Guided Walks

Social distancing and Tier 2 rules will be 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, tier 2 restriction being followed – booking is essential:

Dart Estuary Wildlife Cruise  –  CANCELLED due to Covid rules  

Monday  11th January  (FULL)        Time: 09.30am-12/12.30pm 

Tuesday 12th January  (FULL)                    Time: 10am-12.30/1pm        

Cost: £35 – places limited to 8 people, booking essential on this special trip.

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

A specially chartered leisurely wildlife cruise up and down the Dart Estuary on a small/medium charter boat Our Joel . The Dart is a notoriously difficult river to access for wildlife watching, much of the surrounding land is private so the only way to see it properly is by boat. This trip is time to coincide with a low tide offering the best wildlife watching opportunities.

We will first head down river to the offshore Shag Stone and Mew Stone rocks checking the shoreline on the way, there’s a chance of Grey Seals, Harbour Porpoise, Peregrine and rocky shore waders. Learn how to get to grips with Cormorant and Shag identification once and for all!

We then head back up the estuary via the scenic town of Dartmouth and Kingswear, past Agatha Christies summer home of Greenway and village of Dittisham looking for wildlife. Grey and the much rarer Common Seals are possible here. On the estuary mud flats Grey Heron and Little Egrets join Shelducks, Oystercatchers, Curlew and Redshank with luck we’ll find a Greenshank and possibly Red-breasted Merganser and grebes.   

The upper stretches of the Dart Estuary can be good during the winter for Kingfishers, Canada Geese  more grey seals and plenty of Gull species. Over the steep wooded estuary sides we’ll look out for birds of prey and Raven. 

Weather conditions will determine the actual itinerary of the cruise but the Dart Estuary is normally very sheltered. 

What to Bring: Clothing to suit the weather (remember the weather in November can quickly change, and standing or sitting on a boat can be very cold), flask, face mask, binoculars, camera if you have one.

Where to Meet:  At the entrance to the Dart Marina, Kingswear. Parking available in the dart Marina car park approx £3.30 for 3 hours.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

Exe Estuary, High Tide Roost Bowling Green Marsh – CANCELLED

(FULL) Saturday 6th February          Time: 9.30-12.30pm   –  CANCELLED due to Covid regulations              
£13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 8 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 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 February can quickly change), binoculars and a telescope if you have one.

Where to Meet: 09.30pm at Darts Farm lower car park below the RSPB shop – We’ll finish back at Darts Farm at 12.30pm – just in time for lunch.

Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

 

Woodpeckers, woodland birds and raptors – Yarner Woods (FULL)

(FULL) Saturday 6th March          Time: 8.30-11.30pm                
£13 adults (under 18’s £6) – places limited to 8 people, booking essential    

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.

An early morning start is essential to catch up with active and calling Woodpeckers at Yarner Woods and Trendlebere down .  There’s a real chance of at least hearing and perhaps seeing all three of Devon’s Woodpeckers on this morning’s excursion.  Other winter woodland birds at Yarner should include Treecreper, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Siskin and hopefully Lesser Redpoll. March can a good time for Brambling associating with the local Chaffinches.

The small reservoir or the ponds in the woodland usually hold beautiful (although non-native!) Mandarin Ducks. The heathlands are home to Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipits and in winter perhaps Reed Bunting.

If the weather is good we will extend the meeting for another hour for those willing to sit wait or stand and watch for birds of prey that might be soaring over the woodlands and valleys.

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

What to bring: clothing to suit the weather (it can be very cold on the edge of Dartmoor), some of the tracks around Yarner are muddy and slippery so wear stout waterproof foot ware, bring a hot drink and a snack especially for those staying on until 11.30am.

Walking distance: we will cover approximately 2.5 miles including some steep inclines.

Meeting point: middle Trendlebere car park grid reference SX783 792  Map: Meeting point »

Contact Mike for more information or to book a place.