This beginner-intermediate bird course provides a unique opportunity to embark on a guided ornithological tour of a beautiful, yet accessible, Scottish island. Be inspired and engaged by the expertise of our specialist tutor and enjoy being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your interests.

What will be covered during this course?

  • Exploration of a range of natural habitats around the beautiful Scottish island
  • Introduction to the common species of birds found in each habitat
  • Overview of their unique biology and ecology
  • Identification tips to use in the field
  • Discussion around the phenomenon of avian migration, with some notable case studies
  • Practice using binoculars, scopes and field guides

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Whether you’re new to the wonders of the bird world, looking to improve your identification skills further or simply wanting to learn more about these amazing creatures in their natural habitat; this is the course for you! Spend a fascinating weekend birdwatching in Scotland, this is the perfect weekend break for bird enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

Opportunity to learn about other Scottish island fauna as and when encountered (e.g. marine mammals, intertidal creatures, terrestrial mammals etc.)

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify some of the more distinctive species in the field
  • Practice using optics and field guides to assist in identification
  • Learn key aspects of the biology, ecology and conservation of some of the more enigmatic bird species encountered

Who Should Attend? – This course is suited to anyone with an interest in birds, from beginners hoping to encounter some species first for the first time, through to experienced birders wishing to explore new places and delve deeper into the ecology of some of the more enigmatic species found locally! This includes nature enthusiasts, students, rangers, early career consultants and ecologists, keen birders.

Knowledge Level – Beginner-Intermediate. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge – No prior knowledge is required for participants to enjoy this course. The informal style of guided wildlife trip with some integrated lectures leaves ample space for differentiation between learners.

Please Note: There is no accommodation with this course.

Course fee reflects a longer teaching day, plus expenses for RSPB entrance / ferry tickets

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Jack Lucas

Jack is an experienced professional marine ecologist with broad range of field skills and scientific knowledge. With a focus on marine mammals and seabirds, Jack has worked all over the world on research projects studying these animals in their natural habitats. Jack was formerly the Senior Tutor at FSC Millport, where he led the provision of science, wildlife and outdoor activity courses to learners of all ages. He has taught seabird, marine mammal and other wildlife courses at FSC centres for the last 6 years and has an in-depth knowledge of the sites and species that feature in his courses. His love of marine megafauna is channelled through his teaching, where learners will discover how they too can get involved with these amazing creatures! Jack currently lives on the west coast of Scotland, and when back on land he can usually be found in the highlands or the islands, photographing wildlife or engaging in a variety of outdoor activities!

Example Timetable

**Please note this is a provisional timetable. Plans may change dependent on weather, the location and group preference.

Day 1
09:00am - Introductions and prepare for field visit
09:30am - Field visit exploring the following habitats:

  • Beach / shoreline
  • Pelagic (open water)
  • Coastal scrubland
  • Woodland
  • Farmland
  • Urban

Will include tips for identifying each species we see in the field will be discussed, along with how best to use binoculars, scopes and field guides to help.

10:30am - Break and prepare for field session – refreshments not provided 
10:45am - Guided walk
1:00pm - Lunch – not included
2:00pm - Continued field visit
4:00pm - Classroom plenary and final questions
5:00pm - End of day 1

Please note accommodation and an evening meal is not included.

Day 2
09:00am - Day 1 recap and prepare for field visit
09:30am - Field visit exploring additional locations not covered on first day
12:30pm - Lunch – not included
1:30pm - Field visit to local bird reserve
4:00pm - Classroom plenary and final questions
5:00pm - End of course

This course will involve lots of walking to various locations, and participants should expect to cover approximately 10+ miles, most of which will be done on the first day. The activities are not strenuous, but participants should have a reasonable level of fitness to make the most of the course.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • In Course Transport

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression
  • You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Binoculars

The following equipment may prove useful if owned, but is not required:

  • Spotting scope
  • DSLR camera
  • Bird identification guides

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Sat 01, April 2023 09:00 - Sun 02, April 2023 17:00

    If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at the Millport Field Centre, please email: [email protected]

    Location
    FSC Millport
    Region
    Scotland
    Price
    £194
    Tutor
    Jack Lucas
  • Sat 29, July 2023 09:00 - Sun 30, July 2023 17:00

    If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at the Millport Field Centre, please email: [email protected]

    Location
    FSC Millport
    Region
    Scotland
    Price
    £194
    Tutor
    Jack Lucas

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, including online course materials, expert tuition and a flexible learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.