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

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The Course

The course 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 during this period (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.  Class members may also send emails to the list but should be aware that the email will be distributed to all class members.  Hence, you should be careful when using your mailer’s “reply” function.

To send to the list, address your email to


or click on the above link.  If you wish to contact one of the course instructors directly, please use the appropriate email from the list above rather than using the list.  The list is intended for information of use and value to all course participants.

Arrangements will be made to accommodate those without email access.

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 during the break half-way through the class. 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

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 a list of target birds.  Following the trip, a list of the bird species observed will be posted.  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

Course Bird List

This link will take you to a page that lists all of the birds seen on course field trips.  You will also learn a bit about bird taxonomy (the scientific naming of birds) and the relationships among different species as revealed through taxonomy.

Supplementary Information

This section is used 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 19 June 2015 by AJA

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