Guided Walks

Reports/summaries of the walks can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/mikelangmanart

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, covid restrictions being followed – booking is essential:

October Seabird Pelagic Boat Trip – Depart Brixham   (FULL)

Friday 8th October    (FULL) 

 

Time: 08.30am – 12.30pm               

£54 adults – places limited to 7 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Due to the success and popularity of the previous four 4hr pelagic trips this summer and autumn on Kellys hero  I am running an extra autumn pelagic. This trip should hopefully provide us with a different mix of seabirds, and perhaps Bluefin Tuna which are often present later into the autumn. 

The mixing of the currents off Berry Head and deeper water just out into Lyme Bay attracts good numbers of feeding seabirds, many just a little too far out for most people to appreciate detailed identification features even with the best telescope. Join Mike on Kellys Hero special seabird charter to search for and concentrate on some of the more interesting birds – hopefully including  Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Fulmar , Gulls and perhaps Terns, Skuas, Pomarine Skua is always a strong possibility in October, there’s also the good chance of seeing Porpoises and Dolphins.

Mike will guide you through the identification of the various wildlife encounters with insight into the behaviour of these creatures. This is a great opportunity for photographers to get closer to seabirds they could never hope to easily photograph from the shore. The weather will play a huge part in what’s likely to be seen on the day, a slight breeze means shearwaters are much more likely to be moving around. However even on calm days there will be birds and wildlife to see – in fact the cetaceans are easier to spot and see when the sea is calm and seabirds often loaf around in groups or even large flocks..

If the sea is too choppy the trip will be cancelled – but we will aim to try again as soon as possible. 

What to bring: a good pair of binoculars, camera, clothing to suit the weather – remember it can get surprisingly cold for a number of hours at sea.  bring a hot drink and a snack, sea sickness tablets for those that think they might need them (usually taken 2hrs before setting out on the boat) .

Meeting point: The charter boat pontoon Brixham Harbour at 0815hrs for an 0830hrs departure – returning around 1230hrs: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Mixed Birding – East Soar   (FULL)

Saturday 9th Oct       Time: 9.30pm – 12.30pm                  
£13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 10  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 and Stonechat 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.

 

Wildfowl and Warblers – Clennon Lakes

Sunday 21st November          Time: 9.30-11.30am  (FULL)         Time 1pm-3pm  (7 Places left)          
£9 adults ( Members of Friends of Clennon Lakes and under 18’s £5) – places limited to 10  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.

 

Exe Estuary, high tide roost Bowling Green Marsh (FULL)

Monday 13th December          Time: 12.30pm –  3.30pm         (FULL)      
£13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 11 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(in recent years they have roosted on the estuary) 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 December can quickly change), binoculars and a telescope if you have one.

Where to Meet: after lunch at 12.30pm at Darts Farm lower car park below the RSPB shop – We’ll finish back at Darts Farm at 3.30pm.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Torbay winter Boat Trip – Depart Brixham 

Friday 17th December         Time: 9 am – 11.30am      (2 Places Left)       

£35 adults – places limited to 7 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Torbay in winter can hold a fantastic array of seabirds  and one of the best ways to see them is by boat. I am running this specially chartered trip on Kellys hero  at perhaps the peak time of year for wintering seabirds.  

Come along and enjoy a cruise around Torbay visiting Berry Head and it’s off shore islands perhaps the Ore Stone if conditions allow and then around the bay looking for Divers, Grebes, sea duck and hopefully Peregrine there’s also the good chance of seeing Porpoises and Dolphins at this time of year too.

Mike will guide you through the identification of the various wildlife encounters with insight into the behaviour of these creatures. This is a great opportunity for photographers to get closer to seabirds they could never hope to easily photograph from the shore. The weather will play a part in  where we can go on the day and we’ll do our best to make it a pleasant cruise for the small group on board.

If the sea is too choppy the trip will be cancelled and a full refund made.

What to bring: a good pair of binoculars, camera, clothing to suit the weather – remember it can get surprisingly cold for a number of hours at sea.  A cup of tea or Coffee will be provided and biscuits too but bring a hot drink and a snack if you wish, sea sickness tablets for those that think they might need them (usually taken 2hrs before setting out on the boat) but just cruising around Torbay is usually fine…

Meeting point: The charter boat pontoon Brixham Harbour at 0845hrs for an 0900hrs departure – returning around 1130hrs: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

New Year Bird list       

Saturday 1st January              Time: 08.30-3.30/4pm (half day option available)       (6 Places Left)       

Cost: All Day £15 adults (under 18’s £5) – half day £10  (under 18’s £3) places limited to 10 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Traditionally birdwatchers often start a Year list on January 1st. It might be one you keep for an area, county, UK or the world the choice is very personal but county year lists are probably the most regular and fun.

Devon has a great variety of species due its geographical position and varied habitats from coast to moor. During the course of a year you could achieve somewhere around 200+ birds in Devon, if you try hard you should reach over 100 before the end of January!  Mike will take you to some sites in South Devon to catch up with some of the best birds available to see on the first day of the year.

We’ll start at Broadsands car park  then go to a couple of other Torbay sites in the morning before heading probably for Slapton during the afternoon but if special birds are present elsewhere this may alter my plan for the day.

The morning will provide us with opportunities to see divers and grebes, buntings and warblers but also some duck species. . There may be a chance to see a rare warbler at Clennon Lakes if  any are overwintering – you’ll need wellies for this one!  

During the afternoon we will probably drive to Slapton Ley meeting at the Torcross car park at 1pm. Here there will be a good variety of gulls,  ducks hopefully including Goldeneye, Pochard, Gadwall, hopefully grebes, divers and perhaps Scoter too. Late afternoon we’ll aim for roosting birds, Starlings, perhaps Marsh Harrier and may be even an Otter.     

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

What to Bring: Sturdy walking shoes or welly boots (especially useful if we cover Clennon Lakes!), clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in winter can quickly change), binoculars, telescope if you have one. For those coming all day a hot drink and picnic lunch.

Where to Meet:  the morning will start at the the seawall at the bottom of the first car park near to the small café. We’ll probably have to use our own cars to get around – but if you are happy to share with a friend that would be great.

Morning Meeting point »

Afternoon Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Devon Beaver and Wildlife excursions

Mid April until early September – exclusive small groups  

We specialise in evening walks to see beavers and full day tours to enjoy birds, insects and other wildlife in and around East Devon. Based in the beautiful coastal town of Budleigh Salterton. more details here  Devon Beavers

Contact Chris for more information or to book a place.