Events

Special Events at the Grant Arms Hotel

Evening Talk: Wild Intrigue Expeditions: rewilding students by Heather DeveyEvening Talk: Wild Intrigue Expeditions: rewilding students by Heather Devey

Using inspiring, remote locations in northern Britain as bases, undergraduates attend Wild Intrigue Expeditions to learn techniques in surveying and photographing wildlife in the field; all whilst contributing to the conservation of lesser surveyed sites, and re-connecting with Nature.

Discover the species recorded during these Expeditions, in fascinating locations such as the Isle of Carna, and find out how these wild, educational adventures are supporting an intrigue for Nature within young people. 

13th September 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Wildlife and Ecology of The Exe Estuary & Jurassic Coast by Rod Lawrence - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Wildlife and Ecology of The Exe Estuary & Jurassic Coast by Rod Lawrence - 8.30pm

The incredible variety of plants and animals together with the fascinating geology that makes this, England’s only natural World Heritage Site, will be described in this presentation.  The ancient past and the modern ecology will be unraveled.

Rod runs ‘Faraway Wildlife’ a small company which provides a complete environmental, conservation package, from ecological surveys to eco friendly travel and study tours.  He is also deeply involved with conservation projects in various countries concerned with re-establishing damaged and destroyed habitat and the animals it contained.

18th September 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Real Majorca by Rod Lawrence - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Real Majorca by Rod Lawrence - 8.30pm

Away from the tourist resorts lies an unspoiled paradise filled with a huge variety of plants and animals.  Mountains, marshlands, meadows and sea cliffs, all wait to be discovered 

Rod runs ‘Faraway Wildlife’ a small company which provides a complete environmental, conservation package, from ecological surveys to eco friendly travel and study tours.  He is also deeply involved with conservation projects in various countries concerned with re-establishing damaged and destroyed habitat and the animals it contained.

20th September 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Farne Islands by Steve MagennisEvening Talk: The Farne Islands by Steve Magennis

The Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland is the setting for this audio-visual talk by award winning photographer Steve Magennis. As one of the UK’s best locations for seabird photography as well as the summer base for 37,000 pairs of Puffins we will also see the variety of other seabirds such as Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Shags, both Arctic and Sandwich Terns, Gulls, and Eider Duck. Sailing from Seahouses Steve will take us on a journey to both Inner Farne and Staple Island with both locations visited offering fantastic views of the various seabird colonies, whilst he will also entertain us with the often-comical behaviour of both the birds and the human visitors to the islands!

25th September 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wild about Photography by Steve Magennis - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Wild about Photography by Steve Magennis - 8.30pm

As an award winning photographer and an Associate to the Royal Photographic Society Steve will, during this audio visual talk, show you his approach to capturing images of British wildlife. This talk will cover the equipment Steve uses, how he goes about getting close to the subjects he is photographing, projects he has undertaken and some of the stunning images he has produced.

28th September 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Lost Beasts of Britain – Their History Culture and Folklore by Derek Gow - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Lost Beasts of Britain – Their History Culture and Folklore by Derek Gow - 8.30pm

Derek will talk about those animals which were once wild natives of this land such as the beaver, the boar, the wild cat, and the wolf and look at their history and place in our culture and folklore.

Derek founded “Derek Gow Consultancy Ltd” in 2003 having begun working with water voles in 1995. Derek is the principal ecologist at the Derek Gow Consultancy. He is a key enthusiast and working group member for the reintroduction of the European beaver.

2nd October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A History of Nature Conservation in North American National Parks by Derek Gow - 8.30pmEvening Talk: A History of Nature Conservation in North American National Parks by Derek Gow - 8.30pm

Conservation in the United States can be traced back to the 19th century with the formation of the first National Park (Yellowstone National Park) in 1872.  Derek will talk about the history of this Nature Conservation movement to present day.

Derek Gow: Derek founded the consultancy in 2003 having begun working with water voles in 1995. Derek is the principal ecologist at the Derek Gow Consultancy. He is a key enthusiast and working group member for the reintroduction of the European beaver.

