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 Naturetrek, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust & Sharpham Trust (usually during the spring and Summer).

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

NEW for 2022 Gift Vouchers: for walks or private tours Choose a walk or cruise or an voucher amount of your choice.

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, and cruises – places are strictly limited,  booking is essential:

Full day Wildlife Cruise – Coastal, Dart Estuary & Lyme Bay

Wednesday 17th August  (FULL)  

Time: 09.00am – 5pm                
£79  – places very limited to 7 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

A great opportunity to join a unique wildlife charter cruise along the spectacular south Devon coastline and then up into the Dart Estuary with expert guidance from Mike with Dave on Kelly’s Hero .  

Wildlife highlights we hope to encounter along the way may include:  Grey Seal, Harbour Seal Harbour Porpoise, Common Dolphin, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Terns, Mediterranean Gulls, perhaps a skua, Yellow-legged Gulls, Kittiwakes, Guillemot, Peregrine Falcon, Raven, Wading birds, Kingfisher, Shelducks, Herons and Egrets. 

The cruise will start from the ferry Terminal at Brixham  at 9.00am prompt – meet at 08.45am by the toilets on the quay side near to the Rockfish take away.

We will cruise slowly along the beautiful coast via Berry Head, Man Sands, Scabbacombe Head and Froward Point watching for wildlife all the way. On arrival at Dartmouth at about 11.30am we’ll take a 1/2 hour break to give you time for a comfort stop or to grab a pasty at the local bakery if you wish. 

Next we will cruise up the Dart Estuary  past the Royal Naval College, Agatha Christie’s Greenway House, Dittisham and Stoke Gabriel scanning the river and the mud flats for wildlife. Returning to Dartmouth we’ll take another brief stop if required.

On the return to Brixham, if conditions are good, we’ll venture out into Lyme Bay coming back through deeper water hoping to find some dolphins and seabirds. The days itinerary might change depending on sea conditions, so the Lyme bay excursion may be swapped to the morning. 

Docking back at Brixham at around 4.30/5.00pm 

What to bring: Warm clothing – it can be cold at sea even in the summer, hat (that won’t blow off!), sun cream, drinks, snacks, lunch (or be prepared to buy something at Dartmouth), payment for loos at Dartmouth, binoculars, camera. If you suffer from travel sickness you might consider sea sickness tablets before you start the cruise.

 

Meeting place: outside toilets at Brixham Quay Follow link for map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Osprey Seach/Watch – Dart cruise 4 hours

Monday 12th September         ( FULL ) 

Monday 26th September         (FULL)

 Departing Kingswear   –   aboard African Queen

Time: 2pm – 6pm     

          
£40 adults (under 18’s £30) – places limited to 10 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

45 years ago, hearing that the inspirational wildlife author and presenter Tony Soper had seen an Osprey on the Dart Estuary during one of his wildlife cruises (when Ospreys were still very rare in Britain), Mike and a small group of YOC (Young Ornithologists Club) members cycled out to Stoke Gabriel.  After a long wait, on the rising tide, their dreams came true as an Osprey flew down the estuary ready to hunt Mullet in the shallow water.  Mike revives Tony Soper’s cruises during September on a similar rising tide hoping to see an Osprey. The chances of seeing Osprey are today much improved as Osprey numbers continue to increase in the UK – but still not guaranteed! However, last year on two Dart cruises two and perhaps three ospreys were seen and photographed on each cruise. 

These two cruises offer a great opportunity to search the notoriously tricky estuary to watch successfully from land, and hopefully spend some time with this amazing bird. Last year we enjoyed watching one Osprey make multiple dives giving photographers the chance to take some action shots.

On this afternoons cruise we’ll first head both out to sea around the Mew Stone Rocks to search for birds and Grey Seals before moving up river on the rising tide. A low but Rising tide is probably the best time to look for Osprey as they can easily catch Mullet pushing up over the shallow, flooded mudflats. Of course we’ll be looking for any birds along the way and hopefully some Harbour Seals, the Dart Estuary is the very best place in the SW to see this species of seal. The Dart estuary is always a very pleasant and scenic area from a boat. Being on our own private charter aboard ‘African Queen’ with skipper Alan we can adjust the itinerary accordingly and make the very most of our time out. 

  The cruise will be cancelled if the weather is bad.

What to bring: Binoculars, camera if you have one, clothing to suit the weather – it can be cool on the boat even in September. Bring a hot drink and a snack. 

There is a small car park by the passenger ferry pontoon –  but Darthaven marina car park is bigger and about 10mins walk away a 5 hour ticket is recommended. There may be some free parking above Kingswear with a 15min walk to the ferry pontoon. Please bear in mind these options when you arrive and the timings for the walks.   

Meeting point: Kingswear passenger ferry car park  at 1.50pm ready for a  PROMPT  2pm departure on African Queen. We will finish back at the car park at about  – 6pm Map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Seabirds and cetaceans – Pelagic Boat Trip – 4hrs

 

Friday 12th August  –    (Exeter RSPB trip  –   FULL)

 

Friday 23rd September  – (passage seabird special     – FULL)   

 

Friday 18th November  (skuas and tuna special    –      FULL)

 

Departing Brixham    –    aboard Kelly’s Hero

Time: 08.30am – 12.30pm                
£54 adults – places limited to 7 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 and Skipper Dave on Kelly’s 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. Each of the summer and autumn months has it’s own particular pelagic species to look for. Later in the autumn we will search for Tuna too last year getting in amongst these impressive predators.

