Guided Walks

Government guidelines 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, covid restrictions being followed – booking is essential:

Seabirds Pelagic Boat Trip – Depart Brixham

Monday 23rd  August  – (FULL – 2 reserve places available)

Monday 16th August   – (1 place left)   

Monday 9th August   – (1 place now available)   

 

Time: 08.30am – 12.30pm               

£50 adults – places limited to 8 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

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 Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Fulmar , Gulls and perhaps Terns, Skuas even Storm Petrel, 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 shearwaters 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 – so if you are available a day or two later even better…

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.

 

River Dart Wildlife Cruise  – Depart Kingswear

Thursday 2nd September    (5 places left) 

Time: 1pm – 4.45pm                
£40 adults (under 18’s £28)  – places very limited to 9 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Early September is a great time to be out on the Dart, gulls and waders have returned from their breeding grounds to spend the winter on the estuary while others are just passing through on their way further south. Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher are regulars but they can be joined by Godwits, Whimbrel and smaller waders too. At this time of year there’s a good chance of an  Osprey that regularly spend a few days on the Dart in late summer fattening up on Mullet before moving on to Africa. Once a very rare bird in Britain it is now expected on all of our estuaries each year.

The Dart holds a small resident population of Harbour Seals. This is a very rare mammal in the SW of England and a cruise is the very best way to find them, perhaps even hauled out if we are lucky. They are the cuter looking cousin of the much more regular Grey Seal which can also be found on the estuary.

If the weather and sea state are good the cruise will include a visit out of the estuary to the offshore rocky islands of the Mew Stone. Grey Seals often haul themselves onto the exposed rocks. Perhaps out here we’ll see some passing seabirds, Harbour Porpoise or even Common Dolphin.

Docking back at Kingswear at around 4.45pm

We’ll be on board the fishing charter boat Saltwind of the Dart, a very stable boat with plenty of room to move around, with skipper Dave. And of course guiding, information and spotting from Mike.

What to bring:  Binoculars, a camera if you have one a drink and a snack, clothes to suite the weather remember at sea the temperature can often drop by several degrees compared to the land.

The cruise will be cancelled with full refunds made if the weather or sea state is bad.

Meeting place: outside entrance to the Kingwear passenger ferry and Steam Railway station at 12.45pm ready to get onto the boat follow link for map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Last of the Summer Migrants – Berry Head       

Saturday  25th September               Time: 09.30-12.00pm           (5 places left)

Cost: £10 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 10 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 9th Oct       Time: 9.30pm – 12.30pm      (1 place left)             
£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.

 

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.