A possible events programme for 2023

Proposed 2023+ Programme.

o Slimbridge, Somerset Levels + Expeditions WINTER DUCK, ISLAY MIST and GIBEX. Standard recurring outings and expeditions.

o Support to DIO’s Environmental Support and Compliance Team. Building upon the successful ad hoc outing by 3 RAFOS members in Mar 20 assisting DIO’s conservation team surveying waders at Saunton Sands, Devon, and the Dorset Heath SSSI/SAC outing in 2021, give further support to them in fulfilling their statutory role in surveying and monitoring biodiversity on the MoD’s estate, both at home and abroad. Possibilities could include Kenya and Belize, as well as UK sites in Devon and Dorset (eg. West Moors, Lulworth, Bovington, Blandford Camp and Thorney Island – hopefully to be further explored in 2022). Likely stumbling blocks will be the costs of air travel to overseas’ locations if Service support is not possible.

o Breeding wader survey – Cairngorms, Scotland. Continue assistance to Durham University PhD candidate and the ‘Working-for-Waders’ multi-agency project, supported by Crown Estate/Balmoral amongst others, with wader surveying in the 2023 & 2024 field seasons.

o Revisit overseas venues. Cyprus, Falkland Islands etc?

There should be further information arising from the next committee meeting to be held on Thursday 10 Nov 2022.

Website update: A problem with the RAFOS website has been resolved such that Newsletters from No. 71 through to No. 114 are again available.

AGM 2022

The Minutes and Appendices from AGM 2022 are now available on this web-site

RAFOS visit to Slimbridge

A bit of a late reminder but the visit to WWT Slimbridge, re-arranged from January, is to be on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 with Bill Francis as leader/organiser.

WWT Slimbridge Visit Postponed

Because of the current Covid situation, it has been decided to postpone the visit to WWT Slimbridge until March 2022.

Would a midweek visit be better than a weekend. I would be grateful for your views.

Bill Francis

Islay Mist 2022

RAFOS is aiming to resume the 18 month cycle of visits to this lovely island in the Inner Hebrides following cancellations due to Covid 19 and here is a trawl for participants for the next visit.


Islay Mist – a subtle and seductive mixture of smoky peat and seaweed.

Robbie’s Whisky Merchants

Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay boasts a wide variety of wonderful scenery and habitats, including wild open moorland and hills, unspoilt beaches and cliffs, mixed woodlands and mudflats, all of which offer amazing birding, over 100 species being present on the island all year round. There are so many habitats here that you will never get tired of seeking out and finding birds.


In the spirit of recycling, we’re going for our money’s worth on last year’s advert.

The next RAFOS visit to Islay is planned for 7 to 14 May 2022, staying at the usual cottages at Kilchoman. The average species count from the previous 6 Spring expeditions is 120 (range 113 to 126). If you fancy some good gentle birding in beautiful scenery then contact Dick and Jan Knight at theknightsat2@gmail.com or on 01243 920289. Our deadline for booking is 6 January 2022. If you are that way inclined, serious yomping is available, but you’ll probably be on your own.