Birdwatching

Welcome to Minehead and District U3A’s Birdwatching Group pages

The important bit!

The Birdwatching Group generally meets monthly on the third Friday of each month from 10 am until 1 pm.  However, dates, venues and times may vary – check our provisional programme and please remember to check the Calendar in case of any late changes to schedule.

Our group is led by Kay Bullen, and she may be contacted at 01643 706125, or by email at birdwatching@minehead-district-u3a.org.uk.

About our group

We are a mixed group with many different levels of bird identification skills so whatever your experience you will be welcomed.  Our aims are to enjoy our hobby and share our knowledge in a quiet and relaxed environment.

Charges:  As a member of the U3A there is not usually any fee for the meetings, unless we have a special guide joining us, but that would be mentioned in a pre-outing e-mail.  In some places there may be a car park charge, e.g. at Ham Wall RSPB reserve; plus we usually suggest £5 each towards the driver’s petrol if you accept a lift.

You will need:  Members should bring their own binoculars and if possible a small pocket guide to bird identification, they are also encouraged to bring telescopes, if they have them, on some of the outings.

Follow-up:  A list of birds seen and heard is circulated after the meeting.

We usually meet on the 3rd Friday of each month, but venues vary and could be anything from 15 – 90 minutes’ drive away by car.    We aim to get to the start point at around 10.00am, but this may vary depending on tide times, or perhaps, as when looking for nightjars or starling murmurations, these would be later in the day.  A certain level of fitness is required to reach hides in the winter, or in the summer, for a general walk.  The pace is usually a slow amble, or a quicker walk if there is something really exciting up ahead!!   Outings last around 2 hours, depending on sightings.  If sightings and weather are good there is often an option of an ‘add on’, either nearby or on the way back.

If our timings are not convenient, you might consider starting a second group on a different day but piggyback on our programme by following us a few days later.  Or click here for a list of nearby birding sites and what they might offer.

If you are interested in joining the group, please get in touch with Kay Bullen, the convenor

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COVID – UPDATE 2021

While all the bird watching outings are still cancelled for the foreseeable future, we can continue with our monthly garden list – and also a note of other birds seen elsewhere.  I will share it through a monthly e-mail.  It will keep us in touch with each other and also with the birds we are seeing and indeed may see.  Send the list to me at birdwatching@minehead-district-u3a.org.uk. You could also make any observations regarding behaviour, e.g. what has started to sing again, return of spring visitors, carrying nesting material, etc. You don’t have to be part of the bird watching group to join in.

For more up to date sightings keep an eye on our forum or check out our “Past Visits & Sightings” on the side bar.  Also you can do your own thing, see our list of “Local Birdwatching Sites” (again on the side bar).  Some of the places listed might be in walking distance.  So stay in touch, let me know what you are seeing and stay safe. Kay Bullen


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