3rd October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: In search of Mountain Burnet Moth in the Cairngorms by Pete Moore - 8.30pmEvening Talk: In search of Mountain Burnet Moth in the Cairngorms by Pete Moore - 8.30pm

In the UK, the Mountain Burnet moth is confined to just a few hills in the Cairngorms near to Braemar. In 2009, moth enthusiast Pete Moore undertook a thorough survey of this beautiful day-flying mountain specialist. In two weeks of exceptionally sunny weather he discovered new colonies and saw more Mountain Burnets than anyone had ever seen before in the UK! In this talk he will describe the ecology of the moth, his survey findings and how this was a once in a lifetime experience.

12th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Britain's Garden Birds by Steve Lovell - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Britain's Garden Birds by Steve Lovell - 8.30pm

Steve Lovell is a wildlife and landscape gardener.  In this talk he will give a guide to identifying the birds in your garden, how to encourage them in to your garden and their current status – what can you do to help?

16th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wildlife Spectacles of Britain by Steve Lovell - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Wildlife Spectacles of Britain by Steve Lovell - 8.30pm

Mammals/Birds - Britain really does have it all, both on land and at sea, in this talk Steve will show us some of the delights to be found on our doorstep.

18th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Trials & Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter by Mike Dilger - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Trials & Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter by Mike Dilger - 8.30pm

The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter is an illuminating and sideways look at what it takes to produce cheap and cheerful wildlife television. Mike spends the first half of the talk answering two questions: how he got into wildlife and how he got into television, before then featuring some clips from The One Show. Along the way, Mike reveals what goes on behind the scenes on location - in a nutshell the talk is everything you wanted to know about TV presenting but were afraid to ask!

19th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Sex on the Beach and Other Cocktails by Dr David Horsley - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Sex on the Beach and Other Cocktails by Dr David Horsley - 8.30pm

A tongue-in-cheek look at the biology and evolutionary significance of sex in in the wild through the medium of Cocktails. Explore the fascinating variety of ways that organisms get their genes into the next generation! 

Dr Dave Horsley is a former Head of Biology at Gresham’s School in Norfolk. He has a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics.

“As a keen naturalist and photographer I have always tried hard to bring as much wildlife into my biology teaching. At last I can do the reverse. Free from the constraints of the National Curriculum, I can devote my ‘teaching’ to largely wildlife with just a little explanation of the fascinating science that lies behind it.”

23rd October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birding in the Caribbean by Dr David Horsley - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birding in the Caribbean by Dr David Horsley - 8.30pm

A popular cruise destination with island-hopping birding quite easy and the talk also introduces the common avifauna. However, there is an interesting background evolutionary story that parallels that of the Galapagos Islands, but which in many ways is more fascinating, as the founders come from two distinct continents – North and South America.

Dr Dave Horsley is a former Head of Biology at Gresham’s School in Norfolk. He has a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics.

“As a keen naturalist and photographer I have always tried hard to bring as much wildlife into my biology teaching. At last I can do the reverse. Free from the constraints of the National Curriculum, I can devote my ‘teaching’ to largely wildlife with just a little explanation of the fascinating science that lies behind it.”

26th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Nature Watch by Simon KingEvening Talk: Nature Watch by Simon King

In this talk you will learn how to bridge the gap between the wild world and your own.  Simon will share his unique, first-hand knowledge on animal tracks and signs, mimicry and observation skills, peppered with stores of wild encounters from the UK and beyond.

30th October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A Wealth of Wildlife: a year on a Highland Perthshire estate by Alan StewartEvening Talk: A Wealth of Wildlife: a year on a Highland Perthshire estate by Alan Stewart

Ex-police wildlife crime officer Alan Stewart will talk about a wildlife survey he carried out over the course of a year on an estate that had a mix of farming, fishing and pheasant/partridge shooting. “The owner was keen on having a wide range of wildlife on his 2000 acres and wondered what in fact was on it. He was surprised and overjoyed that I saw a total of 93 different bird species and many different mammals.”

