Nigel Matthews has kindly offered half-price taster sessions on bird song recognition for RSPB New Forest Local Group members. His invitation is reproduced below.
“Dear RSPB members
If you would like to be better at recognising bird songs and calls and can reach various parts of the New Forest area by 7.00 am on a Saturday morning, I may be able to help.
Learn Bird Songs sessions typically last two or three hours. We rarely cover more than a mile or two because we’ve found it best to stand still and concentrate on what we can hear – the aim being to identify everything, including common species.
This year we started in January and we’ve had some wonderful mornings; last weekend we had nightingale, blackcap and garden warbler singing at the same time!
I have four sessions planned between now and 2 July 2016 to: Acres Down and surrounding woodlands (Saturday 14 May 2016) (for wood warbler, hawfinch, woodlark etc.); Roydon Woods (marsh tit, garden warbler); Martin Down (turtle dove, corn bunting, lesser whitethroat) and Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve (reed and sedge warblers, little tern, little ringed plover and lots more).
I already have at least five people booked on all these dates but would like to offer one-off, half-price taster sessions to RSPB members who have not attended before: up to four such places on each day. To check availability or be informed about future dates, please e-mail me at nigel-AT-matthews-online.co.uk (replace -AT- with @).
Quoting from my website: ‘It’s much easier to identify birds if you know what they sound like. With help and practice, most people quickly learn to recognise at least the more common songs and calls. New species and less frequent vocalisations then stand out as being ‘different’, making country walks and even time in the back garden much more interesting and rewarding.’
‘Beginners are always welcome on these courses – as are those who know some species but want to learn more.’
For further information check out my website.