Portland and Lodmoor

Disappointingly, only 5 people turned out for what proved to be an exciting field trip to Portland.  On the Bill there were wheatears and meadow pipits everywhere you looked, but only a single yellow wagtail found.  The start at Portland was a very obliging buff-breasted sandpiper.  A quick glimpse of the wryneck was all that was obtained, and then only by one person.  A stop at Lodmoor on the way back yielded a least sandpiper, great white egret, and marsh harrier, with very distant views of a stilt sandpiper.  Read the full read on the RSPB national site by clicking HERE.


Field trips

Disappointingly, we chose the one day over a two week period when it rained all day for our annual trip to Warsash and Hook Spit.  Four people braved the weather and turned up, although they were reluctant to vacate their vehicles and it was decided that as the forecast was for the weather to worsen, we would abandon the walk.

Don’t forget our next walk is on 14 September 2017 when we will be heading down to Portland Bill to see if there is anything unusual turning up on the autumn migration.  Usually, a good trip even if migrants are thin on the ground.  Please car share if possible – contact through the Contact Us form if you need or can offer a lift.  We will meet at Cheyne Weares car park at 10.00 am (SY 693 705).

Our last Indoor Meet of the 2016/17 season will be on Wednesday 13 September at 7.30 at Lyndhurst Community Centre, when Gordon Small will be giving an illustrated talk of the wildlife of Finland.  Also, a good time to arrange your car sharing for Portland.

Butterfly Walk cancelled

The Met Office forecast for Wednesday 2 August 2017 now suggests it will be very overcast with a 50% chance of rain from 9.00 am, with the probability of rain increasing throughout the morning.  In these conditions, we are very unlikely to see butterflies.  Additionally, it would appear that this season butterflies emerged early and are now much less abundant than they were a month ago.

Hence, we are cancelling the 2 August walk at Denny Wood.  WE look forward to seeing you again in September after the summer break.

Summer BBQ – Saturday 17 June 2017

The RSPB New Forest Local Group Summer BBQ will be held at Anderwood BBQ site on Saturday 17 June 2017.The BBQ will be lit and ready to use by 6.30 pm.  ;Please bring your own food and drink, disposable plates and cutlery will be available.  A donation of about £3 per person would be appreciated to cover costs.  If you play a musical instrument, why not bring it along and provide us with some entertainment.

At about 8.45 pm the intention is to head to Goatspen Plain car park to listen for, and hopefully see, some nightjar.

Martin Down field trip – 7 June 2017

Despite the heavy rain over the last 24 hours, the forecast for 7 June is dry for the morning and early afternoon, although very strong winds are forecast.  The field trip will go ahead as scheduled, but make sure you wear sound footwear as it is likely to be wet underfoot and slippery in places.  Meet at the Sillens Lane car park at 10.00 am (SU 058 192).

Field Trips

Reports on recent field trips are available on the RSPB Local Groups’ site and include walks at Pig BushKings Copse and Fishlake Meadows.

Our next field trip will be an all day trip to Martin Down on 7 June 2017 where, in addition to birds such as turtle dove, corn bunting and tree pipit, we be looking for butterflies including marsh fritillary and orchids.  We will start at Martin Down Lower Car Park on Sillen(s) Lane (SU 058 192) in the morning at 10.00 a.m. and explore the area south of the A354.  We plan to return to the car park for lunch at around 1.00 pm before driving up tot he car park on the A354 (SU 036 201) and exploring the area to the north of the road.  We expect to finish at around 3.00 pm, although it may be a little later.  Hence, if you want to come for just the morning or just the afternoon, that is quite possible.  Non-members of the RSPB New Forest Local Group are very welcome to join us, but a small donation to group funds would be appreciated.

The following field trip starts with our summer BBQ at Anderwood BBQ site (SU 249 058).  We hope to have the barbie fired up ready to start cooking at 6.30 pm.  Bring your own food to cook and refreshments, we will provide charcoal, BBQ utensils, ketchup etc.  Any volunteers willing to help set up and clean up would be appreciated.  There is no charge for the BBQ, but we would appreciate donations of £2-3.00 per person to cover the costs of the hire of the site and other expenses.  All are welcome whether or not you are local group or RSPB members.  If you play a musical instrument, bring it along and provide some entertainment.

After the BBQ,  at about 8.45 pm,  we will be heading off to Goatspen Plain (SU 255 015) to hopefully see and hear nightjars, and possibly woodcock and snipe.  Bug repellent strongly recommended!  Fingers crossed for good weather.

Don’t forget, check back on this website if the weather is dubious to see if there is a cancellation notice.

Oxey Marsh field trip

Oxey Marsh provided us with a mix of long staying winter visitors, such as a single wigeon and summer migrants such as blackcap, chiffchaff and lots of swallows.  In all we saw and heard 71 species of bird. The trip report is now available to read HERE.

Cancellation of field trips

We don’t know who is going to turn up on a field trip until we meet at the start and this year attendance has been between 4 and 27 people.  How then can we let people know if a trip is cancelled?  We do not want to email all 150 members of the group with information that is only of interest to a minority, otherwise we turn into Spammers – but at times weather forecasts are unpromising.  Just because there’s a bit of rain doesn’t mean the trip is cancelled; but with storm Doris, or whoever, forecast to hit during an outing, we may wish for discretion rather than valour.  At the moment, the walk leader has to turn up to an event regardless of conditions, just in case someone arrives.  This is neither fair nor safe.

If we reluctantly take the decision to cancel a field trip, we will post the information on this website hopefully by 6.00 pm the previous evening.  So, if there is any doubt in your mind about whether a trip is going to take place, check for a post on this site.  No post by early evening the previous day means that the walk will take place as scheduled.

If you are not a member of the RSPB New Forest Local Group, you are very welcome to join us on any of our scheduled field trips.  There is no formal charge for this, but a voluntary donation would be most welcome.