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Getting to Grips with Raptors

Getting to Grips with Raptors
Elan Valley, Mid-Wales

Male Merlin.

There are few people who do not find raptor identification a challenge. Here is a great chance to improve your skills and knowledge in an area rich in species.

If you’ve ever had problems identifying raptors then you are by no means alone and help is at hand to sort out those frustrating silhouettes. Here is a perfect opportunity to learn more about raptor identification in one of the country’s top locations. During the four days we will explore forest, open country and raised bog with a chance of seeing up to eight raptor species, including the ever-elusive Goshawk. We will no doubt be seeing some raptors quite close but we will also focus on those distant specs and show that these too can be identified with confidence. As much time as possible will be spent in the field but there will also be a few indoor sessions to help to re-cap on the key points. This workshop is based at the delightful Elan Valley Hotel where Red Kites can often be watched as you have breakfast.

Contact Keith Offord to reserve a place - see below

12 - 16 March
4 days
25 - 29 March
4 days

Four nights dinner bed and breakfast, picnic lunches, transport throughout the event, and the services of the leader.  

Personal insurance and items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry and phone calls.

HOTEL: The Elan Valley Hotel provides a warm welcome, comfortable rooms and excellent food and is perfectly situated just three miles west of Rhayader with fabulous views of the hills around. Further information can be found at www.elanvalleyhotel.co.uk

Day 1
4.00 p.m. onwards. Check in to hotel
7.00 p.m. Reception and introductions in the Kite Room.
7.15 p.m. Dinner in the restaurant
8.30 p.m. “An Introduction to Raptor i.d” - illustrated talk

Day 2
8.00 – 9.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Depart for Elan Valley            
Today we will explore a number of sites in the Elan Valley which will provide opportunities for finding Peregrine and Merlin as well as the almost inevitable Red Kites and Buzzards. We will also keep a watch over forested areas for Goshawk and Sparrowhawk.
7.00 p.m. Dinner in restaurant
8.30 p.m. Interactive session on identification.

Day 3
8.00 – 9.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Depart for Tregaron
The day will be spent at the fabulous Cors Caron National Nature Reserve. En route we will be stopping at various vantage points and scanning for raptors including Red Kite, Buzzard and Peregrine. Cors Caron provides opportunities for Hen Harrier, Merlin, Kestrel, Short-eared Owl and Barn Owl.
5.00 Return to hotel
7.00 p.m. Dinner in restaurant
8.30 p.m. Interactive session on identification.

Day 4
8.00 – 9.00 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 a.m. Depart for Hafod        
Today will provide a mix of habitats from open moorland, craggy cliffs and forest where we stand good chances of putting into practise the identification skills we have been working on. The area around Hafod is perfect for raptors and early spring sees plenty of activity with all the key species staking out their territories. Time permitting we will continue on to Ffair-Rhos and explore the mountain road going towards Claerwen.
7.00 p.m. Dinner in restaurant
8.30 p.m. Interactive session on identification.

Day 5
8.00 – 9.00 a.m. Depart after breakfast







Subject to weather, this workshop will be undertaken outdoors in order to make the most of the fabulous area. However, a certain amount of flexibility has been built in to undertake indoor sessions if necessary.

Much of the time will be spent observing from viewpoints which we drive to but there will be some walks as well. As much as possible these will be relatively short, on well-trodden paths with gentle gradients. At Cors Caron the walks will be a little longer but on flat ground.

TRANSPORT: 17-seater minibus with plenty of spare room.

PRICE: The price includes four nights dinner bed and breakfast, four picnic lunches, transport throughout the event and the services of the leader. A £100 non-refundable deposit per person is required at the point of booking, the balance being due 2 months before the event.  This price does not include personal insurance. The group size will be limited to a maximum of 12.

LEADER: Keith Offord