2021 – 2022

The Secret Lives of Britain’s Birds

Warblers & Thrushes

The Warblers and Thrushes may seem a random combination to some, however they share the same lineage, and so are two of our closest related songbirds. Both genera are fascinating, performing amazing migrations, are cherished for producing our most beautiful birdsongs, many are steeped in folklore, and all have interesting breeding behaviour. They are great examples of the variety of adaptions a genus can diversify in, in order to occupy so many different habitats.

Warblers are challenging to identify and study, but with increasing knowledge of this successful family these series of classes will unravel the secret lives of the wide variety that exist in Britain. We will explore how different this similar group of species are, their nesting strategies, moult, population dynamics, habitat use, and more.

Thrushes are a smaller genus, mostly familiar to us and with a high significance in our local folklore. We will explore their different ecological niches and how we can help them.

This sixteen-week bird course, run by tutor/organiser: Simon Ginnaw, will compare and contrast the members of Warbler and Thrush genus’ and review their characteristics.

Take a look at latest discoveries, migration, ecology, populations, distribution, and plumages.

This course will consist of 16 classes via Zoom, from 7.30pm to approx. 9pm, using photos, illustrations, videos and sounds to bring the fascinating subjects alive, with hand-outs given throughout the course via email. Each evening will consist of a 60 minute lecture with a 10 minute break half-way, with approximately 20 minutes for an interactive identification quiz. I will also summarise that week’s bird movements across the country.

COST: £90.00 per person if booking individually. £135.00 per couple, where facilities and handouts are shared.

WHEN: Monday evenings (October 2021 to March 2022)

DATES: – 18th, 25th October, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th November, 6th, 13th December 2020
– 31st January, 7th, 21st, 28th February, 7th, 21st, 28th March, and 4th April 2022

Optional Field Trips

Why not add-on some field trips to your course and have a chance to meet up with fellow class participants? Below is a selection of field trips to venues where attendee numbers will be able to keep distanced, and there will be no hides to visit.

Field Trip 1 – Monday 11th October 2021
Venue: Dungeness National Nature Reserve & RSPB Reserve
Theme: Autumn Migration & Early Winter Arrivals
Times: 10am – 3pm 
Cost: £10

Field Trip 2 – Monday 3rd January 2021
Venue: The Sissinghurst Estate
Theme: Woodland and Farmland Birding in Winter 
Times: 10am – 1pm
Cost: £8

Field Trip 3 – Monday 14th February 2022
Venue: New Hythe Lakes
Theme: Winter Wetland and Scrubland Birds 
Times: 10am – 1pm
Cost: £8

Field Trip 4 – Monday 18th April 2022
Venue: Old Lodge, Ashdown Forest
Theme: Spring Migration & Summer Migrants
Times: 10am – 3pm
Cost: £10

If you would like to book onto this course, please contact me with your name/names of participants, and your contact email and phone number. Handouts will be sent via email to your email address provided.

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