Events

Special Events at the Grant Arms Hotel

Evening Talk: Tasmanian (and other Australian) exotic birds by Mike Blair - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Tasmanian (and other Australian) exotic birds by Mike Blair - 8.30pm

The first of Mike Blair’s two talks is about the 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species (plus the two breeding endemic species that winter on the mainland) and other aspects of Tasmanian wildlife including the spectacular scenery that comprises their habitats. Two such endemic species are the Black Currawong and Yellow-throated Honeyeater.  

20th March 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds in the Australian landscapes by Mike Blair - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birds in the Australian landscapes by Mike Blair - 8.30pm

The second of Mike Blair’s two talks covers birds of the Australian landscapes and covers the Kakadu National Park and the central desert areas (Katherine via Alice Springs in Northern Territory to Coober Pedy in South Australia.  

22nd March 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: More Welsh Wildlifby Iolo Williams - 8.30pmEvening Talk: More Welsh Wildlifby Iolo Williams - 8.30pm

There are lots of reasons why Wales is so brilliant for wildlife watching: 216 Wildlife Trust nature reserves, 11 RSPB sanctuaries, 4,122 sq km of National Park, an 870-mile Wales Coast Path, ancient woodland, lakes and river, and wide open spaces for wildlife to … well, go wild in.

Former RSPB Officer and Welsh TV Presenter IOLO WILLIAMS will delight you with some of the stories of the wildlife to be found in Wales.  From otters to orchids, puffins to peregrine falcons and dolphins to damselflies, Wales has more wildlife than you can point a very large pair of binoculars at. There are seasonal treats too, like the arrival in spring of countless puffins and other seabirds to the islands. Summer brings dolphins and porpoises, while autumn welcomes seal pups to the beaches, leaping salmon to the rivers, and a blaze of colour to the forests, before huge flocks of wildfowl arrive for winter.  This updated talk also includes dunlin, golden plover, hawk moths, jew's ear fungus, pine marten, hawfinch, blue sharks and a couple of Scottish surprises!!

27th March 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Tweet of the Day: an insight into bird songs and calls by Stephen Moss - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Tweet of the Day: an insight into bird songs and calls by Stephen Moss - 8.30pm

Why do birds sing? And why so we love listening to them? Naturalist Stephen Moss, author of the book accompanying the Radio 4 series Tweet of the Day, reveals the secrets behind the sounds of our favourite birds.

Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. As a lifelong naturalist, he is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world to the widest possible audience.  His special areas of knowledge include British wildlife; birds and climate change; the social history of wildlife-watching; getting children back in touch with nature; and UK environmental issues.  He is the original producer of BAFTA award-winning series Springwatch and has worked with David Attenborough, Bill Oddie, Alan Titchmarsh, Chris Packham, Kate Humble, Simon King, Charlie Dimmock and Michaela Strachan.  He is the author of many books and articles on British birds and wildlife including the book to accompany the recent BBC Series Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart.  He writes a monthly Birdwatch column for the Guardian and presented a peak-time BBC Radio 4 series.  He is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust and Honorary Professor at Nottingham University Business School, a Course Leader and Lecturer and has an MA in Travel & Nature Writing

3rd April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds Britannia: what have birds ever done for us? by Stephen Moss - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birds Britannia: what have birds ever done for us? by Stephen Moss - 8.30pm

The British are more obsessed with birds than any other nation. Lifelong birder Stephen Moss takes us on a journey through our long history of connections with all things ornithological, from the bird people of St Kilda to the spring arrival of cuckoos.

Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. As a lifelong naturalist, he is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world to the widest possible audience.  His special areas of knowledge include British wildlife; birds and climate change; the social history of wildlife-watching; getting children back in touch with nature; and UK environmental issues.  He is the original producer of BAFTA award-winning series Springwatch and has worked with David Attenborough, Bill Oddie, Alan Titchmarsh, Chris Packham, Kate Humble, Simon King, Charlie Dimmock and Michaela Strachan.  He is the author of many books and articles on British birds and wildlife including the book to accompany the recent BBC Series Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart.  He writes a monthly Birdwatch column for the Guardian and presented a peak-time BBC Radio 4 series.  He is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust and Honorary Professor at Nottingham University Business School, a Course Leader and Lecturer and has an MA in Travel & Nature Writing

5th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Birds of the Falkland Islands by Matt Merritt - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Birds of the Falkland Islands by Matt Merritt - 8.30pm

This cluster of South Atlantic islands might not have the greatest variety of species, but the sheer numbers of birds present, and their extreme tameness, makes it one of the most extraordinary birdwatching destinations on earth. Penguins, albatrosses, caracaras and more are all present, plus cetaceans and sea-lions for extra wildlife interest.

Matt Merritt is the editor of Bird Watching Magazine (www.birdwatching.co.uk) and the author of three poetry collections

10th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Autumn Birding in Taiwan by Mike Weedon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Autumn Birding in Taiwan by Mike Weedon - 8.30pm

Taiwan is a great place for watching birds and other wildlife. The island is is large enough and far enough from mainland China, that there are plenty of endemic species and subspecies, with 'taxonomic splits' coming all the time. But it is close enough to be on the route for several Asiatic migrant birds. So, a visit in autumn can provide the balance of resident endemics and birds migrating through. The geography of Taiwan also means most people live on the plain on the western strip and the rest of the island has masses of wonderful forest mountain habitat. The climate is great, the people fantastic and the food is brilliant. What is not to like?

