Walks

Social distancing rules will be important to abide by on all of the current 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 – booking is essential:

Last of the Summer Migrants – Berry Head       

Saturday  26th September               Time: 09.30-12.00pm           

Cost: £10 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 6 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

A birding stroll around Berry Head during the usually busy migration month of September.

Weather conditions will determine the actual itinerary of the morning, if it’s calm the top of the headland can be buzzing with activity – but if there’s a breeze the woods and quarry will be watched. September is the month when many of our summer visitors leave, so it’s the last chance to see departing warblers and good numbers of swallows and martins.

Overhead finches and pipits can be on the move so we may try a bit of visible migration watching, perhaps learning a few of the calls from regular migrants. There is always the chance or something more unusual too.

Should there be an onshore breeze then the sea will beckon our group to attempt some seawatching, with perhaps shearwaters, terns or skuas passing by.

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 September can quickly change), binoculars, telescope if you have one.

Where to Meet:  At the picnic tables next to the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust Car park fee payable on exit of the car park (free parking for members of the Trust) .

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Mixed Birding – East Soar

Saturday 17th Oct 2020      Time: 9.30pm – 12.30pm                   
£12 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 6 people, booking essential  

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

The accessible mixture of open fields, damp willow edged ditches and scrubby valleys offer a diverse mixture of habitats for numerous bird species.

The open farmland and stubbles are great places to see numbers of Skylark, Finches, Wagtails, Pipits, buntings if we are lucky perhaps a bird of prey or two hunting or quartering the areas.

The willow fringed damp ditches are favoured places for rarer & scarce warblers more often found by their call than a sighting.

The sheltered valleys of East Soar, Starehole Valley can be a migrant hotspot with October being one of the best months for lost waifs and strays. The dense hawthorn and blackthorn cover provides food, shelter and cover for regular migrants like Blackcap, Goldcrest, Firecrest and perhaps the skulking Ring Ouzel.

What to bring: Sturdy walking shoes or boots, clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in October can quickly change), binoculars, a drink and a snack although the café at East Soar Farm may well still be open.

Where to Meet: At 9.30am in the East Soar National Trust Car park. Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Thrushes and perhaps    Ring Ouzel! – Avon Dam

Friday 23rd October 2020      Time: 9.30pm – 12.00pm                   
£10 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 6  people, booking essential  

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Scandinavian winter thrushes will have arrived en masse and target the berry laden bushes and trees on the edges of Dartmoor during October to refuel their fat reserves. There will be plenty of other birds to see including Stonechats, Goldcrest, Raven, Buzzard and hopefully Dipper during this stroll up toward the Avon Dam.

Among the migrant Fieldfares, Redwings, Song Thrush and Blackbird there should be Mistle thrush and with luck Ring Ouzel. This area is one of the best places in Devon to see Ring Ouzel during the autumn.

We will walk up to the top of the Dam just in case there are any ducks lingering, or a flock of Golden Plover.

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 October can quickly change), binoculars, a drink and a snack.

Where to Meet: At 9.30am in the Shipley Bridge car park. Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Wildfowl and Warblers – Clennon Lakes

Saturday 14th November          Time: 9.30-11.30am               
£8 adults ( Members of Friends of Clennon Lakes and under 18’s £5) – places limited to 6  people, booking essential  

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

The sheltered lakes in Clennon Valley are home to birds found nowhere else in Tobay. Little Grebe, Teal, Gadwall are regular winter visitors with Snipe and Water Rail skulking in the dense  lake fringes, sometimes something more unusual turns up too.

Being so near to the coast, at sea level and in the relatively mild winter climate of Devon insectivorous warblers are able to survive the winter months. Chiffchaffs that should be in Africa are regularly seen with Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits. In previous years Firecrests have been found feeding in the willows and ivy and even rare Yellow-browed Warblers have overwintered.

Colourful Kingfishers are everyone’s favourite and the lakes often boast 2-3 birds during the early autumn. With a supporting cast of perhaps Little Egret, Grey Heron and many other wildfowl at close range Clennon is a great place to learn more about their identification and calls.

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 October can quickly change), binoculars.

Where to Meet: At 9.30am at the entrance to the Torbay Velopark (cycle track) just below  Torbay Leisure Centre car park.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.