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Bird Songs and Calls

Bird Songs and Calls
Higham Hall
The Dunnock is one of the first species to sing in the springtime as a result of detecting the lengthening day.
The vocalisations of birds are invaluable aids to help us in their identification but the process of learning them all may seem daunting and never-ending. Fortunately most species have a repertoire which is unique, enabling confident identification, even in the absence of a view. Such calls and songs can also draw our attention to the existence of a bird which may otherwise go un-noticed. This short course will provide the necessary starting point for beginners as well as enabling others, with more experience, to add to their knowledge.
Next date to be announced
4 nights

4 nights - double room occupancy. (single supplement applies to single room occupancy)

Breakfast, Lunch, Evening meal.

Travel costs whilst on event.

Travel costs to and from venue.

Evening meal on last day of event.

Higham Hall is one of only a handful of independent residential colleges in the north of England providing a range of open learning experiences for adults.

Once people discover Higham they tend to return again and again, often for many years, such is the joy of simply spending intelligent time with like-minded people in such charismatic surroundings.

Higham’s main activity is now as an independent Educational Trust attracting around 3,000 adults each year on over  250 courses of lengths from half a day to up to a week. People come from Cumbria, the North of England, Scotland and further afield. No qualifications needed, just a desire to enjoy learning, and the warmest Cumbrian hospitality.

DAY ONE     Date: 4 April

5 - 6 pm    Residents and non-residents check in at reception.  A member of staff will allocate residents’ bedrooms and help with any queries. 

7.45 - 9.15 p.m. Introductions.  Presentation: Bird Sounds; why and how they sing and call.   

DAY TWO     Date: 5 April
9am – 5pm
Today we will start locally, around the bird-rich gardens of Higham Hall where many species will be in full song already. This is a perfect chance to begin to learn or to increase your confidence with songs and calls of some of the more common species. Lunch at Higham followed by a trip to Powter How on the edge of Bassenthwaite which is excellent for a range of oak woodland species. The marshy country of Dubwath Silver Meadows will be our last stop for the day.
7.45 - 9.15 pm    Re-cap of the day and reminder of the key bird songs and calls.

DAY THREE      Date: 6 April

9am – 5pm

Our journey today will take us over the impressive Newlands Pass and down to Crummock Water. The onset of spring will be clear with many species already setting out territory and we will be stopping at various points to note all the sounds we encounter. A nice trail around the lake will be the perfect spot for lunch after which we well return to Whinlatter Forest for conifer woodland species

Packed lunch
7.45 – 9.15pm    Re-cap of the day and reminder of the key bird songs and calls.

DAY FOUR      Date: 7 April

It is easy to overlook the importance of the sounds of coastal birds and today we will head for the Solway and spend some time exploring a number of sites in the area such asCampfield Marsh, Bowness Common and Drumburgh Moss. These sites will give us an opportunity to listen to the calls of waders and wildfowl as well as species found on the surrounding farmland and the raised bogs. 

Packed lunch
7.45 – 9.15pm    Re-cap of the day and reminder of the key bird songs and calls.

DAY FIVE      Date: 8 April

Breakfast and depart

Course materials to be brought by student:

Binoculars, notebook. (telescope optional).

Clothing should be water/wind proof, warm and ideally inconspicuous in colour.  Don’t forget gloves.

Footwear should be walking boots or Wellingtons.  The ground will be wet in places.

A small rucksack to carry lunch/flask and something waterproof to sit on will be necessary.

RSPB members – please bring your membership cards

Suggested Reading:

Mitchell Beazley Pocket Guide to Birdwatching.

Collins Bird Guide. 

Other Information:

The programme may be varied according to weather conditions. 

In order to properly explore the sites there will be a certain amount of walking, sometimes over rough ground and/or over stiles.  It is essential that you are reasonably mobile. However, all destinations have been chosen based upon relatively easy gradients and good paths.  Also each day has planned in a significant time for sitting and watching – the pace will be leisurely.

01768 776276