FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Marine and Freshwater Habitats

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Scroll down to see the upcoming Marine and Freshwater Habitats courses.

FSC Tutor Jack Lucas is teaching Marine Mammal and Bird Surveys at the end of July. We asked him what he is most looking forward to about this course and he said, “Getting out on the water and around the islands to experience some amazing views of our local marine mammals of course! The course is also very diverse in terms of practical work covered; everything from underwater acoustics, behavioural observations, line transect surveys, photo-ID, otter diet analysis, land-based observations and a comprehensive set of lectures make this course my favourite one to teach all year!

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We also asked what is the most interesting mammal he has seen this year, Jack replied, "This year we have had lots of common and grey seals in the area and the otter is frequently seen by our visitors." He continued, "The Clyde is also visited occasionally by some larger species: just last week bottlenose dolphins were seen an hour South of the island, last year we had killer whales cruise past the island all the way up Glasgow, the year before was humpbacks playing just off one of our study sites, the year before that was a basking shark spending an hour swimming just metres off the centre and we have regular minke whale sightings most years."

A very comprehensive and enjoyable week in a beautiful setting. I highly recommend to anyone interested in the subject.” participant on the Marine Mammal and Bird Surveys at Millport.

Related Publications:

  • The FSC Freshwater Fish Identification Guide covers all the freshwater fish likely to be seen in ponds, streams and rivers in Britain and Ireland.
  • The FSC Rocky Shore Name Trail features the most common limpets, mussels, periwinkles, topshells, starfish, crabs, shore fishes and other animals you are likely to see, as well as seaweeds, lichens and encrusting sponges.
  • Looking to identify the minibeasts of ponds and streams? The simple yes/no format of FSC Freshwater Name Trail has been used by generations of visitors to FSC Field Centres.
  • The AIDGAP Crabs Identification Guide covers all of the crabs likely to be found in British coastal waters.
  • The AIDGAP Marine Invertebrates Identification Guide is designed to enable non-specialists to put a name to the invertebrates encountered in marine habitats around the British Isles.

Op 110-fish155-crabs _2019

Recommended Reading:

Websites and Magazines: The MCS, RSPB, Marine Biologist and Wildlife Trusts all have amazing regular issues that include interesting articles on wildlife. For the more formal scientific reader, the Marine Biological Association of the UK publishes interesting material.
Birds: 'Collins Bird Guide' by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney andDan Zetterstrom and RSPB Seabirds by Marianne Taylor
Marine Mammals: ‘Whales, Dolphins and Seals: A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World’ by Hadoram Shirihai
On offshore surveys around the UK:
‘Britain's Sea Mammals: Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises, and Seals and Where to Find Them’ by Hugh Harrop, Jon Dunn, and Robert Still
‘Whales and Dolphins of the European Atlantic: The Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Celtic Sea and Coastal SW Ireland’ by Dylan Walker and Graeme Cresswell
For the dedicated biologist:The Encyclopaedia of Marine Mammals Biology of Marine Birds’ By Bernd Würsig, JGM Thewissen and Kit M Kovacs

We also have a fantastic programme of Marine Science Camps for young people 

Please request a brochure by email or post here.