31st October 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Pictures From Life by Darren Rees - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Pictures From Life by Darren Rees - 8.30pm

Artist and naturalist Darren Rees has been painting birds and leading wildlife holidays for 25 years. His illustrated talk describes his passion for art and nature, taking us through his working life from book illustrator to award-winning artist and popular tour guide, and features the sparkling artwork that describes his many encounters with wildlife around the world. With sketches and paintings from the Amazon to the Arctic Darren explains his methods for working in the field and the studio.    

During his 4 days with the BWWC at the Grant Arms Darren will be painting outside and guests and would-be sketchers are welcome to join him for some informal tuition and guidance.

1st November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: ReWild – the Art of Returning to Nature by Nick BakerEvening Talk: ReWild – the Art of Returning to Nature by Nick Baker

This is my first 'proper' grown-up book it is a bit more personal, an insight into my own philosophy and why connectivity to nature matters and is relevant to us all. Originally, I was asked to write a book on foraging, and nature skills and rewilding in a more 'popular' or 'unpopular sense' but this quickly turned into something else. How can a person even contemplate a Lynx running wild in the woods or a beaver sluicing around a water course if we cannot fully appreciate what this means? - I don't mean the usual justifications for ReWilding but the less obvious ones, that involve the hidden value, not just the ecological function but the spiritual connection too, something that is vital and often overlooked completely. Similarly, how can we begin to forage without being aware of the subtler nuances of smell, taste, appearance and feel of a leaf or fungus? This book is about reconnecting to the things that bring a quality to life. 

6th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Scottish Wildlife in Winter by Nick Wilcox-Brown - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Scottish Wildlife in Winter by Nick Wilcox-Brown - 8.30pm

Nick is a wildlife photographer and wildlife cameraman and film-maker.  Photographing and filming wildlife is a challenge at the best of times.  The Scottish winter adds another dimension, but also a different perspective; the weather can change in a flash.  Wildlife photography and film-making is all about field craft; the ability to understand and second-guess your subject, to be able to work your way towards them without disturbance.

9th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Filming adventures with Waterbirds by Nigel Marven - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Filming adventures with Waterbirds by Nigel Marven - 8.30pm

Wildlife film producer and presenter, Nigel Marven will talk about some of his adventures filming birds on or near water….!!

Nigel worked at the BBC for well over a decade, producing many primetime wildlife films including Incredible Journeys and Life of Birds. He eventually left to join Granada Television, where he continued to produce cutting-edge wildlife films but also found a new role in front of the camera. Five years later, Nigel is now running his own production company, Image Impact, and making films that are screened all over the world.

13th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: It shouldn't happen to a wildlife presenter by Nigel Marven - 8.30pmEvening Talk: It shouldn't happen to a wildlife presenter by Nigel Marven - 8.30pm

Nigel worked at the BBC for well over a decade, producing many primetime wildlife films including Incredible Journeys and Life of Birds. He eventually left to join Granada Television, where he continued to produce cutting-edge wildlife films but also found a new role in front of the camera. Five years later, Nigel is now running his own production company, Image Impact, and making films that are screened all over the world. In this talk he will tell us about some of his "adventures" around the world making some of his well-known programmes.

15th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: ALASKA – the wildlife of the Last Frontier by Paul Rogers - 8.30pmEvening Talk: ALASKA – the wildlife of the Last Frontier by Paul Rogers - 8.30pm

This talk will cover visits to Nome in the west in search of the scarce Bristle-thighed Curlew, Musk Oxen and Moose. Barrow is over 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle and the home of Snowy Owls, Phalaropes and other waders. The spectacular Resurrection Bay is the place for Tufted Puffins, Bald Eagles, Killer and Humpback Whales.

20th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: CANYONS AND CONDORS – the wildlife of the wild west by Paul RogersEvening Talk: CANYONS AND CONDORS – the wildlife of the wild west by Paul Rogers

In this talk, Paul will take a look at the success in saving the California Condor from extinction amidst the awe inspiring scenery of the Grand Canyon.  Monument Valley, features in many Hollywood Westerns but is also the haunt of many species adapted to a life in the deserts, including lizards, rattlesnakes and Roadrunners.

