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Habitat & Season: a Birdwatching Course


The Course

The indoor portion of the course will meet roughly monthly from September 2019 to June 2020 (excluding December and most of January), on Tuesday evenings. 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.

Course Leaders

The course leaders are Allan Heath, Dave Pearce and John Arnfield.

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

Locations & Times

Field excursions are informal and friendly and are designed to consolidate what you have learned from the indoor sessions.

Indoor sessions will meet in the National Trust’s Chalet Pavilion in the Cardingmill Valley, Church Stretton, at 7:30 p.m. on designated dates. A map of the indoor meeting location, which can be panned, scrolled and zoomed, is available HERE: the meeting location is shown by an open orange arrow. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided during the break half-way through the class. For field trips, we will meet at 9:30 a.m. on designated Sunday mornings at that month’s destination. Please check your email about 08:00-08:30 on field trip Sundays to ensure there are no weather-related cancellations. For environmental reasons, and because many of the parking spaces are small, car sharing is encouraged.

Course Outline

  • 1 October 2019: Migration (Arrivals & Departures), Along with Wetland and Farmland Birds. Fieldtrip: 6 October 2019.
  • 22 October 2019:Autumn and Early Winter Flocks in a Shropshire Waterway and Raised Bog Landscape. Fieldtrip: Rescheduled for 3 November 2019.
  • 19 November 2019: Wildfowl, Gulls and Waders of Open Waters and their Margins. Fieldtrip: 24 November 2019.
  • 21 January 2020: Birds of the Meres, Wetlands and Adjacent Woodlands, Including Winter Finches, Tits and Buntings. Fieldtrip: 26 January 2020.
  • 25 February 2020: Early Breeders, Displaying Raptors and Coniferous Forest Specialties. Fieldtrip: 1 March 2020.
  • 7 April 2020: Early Arriving Migrants in Southern Shropshire Upland and Riverine Woodland Habitats. Fieldtrip: 19 April 2020.
  • 28 April 2020: Summer Visitors and Breeding Birds of Mixed Woodlands. Fieldtrip: 3 May 2020.
  • 2 June 2020: Birds of Moor and Heath. Fieldtrip: 7 June 2020.

Course Bird List

A list of all the birds encountered on the course is available here.

Useful Websites

External websites that relate to this course will be listed here.

Further Information on Course Topics

Stonechat ((c) northeastwildlife.co.uk


Page updated 24 February 2020 by AJA