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News for September to November 2017

Thank you for checking back with Anser Birding. 

Migration season is upon us!

Curlew Sadnpiper with Ringed Plover, Severn, MJMcGill

Residential trips

The following excellent birding destinations at this exciting time of year are on offer.

October 2017
, a short one night trip to see migrants and possibly seabirds depending on conditions. We will be exploring the estuaries, headlands and coastal valleys. More detail to come, rest assured we shall see plenty of birds. Now full subject to possible date change.

Cost- accommodation comes in at around £75-85.00 per person for one night including breakfast plus guiding costs/fee of £115.00 per person.

‘East Coast’
18-20 October 2017
(being flexible lets us go to where the birds are, migration special), anywhere between Filey/Flamborough in East Yorkshire to North Norfolk can be ‘hot’, a decision on exactly where will feature will be taken nearer the time.

A two night stay, possibly at different locations as we will be on the road and making the most of the autumnal migrants. Accommodation will be in a reasonably priced hotel, motel or guest house on an bed and breakfast basis, I will book the accommodation but ask you to pay them directly on departure by debit card or cash.

Cost is approximately £330.00 per person- accommodation with breakfast, yet to be booked, should be around £75.00 per person per night plus a guiding costs/fee of £180.00 per person. Not included are permits, items of a personal nature, drinks, lunches or evening meal.

Two places available as of 23/09/2017.

North Norfolk 8-10 November 2017.

The usual two night trip exploring the coast for late migrants and large numbers of winter arrivals. A double room with breakfast is priced at £118.00 per person + £180.00 per person for guide costs/fees. Total cost of £298.00 per person. Not included, permits, entrance fees, items of a personal nature, drinks, lunches or evening meals. It is often possible to dine at the accommodation but you may need to be pre-book, alternatively we may eat out nearby at a local pub or restaurant or feel free to self cater picnic style.

One place still available as of 23/09/17.

Contact via email- or text/call 07733 363905.

Next day/half day trip date

With migration in full swing there we’ll go to wherever the birds are, likely to be a coastal county with a busy.

Keep an eye out for the tweets @AnserNews

Friday 29 September 2017

Suggested destination at the time of writing is to Dorset

A few special migrants about, Spotted Sandpiper at Abbotsbury, Stilt Sandpiper in Poole Harbour, Greenish and Yellow-browed Warblers + Common Rosefinch on Portland. Whilst we are unlikely to fit in all these sites as well as general birding at favoured sites we could work some of these great birds into the day out.

Depart at 0700 from Whitminster and aim to return by 7pm, see directions below to meet just past (West) Whitminster School in the lay-by on the right as you head to Frampton on Severn.

Three places available. £45.00 per person.

Typical Birding day/half days include some of the following Gloucestershire birding venues

These meetings usually fall on Fridays or Saturdays. Pricing and a selection of destinations follow

Forest of Dean-A variety of birds occur with Great spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Lesser Spotted (extremely elusive), Crossbill, Hawfinch (can be shy), Goshawk, Mandarin, Willow Tit (scarce), Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Redpoll, Siskin, Jay, Goosander and Dipper are all possible. In summer Nightjar and Woodcock can be seen and heard on nocturnal forays in good weather.

Half day trips in December and January.

WWT Slimbridge where I work has plenty of events on offer year round. I usually cover the Sunday events. See website for latest sightings here

Upper Severn Estuary Includes migration of waders, wildfowl and passerines. Habitat, seasonal wetlands, intertidal estuary and freshwater pools and lakes.

Sharpness A good spot for ‘seawatching’ should we have gales or for watching visible migration. Black Redstarts (in winter), Peregrine and often Common Sandpiper or commoner waders.

Cotswolds Downland birds- Buzzard, Red Kite, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Grey Partridge (scarce) and Red legged Partridge (most, if not all are released birds) Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit, Linnet, Golden Plover (in winter), Lapwing and more. Habitat-upland hills, heath and some areas farmed with wildlife in mind.

Rarity reaction
If anything special arrives nearby (or futher afield) a half or full day of quality birding can be built around the target bird or birds. This type of trip can be organised at late notice with a very early start. If this is of interest then keep a close eye on what birds are around, twitter feed and here on the news page.

Pricing and how to book a place

Prices based on a minimum of four participants- £20-25.00  for a half day (5 hours) and £40-50.00 for a full day (10 hours).

It is best to text or call 07733 363 905 to confirm a place or if you have any queries, alternatively send an email to . See below (near bottom of page) for the typical meeting point details if not meeting at the destination.

Do you use Twitter?
Anser Birding events are now on @AnserNews


General news

Watching Waterbirds with Kate Humble and me

The book I had been working on with Kate Humble, Think Publishing and A and C Black (now Bloomsbury) over the last couple of years is available in WWT shops, online, Amazon and all good book stores. It is intended as a bridge guide to introduce common wetland birds to those new to the hobby and also features the Great Waterbird Challenge for you to try out.

If you have bought it already, thank you very much, we do hope you enjoy using it. Link to bookshop.

Martin J McGill


Whitminster Meeting Point

Directions for events if you meet at Whitminster…. leave Junction 13 of M5 and head to A38 Roundabout. On the A38 take exit for GLOUCESTER, WHITMINSTER heading North. Second exit if coming from A38 South or 3rd exit from A419. Head up the hill and take first left (after the Garden Centre) turning left at the village hall  (opposite is the Old Forge Pub which is on the east side of the A38, School Lane is on the West side).

There is a layby (4+ cars) just past Whitminster School on the right. To reach here continue down school lane and straight over the mini roundabout, the layby is immediately after the school where the village ends. Alternative parking can be found nearby, we can direct you.

Link to map to search for Holbury Crescent


BBC Tide Timetable for the West (note you can search anywhere in Britain from this link)

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at 9:32 am