Dates are being revised due to Covid-19

The aim of the course is to build confidence in bird identification, in an easy going and digestible way, starting with resident and common migrants. The focus will be on watching and identifying birds ‘in the field’, getting to grips with birds typical of the West Wales coast, and hopefully through this finding and identifying scarcer migrants and possibly something even rarer.

The 3-day course will include:

  • 3 full days birdwatching in Pembrokeshire, in particular the Dale and Marloes peninsulas
  • Summer migration trips will include a visit to one of either Skomer Island or RSPB Ramsey Island (subject to boats running)
  • An evening talk (optional) on birdwatching overseas
  • A bird identification quiz on the final evening

Tutor: Dave Astins

The course is led by Dave Astins, who has over 30 years birdwatching experience in Pembrokeshire and overseas. Dave has run his own bird watching tour company, West Coast Birdwatching, since 2014, specialising in Pembrokeshire. Dave's particular expertise is bird identification, which has seen him serve on the Welsh Records Panel for several years, and he is a former Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Bird Group. He is a regular contributor to the Pembrokeshire Birds Blog, and has an enviable list of self-found rare and scarce birds, including two Isabelline Wheatears (the only 2 ever in Pembrokeshire), Black Scoter (the first for Wales), Semipalmated Sandpiper and Snowy Owl.

Example Timetable

Please note: Island trips are subject to boats running (weather dependant) and the plan for each day may be reordered based upon the weather conditions.

Wednesday: After dinner there will be an opportunity to meet the course tutor, Dave Astins, and discuss plans, aims and expectations for the next 3 days

Thursday: A day trip to Skomer Island to look for breeding birds, especially seabirds, on this magical island. Target species will include Short-eared Owl, Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Wheatear, Stonechat, Peregrine, Meadow and Rock Pipits, Raven and Chough.
After dinner there will be a talk on birdwatching overseas.

Friday: A day out in the woodlands and uplands of Pembrokeshire getting to grips with breeding residents and migrants. Target species will include Goshawk, Willow Tit, Wood Warbler, Tree Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, Red Kite, Raven, Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher.

Saturday: Exploring the Marloes and Dale peninsula, sites will include a mixture of coast, wetland and estuary. Target species will include Chough, Peregrine and migrant wading birds.
After dinner there will be a bird quiz to finish the course.

Sunday: Breakfast and departure.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

Start and Finish Times

Resident visitors are requested to register at the main office between 4.00 – 5.30pm. Dinner will be at 6.00pm. An introductory talk will follow. Breakfast will be at 8.00am. Departure will be after breakfast on the last day. Non-resident guests are asked to arrive in time for dinner.

What to Bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (can be borrowed from Centre)
  • Outdoor footwear – sturdy shoes or boots
  • Day rucksack
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Warm hat and gloves for inclement weather and sunhat and sun-cream for sunny days
  • Water bottles and/or thermos flask and packed lunch box

 

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