The Urban Birder Course


Watching birds in urban areas is far easier than what you may have imaged. There is more out there than just pigeons. Nearly 400 species have been found within the London area and some sites can boast in excess of 120 species annually. 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.

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

All components of this course will be held outdoors in the field so please dress accordingly.

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.

Course dates

May 7, 14, 21, 28 & June 4 2017

The course will start at 10am and will take up a whole Sunday and will last for the duration of five consecutive Sundays.

The Urban Birder Course is suitable for beginners all ages

Please bring lunch and drinks. Toilet facilities will be available at most locations.

Full details on directions to each site will be available on a weekly basis at the time of the course in case of changes of locations.

Locations are subject to change if factors like adverse weather conditions or traffic problems dictate.

Week 1 – Wormwood Scrubs

General introduction to urban birding and using optical equipment.

Week 2 – Walthamstow Marshes

Learning about general bird identification and getting to grips with waterbirds.

Week 3 – Rainham Marshes

More bird identification and fieldcraft.

Week 4 – Beddington Farmlands

More bird identification and learning about conservation

Week 5 – Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens

More bird identification with a focus on waterbirds and owls.

Course Tutor

David Darrell Lambert

David started birding in 1979 after being taken on a school trip to Rye Mead RSPB Reserve in Hertfordshire. After the warden had explained the difference between Coots and Moorhens feet he was hooked. Since those early days he has become an adept professional ornithological surveyer working extensively throughout the UK and has travelled further to Israel, Canada, Tunisa, St. Lucia, Italy and Madeira to name a few countries.

His people skills are exemplary and he often leads groups for TUB Tours around London.

Book now

  • Price: £250 per person
  • Group size: up to 25 participants
  • Dates: May 7, 14, 21, 28 & June 4 2017
  • Locations are subject to change if factors like adverse weather conditions or traffic problems dictate
  • Please contact us if you have any other queries


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