Watching birds in urban areas is far easier than what you may have imagined.
There is more out there than 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 newly opened and internationally renowned, Walthamstow Wetlands in East 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.
The courses will be held on Saturdays (and occasionally Sundays) starting at 10am finishing at 4pm and there is a sumptuous café on site for lunch too.
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.
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
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 instinctively find yourself connecting with nature in an urban area