Field Meetings - Salisbury & District Natural History Society

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Field Meetings

Field Meetings

We welcome visitors to join us at nearly all field meetings.
In some instances the number that can be catered for is limited and it is
therefore essential to book ahead.
There will be a charge to cover costs in respect of coach and minibus meetings.
If you wish to learn more about a particular meeting and/or book a place
please contact our Field Meetings Co-ordinator on 01980 611242.                                                                 
Please also note that meetings may be deleted or changed, or further outings arranged.  See the Bulletin for any late information.

For all day trips please bring lunch, binoculars and suitable clothing and footwear. For minibus trips, the minibus will leave from 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. These trips usually include other aspects of natural history and are not ‘experts only’, all are welcome.  No dogs please.  The Society takes no responsibility for losses or injuries sustained on any outdoor meeting that it organises. Please check the monthly bulletin for any additional field trips taking place this year.
Visitors are welcome at all meetings but must contact the Field Meetings Secretary beforehand for details of meeting places and timings etc.  Visitors should introduce themselves to the meeting leader on arrival.

Field Meetings for 2019
Sunday 10th
DAMERHAM St Georges Church Snowdrop Day GR SU107158.
Another chance to see the wonderful display of snowdrops in the churchyard with an optional circular walk of about a mile around part of the village.  Tea & cakes on sale at the church usually 12-4pm. Damerham is approximately 13 miles from Salisbury.  Directions: Take the A338 south for 10 miles and turn right into Fordingbridge.  Continue along this street until the 3-way mini-roundabout junction: go right signed Alderholt & Sandleheath, and after about 100yds take the right fork to Sandleheath (not Alderholt ).  Continue for about 3 miles driving straight on through Sandleheath and before you enter Damerham turn left at the blue sign "Weak bridge 300 yds” into Church Lane & St George's Church (unsighted from the road is only 60yds further on).  We may be instructed where to park in the lane. Note:  if you pass the Compasses Pub you must turn around; go back again and take the first Right turn into Church Lane
Saturday 16th
SHELL BAY near Studland, Dorset. A winter walk along the tidal zone on the sandy shore in search of shells etc.  Toilets beside the car park. Also a cafe, shop & toilets at Studland Bay, 2 miles south. Note the chain ferry from Sandbanks to Shell Bay has been out of service recently, so check or drive via Wareham. Wear warm clothes and wellington boots if possible as the stream (can be 6 inches deep) divides the bay. Bring picnic. Parking charges at both National Trust CP's. We will record the finds.

Friday 8th
KEYHAVEN & PENNINGTON MARSHES. All day ornithological trip to this popular reserve. At this time of year, there should still be plenty of wildfowl on the marshes with a variety of waders around the pools. Marsh Harriers are often present and wintering raptors such as Merlin and Peregrine should still be in residence. It may not be too early for a returning Wheatear or Sand Martin whilst the reedbeds are always worth checking for Bearded Tit.
Friday 22nd
CHARMOUTH. An all-day mini bus trip to the Heritage Coast Centre. The Centre provides information on fossils, fossil hunting and the local coastal and marine wildlife. Facilities at the centre include hands on displays, marine tanks and a video microscope, all of which can help you to discover more about this stretch of the coastline.

Friday 26th
LYNDHURST. PONDHEAD INCLOSURE. An all day mini bus trip to visit this actively managed area of woodland just south of Lyndhurst in the New Forest. We will be having a guided walk by one of the voluntary Wardens. A number of rides have been opened up to encourage butterflies while traditional coppicing is carried out to improve the habitat. Wild flowers such as violets and especially bluebells have benefitted which in turn has attracted woodland butterflies including the Pearl- Bordered Fritillary.

Wednesdayy 15th
SOMERSET LEVELS.  All day ornithological minibus trip. We shall spend the day on the Avalon Marshes and this area holds many breeding Bitterns and they are regularly seen, especially in flight. Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Cattle Egret and Great White Egret are also likely as they also breed in the area.

Sunday 9th
BLACKMOOR COPSE. Morning walk around this local Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Reserve. We will see the results of the recently renovated King Charles Pond.
Monday 24th
NATURE DISCOVERY CENTRE THATCHAM. All day minibus trip to this Wildlife Trust which is surrounded by a mosaic of different habitats with fantastic wildlife to see all year around.

Saturday 6th
MOTHING MORNING. Porton 1000-1200 Once again John Muggleton has kindly agreed to identify the moths caught overnight in the 2 traps that have been placed in Porton.
Friday 12th
LAVERSTOCK. Cockey Down. Looking for Glow Worms.  We will go slowly and not a great distance.  There is a possibility of cattle grazing the area and we should watch out for cow-pats.

Sunday 4th
WINTERBOURNE DOWNS.  An afternoon walk around this chalk grassland reserve and we will encounter a riot of colour with wild flowers and clouds of butterflies including dark green fritillaries and marbled whites. We may be lucky to see the secretive and well camouflaged stone-curlew on the plots in front of the viewing screens. From Salisbury turn right off the A 338 just opposite the Old Inn public house signed Newton Tony, the reserve entrance is approximately one mile along at the top of the hill on the left.
Saturday 31st
MOTHING MORNING. Alderbury 1000-1200 Another chance to see what the traps have caught overnight with John Muggleton identifying.

Friday 27th
TITCHFIELD HAVEN. All day minibus trip to this compact reserve which should provide a good mix of gulls and perhaps even a late tern, as well as passage waders and passerine migrants.

Sunday 27th
FUNGUS FORAY. Bentley Wood Fungus Recording Day. .From Salisbury take the A30 north east for approx 6 miles, then take the first right immediately after the double traffic lights towards Middle Winterslow. Continue south through Middle Winterslow in the direction of West Dean along the eastern edge of Bentley Wood for some 4 miles. Turn right into the wood at the Bentley Wood sign and follow the track for 500yds to the CP on the right.  Wear suitable clothing and footwear for rough muddy conditions in the wood. Bring a snack & drink. No facilities in the wood.

Friday 22nd
BLASHFORD LAKES. A late autumn visit to this reserve of flooded gravel workings should produce a long and varied list of species. The woodland should hold Siskins, Bramblings and, perhaps Lesser Redpolls, whilst the lakes around the centre might hold a Bittern. Ibsley Water usually hosts a large and varied gull roost, including Caspian and Ring-billed, most winters. Goosanders and Great White Egrets should also be seen. It is also a reliable site for Water Pipits.

Sunday 1st
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.

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