SOS Logo CMYK (small)NT LogoBirds of Shropshire by Habitat & Season: a Birdwatching Course

Breaking News

We will be offering “Birds of Shropshire by Habitat & Season: a Birdwatching Course” again in 2014-15.

The Course

Do you enjoy watching birds? Would you like to expand your expertise by building on your current knowledge of common birds? Do you know which birds to expect in different habitats in Shropshire? Would you like to be able to identify the characteristic birds of the county in different seasons? If so, this course is for you. It will be led by Alan Heath, Dave Pearce and John Arnfield and will comprise eight indoor meetings (held at the Chalet Pavilion in the Cardingmill Valley, Church Stretton) and eight field trips (at various locations in the county), meeting between October 2014 and May 2015.

The course will meet twice a month from October 2014 to May 2015 (excluding January), on Tuesday evenings. Dates for course meetings are shown in the table below.  In each month, a classroom session using a dual-screen presentation will introduce the birds expected in different environments and/or seasons. This is followed by an outdoor trip on a following Sunday morning, during which you will put into practice the identification tips learned previously. You will accumulate expertise each month by building on the principles covered in previous sessions.

This course is co-sponsored by the Shropshire Ornithological Society (Church Stretton branch) and the  National Trust (Cardingmill Valley and the Shropshire Hills).

Course Leaders

The course leaders are:

Course Email List

When you join this course, you will also be added to a course email list that will be used to disseminate information, instructions on finding field trip sites, hints, tips, discussions and, in the unlikely event the need arises, cancellations.  Arrangements will be made to include those without email facilities in this system.

Locations & Times

Indoor sessions will meet in the National Trust’s Chalet Pavilion in the Cardingmill Valley [MAP], Church Stretton, at 7:30 p.m. on designated dates (see below). Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. For field trips, we will meet at 9:30 a.m. on designated Sunday mornings (see below) at the excursion destination.  For environmental reasons, and because many of the parking spaces are small, car sharing is encouraged.

Course Outline & Dates

Once the course is underway, you can select the items in the “Topic” column below for further information about the field trip, including instructions on getting to the venue and, following the trip, a list of the bird species observed.  For a consolidated list of species seen on all trips to date, see the “Course Bird List” section below.

Indoor Meeting
Field Trip
October 7 October 12 Migration (Arrivals & Departures), Along with Wetland and Farmland Birds
November 4 November 9 Autumn and Early Winter Flocks in a Shropshire Waterway and Raised Bog Landscape
December 2 December 7 Wildfowl, Gulls and Waders of Open Waters and their Margins
February 3 February 8 Birds of the Meres, Wetlands and Adjacent Woodlands, Including Winter Finches, Tits and Buntings
March 3 March 8 Early Breeders, Displaying Raptors and Coniferous Forest Specialties
March 24 April 12 Early Arriving Migrants in Southern Shropshire Upland and Riverine Woodland Habitats
May 5 May 10 Summer Visitors and Breeding Birds of Mixed Woodlands
May 26 May 31 Birds of Moor and Heath

Joining the Course

If you are interested in joining the course, or if you require further information, please contact John Arnfield (01694 724 170 or arnfield.2@osu.edu).  The cost is £80 per person, payable in advance. Alternatively, click on these links to download a course flyer and a course participation form, which can be returned with your payment to reserve a place.

IMPORTANT: John will be unavailable from 19th September until 3rd October, just before the course starts, and will be unable to respond to requests for information or participation.  Please do not be surprised if you do not hear from him during this period but he will contact you immediately on his return.

Course Bird List

This link will take you to a page that lists all of the birds seen on course field trips.  The list for the 2013-14 course offering is being left up until this year’s activities begin so that you can see what birds you might encounter.  You will also learn a bit about bird taxonomy and the relationships among different species as revealed through taxonomy.

Supplementary Information

This section will be used once the course is underway to provide links to web pages and other documents that relate to the material encountered in the classes.

Useful External Links

Web links to other sites related to course content will be located in this section as the need arises.

Page updated 14 September 2014 by AJA

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