22nd November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: It shouldn't happen to a wildlife presenter by Nigel Marven - 8.30pmEvening Talk: It shouldn't happen to a wildlife presenter by Nigel Marven - 8.30pm

Nigel worked at the BBC for well over a decade, producing many primetime wildlife films including Incredible Journeys and Life of Birds. He eventually left to join Granada Television, where he continued to produce cutting-edge wildlife films but also found a new role in front of the camera. Five years later, Nigel is now running his own production company, Image Impact, and making films that are screened all over the world. In this talk he will tell us about some of his "adventures" around the world making some of his well-known programmes.

27th November 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Eagle Ecology & Predator Tourism by Ewan Miles - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Eagle Ecology & Predator Tourism by Ewan Miles - 8.30pm

As part of his group holiday of the area, staying here at the Grant Arms, Ewan Miles of Nature Scotland will delight us with this talk on the fascinating life of Eagles in the Hebrides and their soaring value to the rural communities.

9th December 2017

Free and open to all

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SPECIAL CHRISTMAS WILDLIFE QUIZ with GORDON HAMLETT SPECIAL CHRISTMAS WILDLIFE QUIZ with GORDON HAMLETT

As part of our Christmas in Wonderland Programme, our guest speaker Gordon Hamlett will be breaking the ice for guests with a fun and entertaining special Christmas and Wildlife Quiz.  Just for fun, but there is a prize for the winning team……!!

23rd December 2017

Free and open to all

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PAINTING DEMONSTRATION by CHRIS ROSE PAINTING DEMONSTRATION by CHRIS ROSE

As part of our Christmas in Wonderland Programme, we are delighted that internationally acclaimed wildlife artist Chris Rose who specialises in wildlife within the landscape will undertake a painting demonstration in the Osprey Suite after dinner.  His paintings are almost photographic in detail and in this demonstration, Chris will attempt to show you how a painting is built up from start to finish.

24th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Molotovs and Merlins by Gordon Hamlett Evening Talk: Molotovs and Merlins by Gordon Hamlett

As part of our Christmas in Wonderland Programme, Gordon Hamlett, author of the “Best Birdwatching Sites” guide for the Scottish Highlands, will take a light-hearted look at the trials and tribulations of researching and writing a bird watching guide.  

25th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birding Africa From the Equator to the Cape by Alan Davies:Evening Talk: Birding Africa From the Equator to the Cape by Alan Davies:

As part of our Christmas in Wonderland Programme, Alan Davies of The Biggest Twitch will take you from the jungles of Uganda to the southernmost tip of Africa and even beyond out into the oceans. Birds and mammals abound on this fast-paced adventure. Lots of great stories and packed with photographs.

26th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: North Wales – So Much More Than Sheep! by Ruth Miller Evening Talk: North Wales – So Much More Than Sheep! by Ruth Miller

As part of our Christmas in Wonderland Programme, Ruth Miller of The Biggest Twitch will focus on their home patch, North Wales, which has so much to offer from high mountains down to stunning beaches, so many habitats each with exciting birds to discover! North Wales is just three hours from London but as you will see a world of birds awaits to be enjoyed.  

27th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Jewels in The Gambia by Ashley Grove Evening Talk: Jewels in The Gambia by Ashley Grove

The Gambia is one of the best known and most loved of worldwide Birdwatching destinations. With close to 600 species of birds, most of which are colourful and approachable. I've led Photography tours here since 2011 and consequently have a great collection of images that grows with each new visit. The lecture, like the tour starts at the coast, leading you up the river and back again, discovering in the wonders of The Gambia all the way. With the tour concentrating on the Kingfishers, Bee-eaters & Rollers, these are well covered, but the magnificent supporting cast of multicoloured extras, make this a worthwhile evening’s entertainment

28th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Two Scottish Islands - Handa Island and The Isle Of May by Graham Lenton Evening Talk: Two Scottish Islands - Handa Island and The Isle Of May by Graham Lenton

