Monday 21 March 2011

Group Birdwatching

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.


high winds
across the clouds
skylarks sing


Matt Conlon said...

What exactly does one learn in a bird watching class? Do you teach mainly where to find specific birds or are there techniques for attracting them?
I never considered that there'd be classes for it, I'm very curious!

Crafty Green Poet said...

HI Matt - i teach how to identify birds by plumage, behaviour and song plus giving advice on which birds can be expected to be seen where and when

Caroline Gill said...

I would have come early, if only to have caught a glimpse of the Goldcrests!

RG said...

But I guess group birdwatching is very popular. Good way to share thoughts and what each other saw?

Anonymous said...

That video really cracked me up - hilarious :) I find birdwatching in the spring, around here, a little dangerous - with all the nesting, you get bonked on the head by magpies and plovers and don't even think about going near an emu and his babies - haha.