the best sites to guarantee some real pre-Christmas treats.

Meet 09.30 a.m. in Keyhaven at the limited parking area at ///handbag.nearing.shepherdess or SZ3081 9158; there are other car parks and a toilet nearby. Note all parking in the vicinity is now pay and display. 


Day trip by car to Titchfield Haven, Hants

Common Snipe are among several species of waders found at this season

Saturday 2nd October, 2021

Titchfield Haven is an extensive nature reserve on the Hampshire coast near Hill Head which never fails to please. It is formed round the estuary of a river which now has a controlled outflow, extensive reedbeds, scrapes, water meadows and scrub, as well as a string of excellent hides. At this time of year there can be a wide variety of birds on passage down the Meon valley, and these may include almost anything from masses of hirundines, to Ospreys, Marsh Harriers and rare terns. Waders and wildfowl abound. There is a good chance of finding Bearded Tits as they perform their dispersal flights. In the past few years the reserve has hosted a rare Greater Yellowlegs, Penduline Tits, Siberian Stonechat, Barred Warbler, and others. Time watching the Solent can be rewarded with the odd skua, diver, auk or sea duck. This is the sort of site to thrill someone new to bird-watching while engrossing even the most experienced birdwatcher.

Meet at 9.30 a.m. on Meon sea-front (SU535 023, PO14 3JT, ///racks.comic.promising)


New Year walk at Moor Green

This site regularly hosts a number of wintering Goosanders

Thursday 6th January, 2022

This site usually abounds with wildfowl and other water birds, but winter finches, raptors and others may also be seen. It is a good place to start a year list.

Meet at 10.00 a.m. at the car park off Lower Sandhurst Road (SU805 627, RG40 3TJ,



Mid-week walk at Wishmoor Bottom

The open heath of Wishmoor Bottom

Thursday 3rd February, 2022

This mix of heathland and mainly conifer woodland is a good place to find Dartford Warbler, Stonechat, Crossbill and others. It can also turn up a few rarities. It is a relatively easy walk, but may be muddy in places.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the north end of Kings Ride, Camberley (SU875 621, GU15 4NG, ///rinsed.drooling.socket)


Day trip by car to Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset

In recent years, the odd Red-breasted Goose has been found among the Brent Geese here 

Sunday 20th February, 2022

The marsh here is fronted by Christchurch Harbour and is a winter home to many species of wader and wildfowl, with assorted passerines found in the marginal scrub. Rarities are possible.

Meet at 09.30 at Stanpit Marsh car park, Stanpit Rd (SZ172 924, BH23 3ND, ///chemistry.folds.tricks)


Day trip by car to the New Forest

Acres Down is one of the best places in England to watch for raptors

Saturday 19th March, 2022

Woodland and heathland birds will be in full voice, but early passage will be under way and the Goshawks will almost certainly be displaying. This iconic site is always worth a visit.

Meet at 09.30 at Acres Down car park (SU267 097, SO437GA, ///confronts.lushly.opposing)


Weekday trip by car to Combe Hill, Inkpen

The view from the ridge towards the north


Thursday 8th April, 2021


At this time of year migrant Ring Ouzels, Wheatears etc. stop to feed and rest on this magnificent chalk ridge, sometimes in good numbers. It is also a good site to view a variety of raptors. Ravens are almost guaranteed.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the Combe Gibbet car park at the top of the ridge.  (SU370620 /RG17 9EL nearest)

(For more about this area see County Sites on this web-site)

BOC Weekend Coach Trip to the British Birdwatching Fair: Cost approx £36 *(including entry)

A session of watching from the Visitor Centre makes a pleasant break from hurly-burly


Saturday 21st August


This is a trip to the biggest gathering of bird enthusiasts in Britain. It was cancelled in 2010 and the organisers are determined to bring it back in style. There are extensive exhibitions of all sorts, a wide range of free talks by some of the world’s experts, and the chance to do some special bird watching too, since the site is a magnet to all sorts of birds. (NB. This trip is biennial, so your next chance will be in 2023.)

Depart 7.00 a.m. Whiteknights Park, Shinfield Road main entrance (SU728719 / RG6 6UR)

Pick up: 7.30 a.m. at Braywick Park (Braywick Sports Ground) Braywick Rd Maidenhead (SU892798/ SL6 1DX)

*Costing is provisional.