Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

Berks College of Agriculture 2017
Saturday morning visit and walk

Date: Saturday 21 October 2017 at 09:30


This was rather different to our normal birding day. From the car park we walked past enclosures containing emu and wallaby, to the BCA's Animal Management Centre where we had a pre-arranged tour. NOTE The BCA animal areas are only accessible by prior arrangement. Click here for details

Since our last visit BCA have achieved their Zoo licence and are now members of BIAZA (British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums)

First on the tour was the outside courtyard where we saw the rare Java sparrow which is on the red list. We also saw roller, Bali starling, kookaburra, red-billed blue magpie, Temminck's tragopan and other rare bird species.

There were also porcupine, otters, racoons, tamarin, lemurs and meercats, which were all active.

Next was the "Exotics House" where tortoise, lizards, frogs, snakes and spiders were viewed.

The tour ended with the British wildlife outdoor enclosures. The red squirrels and pine marten were active but we did not see the polecats or wildcats, possibly because ‘storm Brian’ had kept them inside.

We then went for a walk around the college estate to do our normal bird watching, but saw very little because of ‘storm Brian’.

Although it was very windy 19 people came to look around and we were taken around by a very good leader from the animal management team. Many thanks.

We only saw about 18 species of birds when walking round.

Click Here to see our photos from the visit

Berkshire College of Agriculture, 21/10/2017, windy

Red Kite



gull sp.

Stock Dove

Wood Pigeon

Ring-necked parakeet





Carrion Crow

Blue Tit

Great Tit


Mistle Thrush

Robin (H)

Pied Wagtail


Grey Squirrel


18 Bird Species seen and 1 heard

Seen at the Animal Management Centre

Asian Short-clawed Otter

Bennett’s Wallaby

Cotton-top Tamarin



Northern Raccoon


Ring-tailed Lemur

Bali Starling

Black-cheeked Lovebird

Java Sparrow

Laughing Kookaburra

Lilac-breasted Roller

Red-billed Blue Magpie

Temminck's Tragopan

Seen in the Exotic House

Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa

Bengal Ornamental Spider

Blue Spiny Lizard

Blue-tongued Skink

Bornean Blood Sucker Lizard

Cuban Rock Iguana

Death's Head Cockroach

Desert Locust

Dyeing Poison Dart Frog

Elongated Tortoise

Flying Gecko

Frilled Lizard

Green and Black Dart Frog

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko

Mountain Horned Agama

New Guinea Forest Dragon

Tokay Gecko

Phantasmal poison frog

Seen in the British wildlife enclosures

Eurasian Red Squirrel

European Pine Marten

---- Original Programme Information ----

Members watching Porcupine and Meercats
Members watching Porcupine and Meercats

Meet at 9.30 am in the main car park of the Berkshire College of Agriculture, Burchetts Green, SL6 6QR. OS SU833820 lat/long: 51.5312, -0.7998
Click here for map showing car park location.

Facilities: Free car park. Toilets. No food.

Walk length, around three miles.

Hope to see little owl, pipits and finches.

This should be rather different to our normal birding day as we have arranged a visit to BCA's Animal Management Centre, before our walk around the local area.

The College trains students for work in zoos, for work with domestic pets and of course, for work with farm animals. We don't know which of the college's 140 species we might see. British species that the college holds include Scottish wildcat, hazel dormouse, European polecat, harvest mouse and red squirrel. More exotic creatures include electric blue gecko, Costa Rican lemur leaf frog, elephant shrew, tenrec, long eared hedgehog, wallaby, emu, genet and kookaburra.

On our previous visit, we saw emu, lilac-breasted roller and various other tropical birds. Exotic non-avians included porcupine, wallaby, Asian otter, skunk, lemur, aguti, raccoon and meerkat. Native species were Scottish wildcats, red squirrels, polecats and pine martens.

This is not just a zoo visit. On the walk in 2015 we had excellent views of a little owl, plus flocks of siskin, goldfinch and chaffinches.

Click here for the full 2015 visit report and photos