BRANCHES - Taw & Torridge

Taw & Torridge

The Taw/Torridge branch of Devon Birds was formed in 1986 and represents the northern half of the county, stretching from the Somerset border in the east to the Tamar Lakes in the west. The Society owns and manages several reserves in the area the largest Godborough, on the edge of Bideford, has two ponds with reedbed, pasture land and planted hillsides of mixed woodland, with access restricted to Devon Bird members through a combination gate lock.

Bradiford a fresh water marsh, situated beside the tidal estuary of the river Taw, has no access but can be viewed from the Tarka Trail which runs alongside.

Velator, in Braunton, is a fresh water reedbed, leased from South West Water, and managed by Jon Turner, the Devon Birds Conservation Officer North, who also carries out bird ringing throughout the year.

Devon Birds has also supported the establishment of the Bird Hide at upper Tamar Lake.

Birdwatching field trips are organised monthly in the local area and some further afield. These are suitable for prospective members as well as the more experienced. All attending should be suitably dressed for the weather conditions and be reasonably fit as the terrain can sometimes be challenging. Each walk has a leader who has knowledge of the area. Field trips are advertised in the Society’s annual Programme of Events and on this website. Members from other branches of the Society are most welcome to join us.

Illustrated Talks with guest speakers are held monthly from September to April at the Castle Centre Barnstaple. Entrance £3 includes refreshments, all are welcome.

The branch promotes the Society through displays at several wildlife and community events throughout the year.

For further information about the Taw/Torridge branch please contact the Branch Secretary or for information about field trips or indoor meetings contact the organisers. Contact may also be made via email to info@devonbirds.org.

The branch is organised by a committee which holds its AGM each March, followed by an illustrated talk.

 

Karen edited

 

Branch News

18 Jan

RHS Rosemoor Bird Survey

The late winter survey of Rosemoor Garden will take place on Wednesday 8th February 2023. Ray Turner… Read More
18 Jan

Bradiford Tree planting

We will be planting trees on the Bradiford Reserve on Tuesday 24 January from 9am. Please meet at th… Read More
All Taw & Torridge News

Upcoming Branch Events

14 Feb
2023
19:30

Invasive non-native Species of St Helena – James Fentom

Castle Centre Barnstaple start 19:30 Invasive non-native species; The devastating side effect of globalization on St Helena Island and the UK Entry &#…
More Below
23 Feb
2023
10am

Tamar Lakes and Bursdon Moor

Meet at Upper Lake Carpark. Currently (October 2022) work has closed the Lower Lake footpath. If still closed in 2023 then trip will be cancelled. Ple…
More Below

Taw & Torridge Branch Upcoming Events

14 Feb
2023

Invasive non-native Species of St Helena – James Fentom

Castle Centre Barnstaple start 19:30

Invasive non-native species; The devastating side effect of globalization on St Helena Island and the UK

Entry – Members £3 (£4 non-members)

Refreshments

23 Feb
2023

Tamar Lakes and Bursdon Moor

Meet at Upper Lake Carpark.

Currently (October 2022) work has closed the Lower Lake footpath. If still closed in 2023 then trip will be cancelled.

Please keep an eye on website nearer the day.

Target species – Willow Tit, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Merlin and Hen Harrier

Leader – Kevin Wigley

kevinwigley2959@gmail.com

 

14 Mar
2023

Tawny Owls – Stephen Powells

There will be a brief Branch AGM before the start of the talk.

Castle Centre Barnstaple start 19:30

Entry £3 (£4 non-members)

Refreshments

30 Mar
2023

Woody Bay to Headon Mouth

Meet at Woody Bay Carpark (free)

Walking boots essential as lower path uneven and there is a brook to cross.

Intention is to walk the circular route along the lower path to Headon Mouth then up and back on the top path.

If heavy rain has swelled the brook we will walk the top path only.

About 4/5 miles.

Target species – Peregrine, Raven, Stonechat and breeding seabirds.