Handa is a beautiful island off the north-west coast of the Highland area of Scotland boasts up to 150,000 seabirds. Its location seems to have its own weather pattern and the island is uninhabited apart from a seasonal warden and reserve volunteers. It is accessed by a ten-minute ferry from the hamlet of Tarbet and its white sandy shores and clear blue waters make it appear almost tropical. The seabird colonies of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars are easily viewed from the top of the island where sea cliffs of the Torridonian sandstone reach over 300ft (100metres).  Off the east coast of Scotland is the Jewel of the Forth, the Isle of May; an island 300 million years old along with Bass Rock, North Berwick Law and Edinburgh's Arthur's Seat. Here throughout the Spring seabirds arrive and nest to produce a veritable feast for the ornithologist and natural history enthusiast. Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Arctic terns abound.  It's a stopping off site for migrant birds between wintering and breeding grounds too and researchers on the island ring or tag the birds as they wend their way to and fro.

29th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Adventures in Antartica by Nigel Redman - 8.30pm Evening Talk: Adventures in Antartica by Nigel Redman - 8.30pm

Antarctica is sometimes known as the seventh continent, mainly because it’s the last one that most people get to visit. Although firmly on the map as a specialist tourist destination these past two decades, the only realistic way to visit this remote continent is on a cruise ship. Based on his experience as ship’s ornithologist on an expedition ship, Nigel will guide us around South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula. This Southern Ocean adventure encompasses the fabulous mountain scenery of South Georgia with its many glaciers tumbling straight into the sea, mighty icebergs in the Antarctic peninsula, and a feast of marine mammals and birds, especially penguins.

30th December 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wonderful Winter Wildlife by Ashley Grove:  Evening Talk: Wonderful Winter Wildlife by Ashley Grove:

Whatever the British winter throws at us, we always have some incredible wildlife around us to help us through to the warmer months. The British Isles plays host to many birds during this season, with huge numbers of wildfowl arriving and wading birds putting on spectacular shows with flocks of thousands filling the skies around the coast. The winter Thrush’s, Waxwings and other visitors add colour to chilly days and we can attract these and other visitors to the garden as the temperatures drop outside. This talk will hopefully give a solution the winter blues and encourage you out and about to explore what special wildlife we have close by.

1st January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Round the Horn: Africa’s Endemic Hotspot by Nigel Redman - 8.30pm Evening Talk: Round the Horn: Africa’s Endemic Hotspot by Nigel Redman - 8.30pm

The Horn of Africa is an extraordinarily rich area for birds with more than 1000 species of birds recorded and no fewer than 80 species that are endemic or near endemic to the region. The area is dominated by Africa’s most extensive highland plateau which is bisected by the Great Rift Valley, and vast inhospitable deserts that are home to a great diversity of larks and a number of other species that are rarely seen by birders. In this talk, Nigel will guide us around this fascinating area, visiting well-trodden sites in Ethiopia, as well as the much less well known countries of Eritrea, Djibouti and Somaliland.

2nd January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Black, White, Grey and Gold In Finland by Graham Lenton Evening Talk: Black, White, Grey and Gold In Finland by Graham Lenton

If you wish to see and photograph rare birds, then Finland is the place to go. A winter visit to photograph Golden eagles and owls was amazing. The snow scenery on the Russian border was spectacular and the eagles, some resident and others migratory, were abundant. Hawk and great grey owls were extremely hungry and coming down to feed on the deep snow. At minus 30 degrees Celsius and only five hours of light, restraints were placed on the day to say the least.   A return visit in April proved equally rewarding. It is surprisingly cold in Finland in springtime. You still need at least six layers of clothes to fight the daytime and night temperatures. It is only just above zero during the day and minus eight or ten in the night hides, if you wish to photograph Capercaillie or Black grouse on their leks.  When you travel to the east, to the Russian border, you can be sure to encounter deep snow and heavy snow showers even in May. Finland has a mouth-watering list of birds beyond the grouse and eagles –  Great grey, Ural, Tengmalm’s, Hawk and Short-eared owls are in abundance and hosts of Bramblings, Bullfinches, Crested, Willow and Siberian Tits, Waxwings, Common and Siberian jays and the more common passerines plus Hazel grouse, Osprey hunting, Cranes, Bean and Pink footed geese, Rough-legged buzzards, Hen and Marsh harriers, Smew, Goldeneye, Whooper swans, Slavonian grebe and Black-bellied dipper. Over all ninety species were seen, plus moose, mountain hare, reindeer and red squirrel.  A veritable feast for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. You will enjoy this talk if you like the very cold and hear about some unusual birds and are interested in those that lek.  

