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.

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, places are strictly limited, covid restrictions followed – booking is essential:

Spring Tor Bay 3hr Wildlife Cruises

Friday 20th May       Time: 08.30am -11.30am  (FULL)

Friday 27th May       Time: 08.30am -11.30am  (FULL)

Departing Brixham    –    aboard Kelly’s Hero

          
£35 – places strictly limited to 7, booking essential  

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place 

Spring Boat trips in Torbay are fascinating, we should  see the last of our wintering seabirds often well into May. Male Common Scoter looking dapper in their glossy black plumage and yellow bills and hopefully Great Northern Divers acquiring their spectacular spangled summer plumage. Then there are the returning Summer migrants like Sandwich Terns regularly resting on the buoys well out in Tor Bay or Common Sandpipers and Whimbrel tucked into secluded coves – perhaps a small flock of them. 

Last year we found a couple of Puffins and the bridled form of Guillemot with the usual Guillemots.  We’ll check out colonies of Guillemot at Berry Head and the Ore Stone which still holds good numbers of Breeding Razorbill. There should be a good supporting cast of Kittiwake, Porpoises, Grey Seals, Peregrines and much more. Sightings of Common Dolphin are always a bit hit and miss in the spring but the biggest super pod recorded off Tor Bay of about 1,000 dolphins passed Berry Head several years ago in May!  

 Spaces are very limited – just 7 to give everyone on board room to move around especially with cameras. 

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 Tor Bay is usually fine…

There is free parking up around Battery Gardens (approx 12 minute walk) or pay car parking much closer at Oxen Cove (approx 7 minute walk). Please arrive at 08.15- 08.20 am ready for a prompt departure

Meeting point: Brixham Passenger ferry terminal  Map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Dartmoor Cuckoos and chats 

Monday 16th May          Time: 9.00am – 12.30/1pm                (Full) 

Tuesday 17th May          Time 9.00am – 12.30/1pm                 (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.

A bird rich and beautiful walk (approx. 4.3 miles one fairly steep incline) from Warren House Inn to Soussons Plantation on to Challacombe Farm and back up via Headland Warren and Birch Tor. Hopefully enjoying some of the best birds Dartmoor can offer including Cuckoo, Redstart, Stonechat, Whinchat, Stonechat, Siskin, Willow and Garden Warblers and Flycatchers.

Since early birding walks with the YOC in the 1970’s Warren House Inn  and Soussons has been one of Mikes favourite Dartmoor birding walks. Gone are the Red Grouse and Ring Ouzels but there are still plenty of other birds to keep us busy. It is one of the best and easiest places to see Cuckoos on Dartmoor. Before starting the walk a couple of years ago we even watched a female cuckoo appearing to lay an egg in a Meadow Pipits nest! 

The open moorland should provide us with both Stonechat and Whinchat. On to the marshy bottom of Soussons Willow Warblers will be singing hopefully Reed Bunting too. The scrub and plantation area should be good for Garden Warbler and Tree Pipit. Then down to Challacombe farm always a lovely place to walk through with its Redstarts, Lesser Redpoll and flycatchers. finally we will walk back past Headland Warren farm and past Birch tour  with the chance of more Cuckoos, Wheatears, whinchats and birds of prey.

 The walk will be cancelled if the weather is bad (heavy rain, strong winds).

What to bring: clothing to suit the weather – there are many ticks on the moors so long trousers are recommended, stout waterproof foot ware recommended (it can be wet on the paths in places), bring a hot drink and a snack – perhaps a picnic for the end of the walk. 

Walking distance: we will cover approximately 4.3 miles including some steep inclines and rough tracks.

Meeting point: Small car park just east of Warren House Inn  at 9.00am  Map: Meeting point 

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Nightjar watch – Ideford Common

 

Friday 8th July   (1 place left)     

Time: 8.00-10.30pm                
£10 adults (under 18’s £5) – places limited to 12 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

As the light fades on a summer evening we’ll prepare ourselves for the wildlife night shift on a beautiful Heathland reserve. The last songs from birds will be heard before they go to roost. With luck we’ll see and hear Stonechats, Meadow and perhaps Tree Pipits, Yellowhammer and perhaps the elusive Dartford Warbler. Blackbirds will start anxiety calling before finding a place to sleep for the night.

As the sun sets we will find the best spots to listen for and watch Nightjars that have spent the day resting and sleeping on the heath. Their soft churring ‘song’ will be occasionally be broken by a sharp slapping of wings as birds defend their territories.

Early July is a great time to watch for Nightjar, their young will be well grown and need a lot of feeding, meaning the adults are sometimes out early before it gets too dark. On previous trips they have flown over our heads wing ‘clapping’ and flying on stiff, flicking wing beats.  There is always the chance of finding Glow-worms too as we stroll back to the cars at the end of the evening. 

 The walk will be cancelled if the weather is bad.

What to bring: clothing to suit the weather – there are ticks on the common so wear long trousers, insect repellent is recommended as there may be midges, perhaps a hat to keep any midges out of your hair too, stout waterproof footwear just in case some of the paths are still muddy, bring a hot drink and a snack. A torch is a good idea for the end of the evening walk back to the cars.  

Walking distance: we will cover approximately 1.5-2 miles mostly on the flat but sometimes uneven ground.

Meeting point: Ideford Common car park  car park  at 8pm – we will finish back at the car park at about 10.30pm Map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Dart Cruise – seals and cetaceans special

Friday 22nd July     (7 places left)

 

Departing Kingswear   –   aboard African Queen

    

Time: 5.30pm – 9pm                
£36 adults (under 18’s £30) – places limited to 10 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

The Dart estuary and coastal waters just beyond are perhaps the best place in the SW for seeing both species of seal. At sea in July there’s a very good chance of spotting two species of Cetacean too. 

On this evenings cruise we’ll head both out to sea and up the river in search for seals, cetaceans and of course any birds along the way. The Dart estuary is of course a a very pleasant and scenic area to take a boat trip. 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. 

With luck we might find Harbour (Common) seals with pups, on a trip in July last year we were lucky enough to witness a pup suckling from its mother on some exposed rocks. This was only the 3rd year breeding had been recorded in the SW for this species. As the small population of Harbour Seals increase on the Dart our chances of seeing this again gets better every year. 

Low tide is at around 7.30pm so searching the islands off shore we should find some Grey seals and heading out to sea we hope to find Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise, as well as seabirds. During the summer months diving Gannets, that have perhaps travelled over from France, are always popular but perhaps also we’ll find shearwaters and guillemots and even Yellow-legged Gull.

  The cruise will be cancelled if the weather is bad.

What to bring: clothing to suit the weather – it can be cool on the boat even in summer. 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 5.20pm ready for a  PROMPT  5.30pm 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.

 

Seabirds and cetaceans – Pelagic Boat Trip – 4hrs

Friday 29th July   –  (terns and shearwater special    –  4 places left)

 

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

 

Friday 23rd September  – (passage seabird special     –   5 places left)   

 

Friday 18th November  (skuas and tuna special    –      5 places left)

 

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.

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.