The course provides an opportunity to develop your knowledge and experience of birds within a landscape of often striking beauty. Centred around the coast, we’ll also explore areas of freshwater, farmland and wooded sites to experience our varied birdlife, but also take stock of the diverse native flora & fauna, which are such an integral part of each habitat.
There will be a clear emphasis upon developing your bird identification skills & experience, but not at the expense of understanding the roles of these living things within their environment. The impact of humans upon the landscape will form a common theme for discussion, but I fervently hope that you emerge with a feeling that we are not such bad custodians of the planet! Whether you are a seasoned natural historian or have just ‘caught the bug,’ you should find plenty to keep you enthralled. However, you should have a moderate level of fitness as there will definitely be some walking.
Please note: This course is not part of the Biodiversity learning framework, this course is organised by Slapton Ley and the tutor.
About the Tutor
Sandy Hill worked for the Field Studies Council for over a decade, teaching at 9 centres in England & Wales. Having recently retired, he’s now exploring more of Pembrokeshire as a keen birder and enthusiastic natural historian. However, he is happiest when able to share his knowledge and love of the environment.
Provisional Course Programme
Monday: A short walk introduces the village, our local environment and a few sites worth revisiting when time allows
Tuesday: A day spent around the Prawle coastline starts with Cirl Bunting; a Devon speciality. We then explore the trials of living on rocky shores and indulge in sea-watching together with a search for migrants, before walking back to a well-deserved ice cream.
Wednesday: The Exe estuary is a migration hot spot, and visiting a few nature reserves provides an opportunity to catch up with a good cross section of birds on passage, with a clear focus upon waders. There’s always the chance of something special, and we’ll hopefully catch up with one species that’s become a bit of a local celebrity!
Thursday: Starting on the shingle ridge with a spot of seawatching, we then strike inland to explore parts of the Kingsbridge estuary, before setting our sites on a very special bit of deciduous woodland, with the chance of Silver-washed Fritillaries, some notable plants and of course, more birds!
Friday: A local day, investigating the wealth of wildlife to be found in and around the woodland and freshwater habitats of Slapton Ley NNR. With luck we should see Cetti’s warbler, find signs of Otter and maybe, even spot the jersey tiger
Before You Attend
Where to meet and at what time?
There will be an introductory talk at 5:00pm on the arrival day.
Resident participants are requested to arrive for registration between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on arrival day, after this time self-directed arrival information will be posted on the front door. Supper is usually at 6:30pm. Breakfast, for resident participants, will be from 8:00am.
Non-resident bookings should arrive just before 5.00pm. A non-resident booking also includes dinner during your course as teaching does progress into the evening.
The course will end at 15.00 on Friday. On the final day please vacate your room by 9:00am, storage is provided for your luggage.
What shall I bring?
- Lunch box and thermos,
- Notebook, pen/pencil,
- Strong footwear and waterproofs are necessary, wellingtons an advantage.
Opportunities to attend this course
Mon 07, August 2023 17:00 - Fri 11, August 2023 15:00
Mon 14, August 2023 17:00 - Fri 18, August 2023 15:00