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 and fauna, which are such an integral part of each habitat.

There will be a clear emphasis upon developing your bird identification skills and 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.


This course is not included in the BBCWildlife offer

Tutor: Sandy Hill

Sandy Hill worked for the FSC over a decade, teaching at 9 centres in England and 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.

  • A group of people looking over a lake with binoculars for birds

Example Timetable


A short walk introduces the village, our local environment and a few sites worth revisiting when time allows


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.


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!


Starting on the shingle ridge with a spot of sea watching, 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!


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!

What's Included

Before You Attend

Where to meet and at what time?

Resident participants are requested to arrive for registration between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on arrival day, after this time self-directed arrival information will be posted on the front door. There will be an introductory talk at 5:00 pm. Supper is usually at 6:30 pm. Non-resident bookings should arrive just before 5.00 pm. A non-resident booking also includes dinner during your course as teaching does progress into the evening. Breakfast, for resident participants, will be from 8:00 am. The course will end at 15.00 on Friday. On the final day please vacate your room by 9:00 am, storage is provided for your luggage.

What shall I bring?

  • Binoculars
  • Lunch box and thermos
  • Notebook, pen/pencil
  • Strong footwear and waterproofs are necessary, wellingtons an advantage.

Sorry this course has ended