3rd January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Polar Wildlife by James FentonEvening Talk: Polar Wildlife by James Fenton

This illustrated talk is an introduction to the animals and plants of the Arctic and Antarctic, and will explain why the ecology of the two poles is so different.

James Fenton has experience of both the north and the south, having worked as an ecologist for the British Antarctic Survey, led ski-touring trips in the Arctic and lectured extensively on expedition cruise ships. He is author of A Field Guide to Ice and joint author of the book Svalbard: Portrait of an Arctic Summer.

13th January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Skomer Island – from a Warden’s perspective by Ed Stubbings - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Skomer Island – from a Warden’s perspective by Ed Stubbings - 8.30pm

Skomer Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, is home to the largest colony of Manx Shearwaters on earth as well as vast numbers of other seabirds including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Storm Petrels. The rich seas around it’s coastline are a Marine Conservation Zone and its plateau holds breeding Curlew and Short-eared Owl. The island’s precipitous cliffs are also home to Peregrines, Buzzards, Ravens and Chough. See Skomer through the seasons as seen by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales Wardens Bee and Ed and learn about its amazing wildlife and history.

18th January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Manx Shearwater by Ed Stubbings - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Manx Shearwater by Ed Stubbings - 8.30pm

The Manx Shearwater is one of the worlds most travelled birds but at the same time if any bird can truly be called a ‘British’ bird it is the Manx Shearwater. Skomer Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, is home to 316,000 pairs of these long-lived birds, protecting around half of the worlds ‘Manxies’. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Oxford University and other organisations have been studying the ecology of these fascinating birds on the island for almost half a century. This talk will summarise the basic history and lifestyle of the species and bring you up to date with some of the latest findings from some world leading research into seabird movements and ecology.

20th January 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: China's Wildlife at the Roof of the World by Eric McCabe - 8.30pmEvening Talk: China's Wildlife at the Roof of the World by Eric McCabe - 8.30pm

In this talk, Eric takes us on a trip to China to the little-visited high Tibetan plateau.

Endemic herbivores graze the sparse grass. Both mammalian and bird predators are in surprising number too. Definitely different (but rewarding) and the most physically demanding trip we have undertaken.

5th February 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk:My Diseases and Other Animals by Mike Dilger - 8.30pmEvening Talk:My Diseases and Other Animals by Mike Dilger - 8.30pm

My Diseases and Other Animals is a whistle-stop tour around the world in 50 minutes. This illuminating, fun and yet informative lecture, recounts Mike’s travels over three continents while working as a research biologist in the world’s tropical forests. In addition to spending long periods in the back-of-beyond, which included encounters with both remote tribes and rare wildlife, he also managed to accumulate an impressive array of diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis & ringworm - earning him the nick-name of ‘Britain’s most diseased man’. However his talk is much more than just about bilharzia and botflies, as Mike also talks passionately about a number of the very real and current problems in conserving some of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots.

12th February 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Trials & Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter by Mike Dilger - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Trials & Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter by Mike Dilger - 8.30pm

The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter is an illuminating and sideways look at what it takes to produce cheap and cheerful wildlife television. Mike spends the first half of the talk answering two questions: how he got into wildlife and how he got into television, before then featuring some clips from The One Show. Along the way, Mike reveals what goes on behind the scenes on location - in a nutshell the talk is everything you wanted to know about TV presenting but were afraid to ask!

