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

Stonechat (© northeastwildlife.co.uk

Stonechat (image: northeastwildlife.co.uk)

The course will meet twice a month from September 2016 to May 2017 (with a break for most of December and January), on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings.  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.

Course Leaders.  Alan Heath, Dave Pearce and John Arnfield.  This course is sponsored  by the Church Stretton branch of the Shropshire Ornithological Society and the National Trust (Cardingmill Valley & Shropshire Hills).

Cost.  The course costs ₤80 for the 16 sessions, payable in advance.

05104_000Locations & Times.  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 (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 that month’s destination.  Car sharing is encouraged, both on environmental groups and because parking is very limited at some locations.

Further Information & Joining the Course.  Contact John Arnfield on (01694) 724 170 or by email at arnfield.2@osu.edu.  See also address below.

Course Outline & Dates. Dates and topics for each component of the course are shown in the table below.

Indoor Meeting               Field Trip
September 6 September 11 Migration (Arrivals & Departures), Along with Wetland and Farmland Birds
October 11 October 23 Autumn and Early Winter Flocks in a Shropshire Waterway and Raised Bog Landscape
November 22 November 27 Wildfowl, Gulls and Waders of OpenWaters and their Margins
January 24 January 29 Birds of the Meres, Wetlands and Adjacent Woodlands, Including Winter Finches, Tits and Buntings.
February 28 March 5 Early Breeders, Displaying Raptors and Coniferous Forest Specialties.
March 28 April 2 Early Arriving Migrants in Southern Shropshire Upland and Riverine Woodland Habitats.
 April 25 April 30 Summer Visitors and Breeding Birds of Mixed Woodlands.
May 23 May 28 Birds of Moor and Heath.

Reserving a Place on the Course. If you wish to reserve a place on this course, please request or download a participation form and send it, along with a cheque for £80.00 per person, to John Arnfield, Peel Wyke, Longhills Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 6DS.  Cheques should be made payable to “John Arnfield (Birdwatching Course)” and receipts are available on request.  Cheques will not be cashed until course participation reaches the minimum number to recover costs associated with the course.  There is an enrolment limit and places will be filled in the order forms and cheques are received.