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 before or later even better…  

What to bring: a good pair of binoculars, clothing to suit the weather – remember it can get surprisingly cold for a number of hours at sea.  Although Dave always makes a cup of tea or coffee for us and Mike provides the biscuits  – 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.

Seabird& cetacean pelagic  4hrs

Friday 14th October      (Full – Reserve place available)

Departing Kingswear   –   aboard African Queen

Time: 8am – 12noon                
£54 adults (under 18’s £30) – places limited to 9 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Start and Lyme bay can be an exciting area for seabirds and cetaceans and by mid October probably Atlantic Bluefin Tuna too. 

On this mornings cruise we’ll head out into Start Bay looking for feeding groups of seabird and cetaceans. Once out in the bay We’ll put out some ‘chum’ especially prepared by our skipper Alan, then drift with the ‘chum’ slick spreading over the sea hoping it will attract seabirds especially the tubenose family that can pick up the smell of the ‘chum’ from miles away. European Storm Petrels and Shearwaters together with Fulmars are all possibilities on this cruise. Being on our own private charter aboard ‘African Queen’ with skipper Alan we can adjust the itinerary accordingly and make the very most of our time out. 

Target species for this trip will be: Balearic Shearwater, Manx Shearwater perhaps Sooty Shearwater, European Storm Petrel, Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua, together with Fulmar, commoner Gulls including Kittiwake, perhaps late tern or two and there’s always the possibility of something much rarer. Of course we will keep our eyes peeled for cetaceans like Dolphins and Porpoises, and there’s a good chance of seeing Atlantic Bluefin Tuna too in mid October – although November seems to be a better month for this impressive fish. 

The cruise will be cancelled if the weather is bad. But we will try and re-organise the cruise near to the date if enough people can still make it. for this reason I’ll keep a reserve list going to be able to fill the places in case of a change of date.

What to bring: clothing to suit the weather – it can be cold on the boat so layers, hat and gloves are recommended. Bring hot drinks and a snack too. 

There is a small car park by the passenger ferry pontoon –  but Darthaven marina car park is bigger and about 10mins walk away a 5 hour ticket is recommended. There may be some free parking above Kingswear with a 15min walk to the ferry pontoon. Please bear in mind these options when you arrive and the timings for the walks.   

Meeting point: Kingswear passenger ferry car park  at 7.50am  ready for a  PROMPT  8am departure on African Queen. We will finish back at the car park at about  – 9pm Map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Autumn Migration Watch – Berry Head       

Saturday 5th November               Time: 07.30-10.30am      ( FULL )     

Cost: £12 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 period of early November. The first 2-3 hours of daylight are always the best!

Early November can produce some of the most spectacular overhead movements of birds and given the right conditions thousands of birds could be on the move in huge flocks, Redwings and Fieldfare freshly arriving back from their breeding grounds of Scandinavia are joined by loose flocks of Wood Pigeons. There should also be a supporting cast of finches and pipits that Mike will help you to identify. You just never know what else might turn up, previous November walks have produced late Swallows and House Martins, Merlin, Woodcock, Great Northern Diver and Bramblings.

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. 

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 November 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 Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust) .

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Exminster Marshes – winter walk        

Friday 16th December                Time: 09.30-12.30pm    (Full – Reserve list option available)       

Cost: £13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 10 people, booking essential

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

RSPB Exminster Marshes are  an incredible birding spot in Devon. A mid morning high tide (11.27am) in December will mean the marshes will be alive with waders and wildfowl and hopefully some birds of prey too!  

We will take a circular walk starting from the RSPB car park. The walk can be quite wet sometimes so be prepared with wellies. Looking for Lapwing and perhaps Golden Plover on the wet fields then Redwings and Fieldfares in the hawthorn hedgerows. Arriving at the Turf locks pub we’ll scan over the estuary for Avocets, ducks and fields for geese. Walking back along the canal bank perhaps a Kingfisher, Reed Bunting or Cetti’s Warbler will show. Toward the fisherman’s car park the pools and lake can attract Pintail, diving ducks and plenty of Wigeon. Waders like Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe and shanks will forced off the estuary and onto the marshes due to the high tide.

Marsh Harrier and Peregrine have been a regular feature of the marshes in recent winters, often causing a commotion as they hunt over the area.   

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

What to Bring:  Wellington boots (preferably),  clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in November can quickly change), binoculars, telescope if you have one and a hot drink and snack.

Where to Meet:  At the RSPB car park just past the Swans nest pub, over the bridge on Station Road    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 0830-11.30am      (4 places left)   

Cost: All Day £16 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  

Evening beaver walks April – September are now available for 2022 and can be booked online through website: Devon Wildlife & Beaver Tours.

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. 

Contact  Chris Townend for more information or to book a place.