The Urban Birder One Day Course

In association with Viking Optical Ltd

DATES & LOCATIONS

Walthamstow Wetlands, London, England

  • October 24, 2020

To Book

  • Price:

    £60 per person – London

  • Group size: up to 15 participants
  • Time: 10am – 4pm

    (times may vary so please check the individual courses)

  • Lunch plus coffees and teas available (London only)
  • Locations are subject to change if factors like adverse weather conditions or traffic problems dictate
  • Please contact us if you have any other queries

    Email: tours@theurbanbirderworld.com

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Description

Watching birds in urban areas is far easier than what you may have imagined. There is more out there and just pigeons. Over 600 species have been found within the UK since records began and over 90% have been discovered in our urban areas. Birds are everywhere, even in the heart of the concrete jungle. The knack is learning how to notice and eventually recognise the birds that share our urban lives.

The Urban Birder Course will be an introduction to appreciating the abundant birdlife in our urban areas. It will cover the definition of an urban bird, recognition techniques and tips on attracting birds into your garden.

Led by experienced urban birder Gary Elton, the venue for the courses will be:

The internationally renowned, Walthamstow Wetlands in London. Easily accessible by public transport, this superb location is one of the largest urban wetlands in Europe and is home to a large number of species, some of which are scarce elsewhere in London. Birds like Cetti’s Warbler, Common Kingfisher and Great Crested Grebe are all likely on your visit plus many more.

Keep an eye out for new course dates in different locations in the UK and beyond.

The courses are usually held on Saturdays (and occasionally Sundays) starting at 10am finishing at 4pm. Please check the individual courses for their start times as they may vary. Although there is a lovely café at the Walthamstow Wetlands it is advised that you bring your own lunch on all of our courses because it will save time waiting to be served in long queues!

Above all it will be fun, irreverent, factual and educational.

Most components of this course will be held outdoors in the field so please dress accordingly to the season. Always dress warmer than what the day appears to be because hours in the field can be surprisingly chilly. Also, try to wear adequate footwear as it could get muddy or slippery.

In line with the Covid-19 restrictions course participants will be expected to adhere to the social distancing rules at all times. Physical contact will be avoided apart from people from the same household or social bubble. To limit the risk of contagion, the guide will not share his optics. Rest assured that any loaned optics would have been disinfected before use.

The topics that will be covered include

Bird identification: recognising the usual suspects in urban areas.

Becoming a garden birder: what food to provide and how, what flora to establish and where to place nest boxes.

Optical equipment: how to use binoculars, when to use telescopes and basic wildlife photography tips with a recognised wildlife photographer.

Fieldcraft: how to actually watch birds in the field and what to wear whilst doing it.

Finding a local patch: how to identify good urban habitats and recording the birds you discover.

Urban bird migration: learning about the reasons why birds migrate.

We will also cover twitching, note taking and urban birding abroad.

By the end of this course you will be instinctively find yourself connecting with nature in any urban area.

TUBW in association with Viking Optical Ltd

IMPORTANT NOTES

The courses are usually held on Saturdays (and occasionally Sundays) starting at 10am finishing at 4pm. Please check the individual courses for their start times as they may vary. It is advisable that you bring your own lunch on all of our courses as it may save you time waiting to be served in busy cafes with long queues!

Most components of this course will be held outdoors in the field so please dress accordingly to the season. Always dress warmer than what the day appears to be because hours in the field can be surprisingly chilly. Also, try to wear adequate footwear, as it could get muddy or slippery.

In line with the Covid-19 restrictions course participants will be expected to adhere to the social distancing rules at all times. Physical contact will be avoided apart from people from the same household or social bubble. To limit the risk of contagion, the guide will not share his optics. Rest assured that any loaned optics would have been disinfected before use.

If you need to borrow a pair of our loan Viking Optics binoculars (depending on availability) please stipulate that desire when you book to avoid disappointment on the day.

The Urban Birder Day Course Crew

‘The Urban Birder Day Course is based on a simple ethos: it’s all about showing people how easy it is to watch birds in a city. You need any knowledge of birds just come with an open mind and an open heart!’

David Lindo, Founder


Gary Elton

Day Course Developer & Chief Tutor



A keen birder from the tender age of nine, Gary spent the majority of his early years birding near his childhood home, in and around North West London. Local patches in later years included Wormwood Scrubs with David Lindo and Hilfield Park Reservoir where at this latter site he also served as site warden for 12 years on behalf of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Gary also served as a Herts Bird Club committee member and has contributed to several birding publications and made several television appearances.

Gary now lives in Norfolk and plays an active part in birding there working part time at Holme Bird Observatory. He is a qualified ringer involved in running a local constant effort ringing site for the British Trust for Ornithology. Tour leading has become a major part of his working life and recent destinations include Israel, Northern Greece, Iceland, Spain, Bulgaria and The Gambia with other visits to Morocco, Switzerland, Mexico and North and South America. His other work also revolves around birds, primarily working off shore gathering data on seabirds and cetaceans.

You can reach him at: tours[@]theurbanbirderworld.com


Heather Wolf



Urban birder, photographer and author of Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront, Heather is a keen educator. Originally from the west coast, she has made Brooklyn her home and has single handily put Brooklyn Bridge Park on the ornithological map.

You can reach her at: tours[@]theurbanbirderworld.com

Donia Lindo

TUB Course Co-ordinator



We are really excited to welcome Donia into the fold. She is a highly skilled organisor and social media wizard!

She will be the new engine room for the successful running of all The Urban Birder World client activities.

You can reach her at donia[@]theurbanbirderworld.com