13th February 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Go Birding by John MilesEvening Talk: Go Birding by John Miles

John has contributed to Bird Watching magazine since 1990 and now has a monthly feature in the 'Go Birding' slot covering much of the North of England and Scotland with even Norfolk appearing from time to time. This covers short articles on where to go birding often as circular walks or drives and has allowed John to wonder at will such as this talk. {may be even some locations close to the hotel!}

19th April 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Scilly Pelagic Magic by Jim Almond - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Scilly Pelagic Magic by Jim Almond - 8.30pm

I'm now officially a 'veteran' of pelagic trips from St Mary's on the Isle of Scilly! With 18 trips under my belt (13 of them during the August seabird passage season) I have plenty of images and stories to tell from my time on MC Sapphire! A heavy sea in a small boat is not to everyone's liking so sit back, relax and enjoy! From the ever-present Gulls, Fulmars and Gannets, the interest notches up a gear with Skuas, Petrels and Shearwaters. It's not just about the birds either with Dolphins and Sunfish on offer plus some of the Blue Sharks landed for tagging studies. Find out how the birds are attracted, the magic of 'chum' (without the smell) and some of my most exhilarating birding moments ever, including an epic encounter with a Fea's Petrel.

25th April 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Golden Birding Moments by Jim AlmondEvening Talk: Golden Birding Moments by Jim Almond

A compilation from some of my best birding moments and favourite locations which will suit any audience. Starting with a 'golden theme', great winter birds then moving on to locations including Vancouver Island, New England, Scotland and the Farne islands, all featuring new images. Genera features include Falcons, Grebes, Herons, Crossbills, Gulls and Waxwings. A section on photography and the most unpredictable and exciting form of birding - pelagic trips. Finally, Short-eared Owls and Hen Harriers with a haunting musical finale to bring the talk to a close.

26th April 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birding with your eyes shut by Ben Darvill - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birding with your eyes shut by Ben Darvill - 8.30pm

Shut your eyes, open your ears and listen. The spring chorus is one of nature's greatest gifts. Learn how to recognise the different species and you'll be amazed how it transforms your birding. Pick up some tips, then why not join Ben on a walk to practice your skills?

Ben is the BTO’s Development & Engagement Manager (Scotland).  He is a conservationist at heart, but also a field naturalist and scientist.  A keen birder, he also volunteers for the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme and of course for BTO.

30th April 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: All Bustards Great And Small by The Biggest Twitch Evening Talk: All Bustards Great And Small by The Biggest Twitch

This talk by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller of The Biggest Twitch will be on birding in Exremadura covering their many visits to this bird rich area of Spain including lots of photos.

1st May 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Raptor-monitoring Season Through the Lens by Ben Darvill - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Raptor-monitoring Season Through the Lens by Ben Darvill - 8.30pm

Join Ben for a visual feast exploring the lives of commoner birds of prey through the raptor-monitoring season. High quality drone footage, photos and video will provide a unique and intimate insight into the lives of both raptors and raptor-fieldworkers. Find out what is involved, what we can learn, but above all soak up some stunning images from a unique perspective.

Ben is the BTO’s Development & Engagement Manager (Scotland).  He is a conservationist at heart, but also a field naturalist and scientist.  A keen birder, he also volunteers for the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme and of course for BTO.

2nd May 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud by Mike ReadEvening Talk: Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud by Mike Read

New Zealand is a wonderful place to visit for a wildlife holiday or to photograph the locations and wildlife.  This talk takes the form of a tour that Mike co-led to this island nation.  It visits coastal locations for Albatrosses and other seabirds right through to atmospheric forests of Southern Beech, Kauri and Tree Ferns.  There are glaciers to be seen in the Southern Alps and we visit the lower slopes of Aoraki or Mount Cooke.  Many endemic species have come close to extinction (including Black Stilt which has a population of just 120 in the wild) due to introduced predators.  Many of the rarities will be mentioned during this talk which is given alongside Mike’s stunning images.

9th May 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds of the Seychelles by Dr Graham Lenton - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birds of the Seychelles by Dr Graham Lenton - 8.30pm

The Seychelles offers a wide range of habitats in which to watch birds. This talk focuses on the rare endemics and how they have been conserved from virtual extinction, in some cases, to sustainable populations (e.g. Seychelles warbler from 26 birds in 1959 to 3000 in 2007). Many of the endemics are numbered in the tens and hundreds and yet are maintaining viable populations in well organised conservation projects on the isolated islands that occur in the Seychelles.

