This is the last week of the Beginners Birdwatching classes I've been teaching for City of Edinburgh Council Adult Learning programme. I've taught two classes a week and we've had some lovely trips out round Edinburgh. I also taught these classes in the autumn last year. Spring is definitely better for a Beginners Birdwatching class as the birds are chasing each other round and singing their hearts out so they tend to be more obvious than in autumn when they are quieter. Birdwatching classes offer interesting challenges compared to birdwatching alone, e.g.:
* the bird the tutor saw before the class arrived - today for example before the class, I had a lovely view of two goldcrests in a hedge, who didn't show themselves for the group
* the bird that is only seen by half the group - this happens all the time, today some of us saw a brambling and some of us aren't sure whether we did or not
* where is that bird you've seen? see The Hardest part of Birding an entertaining video for the birders amongst us
* describe that bird again? trying to guess the bird that a class member saw that no-one else did from a partial description
* two people looking at different birds but thinking it's the same one and not understanding why the other thinks it's a robin when clearly it's a greenfinch
* we make more noise in a group and so we may scare away the birds or just make too much noise to hear all the birds. Having said that, both groups this term have been very good at walking slowly and quietly and not talking too much.
across the clouds