Guided Walks

Social distancing and Tier 2 rules will be followed on all of the current guided walks and watches

With over 40 years’ experience as a birdwatcher Mike’s knowledge of birds around Torbay is unparalleled. He leads walks for Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust & Sharpham Trust (usually during the spring and Summer).

The walks vary from general natural history walks to walks concentrating on particular bird groups or species; most cater for birdwatchers of any ability. Places are always limited – booking is essential.

For more information or to book places go the events pages and scroll through the months at:

You can also book onto Mike’s own walks, places are strictly limited, tier 2 restriction being followed – booking is essential:

Winter coast watch – Broadsands       

Saturday 5th December               Time: 09.30-11.30am           

Cost: £10 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 8 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Broadsands is a great place to discover wintering birds both on the sea and land, it offers the opportunity to see birds difficult to see anywhere else in Devon.

Sheltered from the predominant SW winds the sea at Broadsands allows birds to feed, rest and roost in relative safety. Several species of divers and grebes can usually be seen along with occasional sea ducks and auks. This corner of Devon is the only place in our county over the years to have recorded 5 species of Diver! The rocks and beach can be very good for gull watching too.

Between the main car parks there is a small usually frost free marsh. It provides shelter and food for warblers that either could not survive cold winters, or would normally migrate. Chiffchaff, Goldcrests are regularly seen, together with rarer Firecrest, Siberian Chiffchaff and occasional Yellow-browed Warbler.  Mike started a winter feeding station for Cirl Buntings back in 2003 – he is still dropping seed today thanks to the RSPB donating the seed now. The feeding station attracts Reed Bunting too and in recent years Yellowhammers together with several finch species.

Mike will guide participants through the sometimes tricky identification and calls of the many species.

This walk is weather dependant and will be cancelled if heavy rain is predicted.

What to Bring: Sturdy walking shoes or boots, clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in December can quickly change), binoculars, telescope if you have one.

Where to Meet:  At the the seawall at the bottom of the first car park near to the small café .

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Winter estuary Birds – Powderham, Exe Estuary      

(FULL)  Friday  11th December Time: 10am-1pm           

Cost: £12 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 8 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

The vast expanses of mud on the Exe Estuary provides feeding for thousands of waders including Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits. Among them there should be Red and Greenshank, Knot, Dunlin, Ringed Plover Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey and perhaps Golden Plover.

In the estuary channels we’ll look out for Ducks including Red-breasted Merganser and on the surrounding fields we should find Curlew and plenty of noisy cackling Brent Geese. If we are lucky we might see several species of birds of prey – perhaps a Peregrine trying its luck  stooping on the massed flocks of waders.

The rising tide should push the waders up the mud banks giving us closer views. Come along and learn how to pick out some of the more tricky to identify waders in the flocks.

This walk is weather dependant and will be cancelled if heavy rain is predicted.

Walk distance: approximately 2.5 – 3 miles

What to Bring: Sturdy walking shoes or boots, clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in December can quickly change), binoculars, telescope if you have one. Bring a hot drink and a snack/lunch.

Where to Meet:  10am at the Parish Church parking area at Powderham Church

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Dart Estuary Wildlife Cruise  –  RESCHEDULED     

Monday  11th January               Time: 09.30am-12/12.30pm          

Cost: £35 – places limited to 8 people, booking essential on this special trip.

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

A specially chartered leisurely wildlife cruise up and down the Dart Estuary on a small/medium charter boat Our Joel . The Dart is a notoriously difficult river to access for wildlife watching, much of the surrounding land is private so the only way to see it properly is by boat. This trip is time to coincide with a low tide offering the best wildlife watching opportunities.

We will first head down river to the offshore Shag Stone and Mew Stone rocks checking the shoreline on the way, there’s a chance of Grey Seals, Harbour Porpoise, Peregrine and rocky shore waders. Learn how to get to grips with Cormorant and Shag identification once and for all!

We then head back up the estuary via the scenic town of Dartmouth and Kingswear, past Agatha Christies summer home of Greenway and village of Dittisham looking for wildlife. Grey and the much rarer Common Seals are possible here. On the estuary mud flats Grey Heron and Little Egrets join Shelducks, Oystercatchers, Curlew and Redshank with luck we’ll find a Greenshank and possibly Red-breasted Merganser and grebes.   

The upper stretches of the Dart Estuary can be good during the winter for Kingfishers, Canada Geese  more grey seals and plenty of Gull species. Over the steep wooded estuary sides we’ll look out for birds of prey and Raven. 

Weather conditions will determine the actual itinerary of the cruise but the Dart Estuary is normally very sheltered. 

What to Bring: Clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in November can quickly change), binoculars, camera if you have one.

Where to Meet:  At the entrance to the Dart Marina, Kinswear. Parking available in the dart Marina car park approx £3.30 for 3 hours.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Exe Estuary, High Tide Roost Bowling Green Marsh

Saturday 6th February          Time: 9.30-12.30pm                
£13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 8 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

The vast expanses of mud on the Exe Estuary provides habitat for thousands of waders including Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits but they can be so far away it is difficult to see them! On a high tide these birds move onto the reserves of Bowling Green Mash and Darts Farm to rest, waiting for the tide to fall again.

This date and time has been chosen to see the birds arriving as the tide comes in. This can be impressive as flocks gather and hurriedly make their way over the sea walls onto the lagoons and wet grasslands.

There be plenty of wildfowl too with Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and geese on the lagoons. Join Mike for a walk, learning how to pick out some of the more tricky to identify waders in the flocks.

The event will be cancelled if heavy rain forecast.

What to bring: Sturdy walking shoes or boots, clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in February can quickly change), binoculars and a telescope if you have one.

Where to Meet: 09.30pm at Darts Farm lower car park below the RSPB shop – We’ll finish back at Darts Farm at 12.30pm – just in time for lunch.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.