 

Leader – Kevin Wigley

email@kevinwigley.co.uk

11 Apr
2023

Bird Behaviour : an illustrated talk by Ian Gasper

Talk at The Castle Centre Barnstaple to start at 19:30

Refreshments

Entry £3 £4 non members

25 Apr
2023

Simonsbath – Cuckoo and Dippers

 

Cuckoo and dipper walk (approximately 5 hours – 4.8 miles)

Meet at 10am Exmoor National Park car park (Ashcombe), Simonsbath  (charge £3 all day)

Target species – Cuckoo, Dipper, Grey Wagtail & Whinchat

Booking essential

Leader – Steve Skirth

steveskirth@gmail.com

8 May
2023

Islay Marsh and Taw Banks

Islay Marsh & Taw Banks

Meet for 9am start at Instow lay-by

Walk down the Tarka trail to Taw Banks and back around Islay Marsh

Target species – Singing warblers, Whitethroat, Sedge and Willow, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed. With a possibility of Cetti’s

 

Leader: Martin Unwin & Mandy Yates

unwinmart@hotmail.com

51.060002 , -4.1720420

 

24 Jun
2023

Chagford Swift’s, St Michael’s Church

Swifts in Chagford (nest box cameras)–

meet in front of St. Michael’s Church, Chagford.

A visit to see the very successful nest box scheme set up by Nick Baker.

Booking essential

Leader: Steve Skirth (steveskirth@gmail.com)

 

26 Jun
2023

Nightjar of Hartland Forest

Meet on forest track (Grid reference SS277208) for 20:00 start

Target species – singing Tree Pipit and displaying Nightjar

 

Leader – Martin Unwin & Mandy Yates

unwinmart@hotmail.com

 

8 Sep
2023

Horsey Island DWT Reserve

Meet at Velator Quay Carpark with a walk down the river to Horsey Island on the rising tide.

Target species- Returning/migrating waders in summer plumage and migrating raptors.

Leader – Kevin Wigley

kevinwigley2959@gmail.com

27 Oct
2023

Skern and walk to Green No. 8 on Pebbleridge

Meet at the Skeren (Grid reference SS419313) for 14:00 start

High tide is 17:37 (6.2 meters)

Walk out to 8th golf tee on the Golf Course

Target species- Snow Bunting, late Wheatear, Larks & Pipits, Waders, wildfowl

Gull species including Mediterranean

Leader – Martin Unwin & Mandy Yates

unwinmart@hotmail.com

14 Nov
2023

Waders on the Pill, Fremington

I can’t confirm this one best I advise members verbally in the new year!

Dates may change 14, 21 or 28th dependant on tide times

Tide times dependant

Waders on the Pill (Fremington Creek).

Meet at Fremington Quay car park

Target species – Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Kingfisher & Glossy Ibis

51.0812780736724, -4.118215366016117

Leader: Steve Skirth (steveskirth@gmail.com)

11 Dec
2023

Tarka Trail Barnstaple to Ashford

Meet at Barnstaple long stay carpark (Grid reference SS559326) for 10:00 start (£1.70 all day)

Walk from Barnstaple Old Bridge on the trail towards Ashford    Garden Centre and beyond, time permitting.

Target species – Close views of Herring, Black-headed and possible Lesser Balck-backed Gull in different plumage (from 1cy to adult)

Variety of waders and possible wintering Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher

Leader – Martin Unwin and Mandy Yates

unwinmart@hotmail.com

Taw & Torridge Branch Committee

Taw & Torridge Branch Committee

Chair
Sarah Conibear
07810 204538
Deputy Chair
Vacant
Secretary
Liz Smith
01237 239804
Treasurer
Karen Sims
01598 710273
Indoor Meetings
Ray Turner
01598 710609
Field Trip Organiser
Martin Unwin/Kevin Wigley/Steve Skirth
01237 237326/ 07850 928030/ 01271 376225
Godborough Warden
Phillip Marlow
01237 474814
Branch Rep
Vacant
Bradiford Warden
Tim Smith
07842 113260