Field Meetings - Salisbury & District Natural History Society

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Field Meetings

Field Meetings 2023
Work is still in progress but the following have been confirmed so far.
Please check your monthly bulletin for any further information.

For all day trips please bring lunch, binoculars and suitable clothing and footwear. For minibus trips, the minibus will leave from London Road Park & Ride or Salisbury Coach Station, Millstream Approach (off Castle Street). For own transport trips, please meet on site at the times stated below. There are occasionally last minute places on the mini bus trips so if you wish to go please check with the organiser.  The Society takes no responsibility for losses or injuries sustained on any outdoor meeting that it organises.  No dogs please.  Please check the monthly bulletin for any additional field trips taking place this year and to get the latest meeting point information.

Saturday 4th
Come and see the lambing sheds in full swing. A great   chance for all the family to observe a sheep farm in spring. See lots of   new-born lambs and maybe even one being born! Wear sensible cloths for visiting   a farm and wellies as it will be muddy! All attendees will be asked to sign a   “at your own risk” form. Contact: Pete Thompson.
Sunday 26th
Meet at 1430 outside the cafe. This is a social meeting as   well as for recording wildlife. It is suitable for the less mobile, and   participants can go as far as they wish, including exploring the water   meadows, or just sit and enjoy the scene from the cafe area. The farmyard and   cafe will be closed, so suggest you bring your own refreshments. For further   details nearer the time contact Penny Theobald   07555945560 or 01722 341680
Saturday 22nd
HARE WARREN NR SALISBURY   RACECOURSE. Morning walk. Meet 9-30am Finish   11.30-45. Early spring woodland flowers / Birds & bird song / Trees &   Shrubs. Leader: Keith Lea.
Wednesday 3rd
FRANCHISES   LODGE. RSPB Reserve A morning meeting only to this recently acquired RSPB   reserve near Downton. Species we hope to see or hear will be a wide range of   woodland species including hopefully Firecrest, Redstart, Siskin and maybe   Crossbill. Level walking on mostly hard tracks, no w.c facilities.   Leader: Granville Pictor
Sunday 7th
DAWN   CHORUS MORNING 7am-9am. Keith Lea &   Pete Thompson will jointly lead a walk to identify which bird sings which   song! Bring sensible footwear and warm clothing – it can be cold at this time   of the day and binoculars if you have them (Try and borrow a pair if not!) Contact   either Keith or Pete.
Saturday 20th
HARNHAM WATER MEADOWS   10am start. Website at The meeting will start off with a short video in Rose   cottage, showing the way the meadows are purposely flooded in winter and then   we will walk out onto the meadows to see the ancient bed works and Victorian   aqua duct. While looking at the wildlife on the water meadows, we will also   have a fantastic view of Salisbury Cathedral, from where Constable created   his famous paintings. This is a wonderful opportunity to walk these private   meadows and be told about their history, by experts from the Harnham Water   Meadows Trust.
Sunday 11th
CLEARBURY DOWN. General   interest walk to Clearbury Down SSSI nature reserve.  1000-1300 This   walk has some uneven ground.  We hope to see Wiltshire’s county   flower – the Burnt-tip orchid, along with a range of other chalk downland   plants. The Down is also a very good place for butterflies. We should also   see Corn bunting and may hear Quail too, as they breed on the surrounding   farmland. Leader: Peter Thompson.
Tuesday 13th
HAM   WALL RSPB Reserve Somerset Levels. An   all day mini bus trip to this wetland reserve. We will visit the Shapwick   Heath in the afternoon which is directly adjacent to the RSPB reserve. At   this time of the year we should see a wide range of wetland species which   should include Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret and possibly, if we are   lucky, Bittern. Walking is all on level hard tracks and there are w.c facilities   and a place to buy a coffee on site. Please complete the separate booking form if you wish to go. Cost £10.00 Leader: Granville Pictor.
Thursday 22nd
NEW   FOREST  Evening   Walk – Meet 1830 finish 2100  Meeting   at Abbots well car park, Frogham.    Heathland flora / fauna / bog plants / Birds / butterflies. Leader:   Keith Lea
Saturday 24th
MOTHING   MORNING. Alderbury 1000-1200 John   Muggleton has kindly agreed to identify the moths caught overnight. Please   bring a chair.
Sunday   25th
Simon & Sophie Turner, who are SDNHS members, invite you to a   general interest look around
their farm. We will be joined by well-known local botanist John Moon,   who amongst other things
will be able to point out some of the rarer “arable plants” which grow   on specially prepared
cultivated margins. Add to this a wide range of other farm habitats and   I can tell you – you will
not want to miss out on a visit to this fascinating farm. Contact Pete   Thompson.

Wednesday 12th
SAVERNAKE FOREST - Morning Walk Meet 1000 Finish 1330
Woodland   butterflies/ birds / veteran trees. Leader: Keith Lea
Saturday 15th
MOTHING   MORNING. Porton 1000-1200 Another   chance to view and identify the moths caught in the overnight traps that have   been placed in Porton. John Muggleton will be identifying.  
Tuesday 18th
TURF   HILL. New Forest. Evening visit to see Nightjars. This will be a great   experience for those members who have not seen these strange birds that are   summer visitors to heathlands and conifer plantations. They spend their days   sitting on the ground, where they also nest. They are well camouflaged in   greys and browns, and look just like a fallen log. They are almost impossible   to spot during the day but at dusk, a strange sound starts up and just as the   darkness arrives, the nightjar will hopefully appear. Please bring a torch as it will be dark on   the return. Leader: Sue Griffin. Tel   07776 301430 if it looks like rain.
Friday 8th
KEYHAVEN   MARSHES Nr. Lymington. An   all day mini bus trip to these coastal marshes. We will be visiting at peak   autumn migration time so should see many species of wader which should   include Greenshank, Ruff and possibly Spotted Redshank and Little Stint. Non   waders should include Marsh Harrier and Stonechat. Level walking on the sea wall,   WC facilities at the car park for the start and end of the visit. Please   complete the separate booking form if you wish to go. Cost £9.00. Leader: Granville Pictor.
Monday 27th
BLASHFORD   LAKES. Nr. Ringwood. An all day trip to this excellent   reserve. We should see a wide variety of waterfowl, some waders and winter   finches. We had excellent views of an Otter on a previous trip. Mostly level   walking with w.c facilities on site. Own transport  The meeting will last until the early afternoon   so please bring some lunch. Leader: Granville Pictor.
Sunday 3rd
AVON   VALLEY RESERVE. General interest walk of approximately 2 miles. Meet at the bridge by   the Leisure Centre (between the Fire Station Green and Leisure Centre)  By car take Butts Road (west) off Castle   Road to park at Leisure Centre. Bring binoculars. Leader: James MacPherson.

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