This Meetup group is for anyone interested in getting outdoors and enjoying the natural world. We explore Oxfordshire's nature reserves, woods and rivers together, looking for birds, butterflies, mammals and wildflowers, and occasionally we may venture outside the county.
There are day and evening walks (ambles rather than serious rambles), sometimes ending at a pub or cafe, and wildlife-related talks we can attend in the winter months. All levels of experience are welcome, from beginner to Chris Packham, and we welcome more hosts for events - any suggestions or offers? It's free to join the group, but as it costs money to host the group on the Meetup platform, we usually ask for a £1 contribution at each Meetup you attend. Some events require a fee or donation to the venue, in which case we usually waive the Meetup fee.
If you book for an event, and then find you can't make it, then please do change your booking on the event page. This saves us waiting until after the start time for 'no shows', and we reserve the right to remove anyone from the group who repeatedly books but doesn't turn up. Thanks, and hope you'll join us soon!
Once again we'll be joining in with the Lower Windrush Valley Project Team and its supporters using the hide at Rushy Common nature reserve to participate in the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch. For one hour we’ll count the total number of each species we see. The data will help identify not only the species using the site but will help establish trends and determine just how the birds and wildlife are doing.
You’ll also be able to learn more about the Lower Windrush Valley Project and how we look after the nature reserve. New and inexperienced birders especially welcome. Be part of the world’s largest wildlife survey and help count the wildlife that’s counting on us!
We'll gather in the car park before the short walk to the hide where we will stay for the hour's count. After that, there will be a chance to explore the second screen at Rushy Common and also for a walk around Tar Lake, which is adjacent to the reserve. Our first outing of the year at Standlake Common in early January afforded good views of a Great White Egret as well as a good number of wintering wildfowl, so there is a chance of some unusual additions to the Garden Birdwatch list as Rushy Common is part of the same reserve complex.
As this Birdwatch cuts across lunchtime, I shall be bringing sandwiches and a flask, which will mean not having to rush away to get lunch. Please consider doing the same in order to have time to enjoy the reserve after the count (though of course this is not compulsory and you are free to leave). Please have your £1 fee (covering Meetup costs) ready to hand in at the car park before we start.
Getting here: The Rushy Common car park is on Cogges Lane, a single-track road that runs from Cogges (Witney) to Stanton Harcourt. The Ordnance Survey grid reference is SP[masked] and the nearest postcode is OX29 6UJ.