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.
8th December 2016
Skokholm island by Giselle Eagle and Richard Brown
The talk will be about the birds of Skokholm, and the setting up of a bird observatory on a small windy island in Wales.
12th January 2017
Birds and Conservation on Flamborough Headland by Richard Baines
A exciting talk on the birds and the work at this great white headland on the east coast of Yorkshire.
9th February 2017
Tim Dean will reveal all the avian splendours seen on a recent Trip to Arizona
9th March 2017
John Callion will talk on ‘Memories of Dotterel‘ – A personal journey, telling the story of his ornithological development, leading to his ‘discovery’ of the species in the golden period of the 1970s and ’80s.
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 of our 2017 Field Trips will appear here as they become available.
Northern Experience Pelagic Trip Programme 2016 (in association with the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club)
4-hour evening pelagics departing Royal Quays Marina, 18:00 and Mill Dam (South Shields), 18:10. Cost £28.50/person. Target species; Storm Petrel, skuas, shearwaters, cetaceans.
- Wednesday 29th June
- Wednesday 6th July
- Monday 11th July
- Wednesday 13th July
- Wednesday 20th July
- Wednesday 27th July
- Friday 29th July
10-hour ‘Northumberland Ultimate Pelagic’ to the Farne Deeps departing Royal Quays Marina, 08:00 and Mill Dam (South Shields) 08:10. Cost £65.00/person. Target species; White-beaked Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Minke Whale, skuas, shearwaters, storm petrels.
- Saturday 13th August
- Saturday 10th September
- Saturday 24th September
4-hour Whale and Dolphin Cruise departing Seahouses Harbour at 10:00. Cost £35/adult, £20/child. Target species; White-beaked Dolphin, Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise.
- Saturday 27th August
Our pelagic trips from Royal Quays in 2016 will take place on the JFK2, a 10m catamaran. This new vessel offers an outstanding vantage point for observation of wildlife. All of our Royal Quays pelagics are limited to a maximum of 12 participants, allowing all on board a good opportunity to see any birds or cetaceans which are found. Some truly outstanding opportunities for photography occur on our pelagic trips as well, with many birds and cetaceans approaching very close to the boat.
Our Whale & Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses will be on Glad Tidings V.
Our pelagic trips have proved very successful and they are an excellent way to enjoy our offshore wildlife in the company of other birders who are always willing to help any less experienced participants. More experienced birders may well find that the North Sea is a new frontier for their birding. Pelagic birding is very unpredictable but highlights of our trips have included the 1st British North Sea Wilson’s Petrel (2002), Long-tailed Skua (2002, 2014), Sabine’s Gull (2005), Great Shearwater (2007), Balearic Shearwater (2007, 2013), Pomarine Skua (2007, 2012, 2014), Grey Phalarope (2010, 2012), Red-necked Phalarope (2013), excellent views of Sooty Shearwater in each of the last fourteen years, Harbour Porpoise (2006, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Minke Whale (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Orca (2013) and several very close encounters with White-beaked Dolphin in each year since 2010.
Participants should bring their own food and drink and warm/waterproof clothing.
To reserve a place on any of these trips, please contact Martin Kitching firstname.lastname@example.org or (01670) 827465 and send a deposit of £10 per person per trip (cheque payable to ‘Northern Experience Wildlife Tours Ltd’, non-refundable if you cancel at a later date) to NEWT.
Reviews for Recent 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.