The club holds monthly indoor meetings between September and April that feature guest speakers on a wide-range of bird-related subjects. Our meeting venue is Northern Rugby Club, McCracken Park, Great North Road, Newcastle, NE3 2DT. All meetings commence at 7.00pm and generally finish between 9.00pm-9.30pm, though a bar is available for post-meeting socialising.
14th December 2017
The Birds of the Isle of May
by David Steel
• Many members will know David , better know as “Steely” from his work on the Farnes over many years , moving north a few years ago David is now working on the Isle of may, the talk will tell us about the exciting times he has had since leaving the county.
The club arranges regular field trips mainly to local destinations. Most are generally one-day or half-day outings within and just outside of the club’s area with transport by private car. All field trips offer the opportunity to meet other members and can be particularly beneficial to newcomers and younger members
Details for our next Fields Trips will appear here as they become available.
Reviews for some NTBC Fields Trips
Field Trip to Kielder on the 15th May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The day dawned sunny and still for our very first field trip with the club which augured well. We met with Martin and 6 other members of the club and set off to walk round the arboretum where, we were reliably informed we would see Redstarts as there had been several pairs the previous weekend. Alas, none were to be seen although one was to be heard but too far away. We did see Flycatchers, Chaffinches, Siskins and a variety of Tits although not in great numbers. We then set off through the forest towards Deadwater Fell. En route, an elusive Blackcap was spotted well hidden in the trees and the highlight of the day, a male Goshawk displaying which we stopped to watch for some time. We then headed to the summit where we saw Meadow Pipits, Ravens and Grouse. Next stop was lunch at the top of Deadwater Fell overlooking the stunning scenery. It was downhill from there, not literally of course. Rather than the obvious route down, we took the more adventurous mountain bike track down to the track. Walking back through the forest, we learned why the word owl and an arrow were painted on a tree. For those that don’t know, it is so that when they are clearing woodland, anyone approaching from behind the tree knows to avoid it as there is an owl box on the other side. Then it was down onto the disused railway line back into Kielder for a well earned pot of tea at the Castle. For us, as new members, it was an extremely informative and interesting day out thanks to Martin and our fellow walkers.
Field Trip to Geltsdale on the 22nd May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The sun was shining while we ate breakfast before setting out for our second field trip with the club. We were met at the Visitor’s car park by Steve Westerberg, RSPB manager at Geltsdale who had stepped in as guide for the day. By now, the sky was a threatening grey. Steve had a plan, a female Hen Harrier had been spotted displaying and building a nest on the north side of the reserve opposite Cold Fell so we would head up that way. Luckily Steve had brought his trusty Land Rover Defender so the 6 of us piled in and headed off. First was the off road adventure which eventually brought us to just below the viewing hut on Cold Fell. We could hear the cuckoo and then it was spotted in a tree on the other side of the valley. Down came the rain and hail that had been threatening so we waited it out in the Land Rover before heading up the fell disturbing a Grouse and her chicks on the way. We arrived at the hut and the sun came out. Unfortunately, the Hen Harrier didn’t and nor did the Merlin. We saw Roe Deer and a Green Hairstreak and learned a great deal about the research carried out at the reserve including one very dear to Steve’s heart, the tracking of Whinchats, the first research of its type to be carried out. We headed back down and a Whinchat was heard and seen when Steve trained his scope on it so we could all have a look. Not a lot else was seen when we stopped on the way down but we still enjoyed it. Many thanks to Steve for sharing his vast knowledge of the area with us.