4th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The spirit of Shackleton - South Georgia wildlife by Dr Graham Lenton - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The spirit of Shackleton - South Georgia wildlife by Dr Graham Lenton - 8.30pm

Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to cross Antarctica via the South Pole in 1914 ended in disaster when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice.  His crew reached Elephant Island in lifeboats but Shackleton left them there for four months as he set out for South Georgia in order to sound the alarm and hopefully rescue them. This is the story of his exploits and a visit to the remote island of South Georgia where king penguin colonies reach up to 200,000 individuals. Wildlife abounds on this mountainous island, with peaks up to 10,000 feet and old whaling stations rust after 50 years of abandonment. The talk concentrates on a visit by the speaker to South Georgia where colonies of Chinstrap, Macaroni, King and Gentoo penguins were seen, together with nesting wandering albatrosses, petrels, prions, shags, gulls and terns. The old whaling station of Grytviken is visited and part of the final walk by Shackleton over the island to Stromness whaling station was also taken. Finally, an historic and rare landing on Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s 22 men had been left, made a memorable and emotional finish to the trip and talk.

7th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Swifts - Fantastic Birds that YOU can help! by Edward Mayer - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Swifts - Fantastic Birds that YOU can help! by Edward Mayer - 8.30pm

Swifts, those spectacular sickle-shaped birds that dash screaming in flocks through our skies above our homes and gardens, are in sad and sudden decline. They nest in eaves and gables, having lost their ancient forest nest places long ago, but re-roofing, insulation and new building designs have driven them out. Insecticides and wetter cooler summers haven't helped them either. But we can! Simple steps taken in our homes and gardens and neighbourhoods can help Swifts survive and thrive. This talk will tell you lots you might not know about Swifts, and most of all, will tell you how you can help them!

11th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Helping combat wildlife crime: the role of Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Helping combat wildlife crime: the role of Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pm

Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) is an independent, volunteer-led, campaign group set up in 2014 by a group of experienced birders and conservationists who are appalled at the number of crimes being committed against wildlife. Our aim is to fight back, by 1) making the processes of Recognising, Recording, and Reporting wildlife crime as easy as possible (an initiative we term ‘the Three Rs’), 2) putting ‘eyes in the field’ and 3) highlighting how much wildlife crime takes place and what ‘the public’ really think about it. This talk will outline some of the successes and problems over the last few years and suggest how wildlife enthusiasts can help tackle wildlife crime.

13th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Migration at Batumi in Georgia by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Migration at Batumi in Georgia by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pm

The Batumi bottleneck in Georgia is one of the most spectacular raptor migration spots in the world with more than a million birds of prey traversing the area each autumn. Standardised counts have been undertaken for 10 years that highlights the importance of this region for more than 30 different species of raptor. This talk will also look at the wider ornithological interest of this wonderful birdwatching destination. 

16th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist by Moss Taylor - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist by Moss Taylor - 8.30pm

‘Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist’ is one of Moss Taylor’s most popular talks, being suitable for both keen birdwatchers and those interested in the countryside in general. The talk takes the audience through the changing scenes of the four seasons, visiting familiar parts of Norfolk, such as Broadland and Blakeney Point, as well as heathland and parkland in north Norfolk. During the presentation, he will use his own photographs to illustrate and talk about some of the flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and of course, birds that are likely to be encountered. 

18th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling by Moss Taylor - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling by Moss Taylor - 8.30pm

‘The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling’ is Moss’s latest illustrated talk covering the remarkable changes that occur within an egg from before the time of laying to the escape of the nestling from the confines of its shell-encased first home. Although it is based on the research carried out by Professor Tim Birkhead as described in his delightful and highly readable book The Most Perfect Thing, it also includes observations made by Moss during his more than sixty years of birdwatching.

21st June 2018

Free and open to all

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RED DEER RUT WEEK Saturday 14th to Saturday 21st October 2017

Come and join us for the Red Deer Rut.  A full BWWC programme of wildlife watching events is included along with trips to try and see the Red Deer rutting.  From just £455pp (for 7 nights) DB&B.


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All special events, suggested itineraries and programmes are subject to availability and liable to change without notice.