Mike Weedon is the assistant editor of Bird Watching Magazine (www.birdwatching.co.uk)

 

12th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: What can rare breeding birds tell us about climate change in Britain? by Mark Holling - 8.30pmEvening Talk: What can rare breeding birds tell us about climate change in Britain? by Mark Holling - 8.30pm

The Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) has collated and reported information on up to 100 rare and scarce species breeding in the UK each year since the early 1970s. Mark, who is the Secretary of the RBBP will describe the role the RBBP plays in British ornithology, some recent discoveries, and explain how ordinary birdwatchers can help with this work. Given the long-running dataset, and the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change, the Panel recently looked to see what effects there have been on the rare breeding birds and Mark will also share some results from this new research.

15th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A year on Cape Clear Island by Tom Green - 8.30pmEvening Talk: A year on Cape Clear Island by Tom Green - 8.30pm

The talk describes the era of the growth of British Bird Observatories, their work and purpose and discusses the decline of island crofting typical of the Atlantic seaboard and how wildlife has been affected.  The seasonal nature of bird and animal movements and migration are also described and illustrated, as is the excitement of the new discoveries we made.

The talk describes the activities of our year there as well as the people met and events which we witnessed.  It also throws a light on the challenges of life without electricity or running water when human life is dominated by weather and the seasons. 

During Tom Green’s boyhood in post-war Oxford, he gained experience from birdwatching trips with ornithologists such as Kenneth Williamson and Bruce Campbell. Later he joined the committee of Ireland’s foremost Bird Observatory on Cape Clear Island, contributing to the acclaimed book ‘The Natural History of Cape Clear Island’ and carried out seabird counts during transects of the North Atlantic with the Royal Navy.  Since spending a year as the first resident wardens of the Bird Observatory, Tom and his wife Stephanie have lectured widely about the work of the Observatory. During a teaching career spanning nearly forty years Tom developed an interest in wider environmental and conservation issues.  In retirement they found time to record their wildlife experiences in “Echoes from Cape Clear - A year in the life of an Irish island and its Bird Observatory.”  Tom is currently a Trustee of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and editor of the Cley Bird Club Newsletter. 

17th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Solway by John Miles - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Solway by John Miles - 8.30pm

This talk by author John Miles covers birding throughout the whole of Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway as detailed in his book “Best Birdwatching Sites: The Solway” part of the Best Birdwatching Guide series.  John is a former RSPB reserve warden at Geltsdale, and knows the region intimately and in the book and through this talk will provide insights on the coastal sites in both Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway, and also inland covering the key wildlife watching sites in both counties.

21st April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: More Welsh Wildlife by Iolo Williams - 8.30pmEvening Talk: More Welsh Wildlife by Iolo Williams - 8.30pm

There are lots of reasons why Wales is so brilliant for wildlife watching: 216 Wildlife Trust nature reserves, 11 RSPB sanctuaries, 4,122 sq km of National Park, an 870-mile Wales Coast Path, ancient woodland, lakes and river, and wide open spaces for wildlife to … well, go wild in.

Former RSPB Officer and Welsh TV Presenter IOLO WILLIAMS will delight you with some of the stories of the wildlife to be found in Wales.  From otters to orchids, puffins to peregrine falcons and dolphins to damselflies, Wales has more wildlife than you can point a very large pair of binoculars at. There are seasonal treats too, like the arrival in spring of countless puffins and other seabirds to the islands. Summer brings dolphins and porpoises, while autumn welcomes seal pups to the beaches, leaping salmon to the rivers, and a blaze of colour to the forests, before huge flocks of wildfowl arrive for winter.  This updated talk also includes dunlin, golden plover, hawk moths, jew's ear fungus, pine marten, hawfinch, blue sharks and a couple of Scottish surprises!!

24th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Valley Parade - The wildlife of the Lower Rio Grande Valley by Neil Glenn - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Valley Parade - The wildlife of the Lower Rio Grande Valley by Neil Glenn - 8.30pm

Although a tiny part of Texas, the Lower Rio Grande Valley has recorded over 550 species of birds and over 330 species of butterfly! This talk takes a look at some of the bird specialities of the area as well as a few butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants. 

Neil Glenn lives in Nottinghamshire where he has been a keen birdwatcher since his teens. His childhood holidays were spent in Norfolk engendering a love of that county, culminating in him writing the critically acclaimed 'Best Birdwatching Sites in Norfolk' many years later. He is a regular contributor to Bird Watching magazine and his birding as a tour guide for Avian Adventures has taken him to five continents.

26th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Moroccan Spice - From the High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert by Neil Glenn - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Moroccan Spice - From the High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert by Neil Glenn - 8.30pm

Morocco is a fascinating country, full of varied habitats that attract a wide range of resident and migrant birds. This talk is a mixture of the familiar and the exotic as far as British birders are concerned, as we visit snow clad mountains, coastal marshes, semi-desert and the edge of the mighty Sahara

Neil Glenn lives in Nottinghamshire where he has been a keen birdwatcher since his teens. His childhood holidays were spent in Norfolk engendering a love of that county, culminating in him writing the critically acclaimed 'Best Birdwatching Sites in Norfolk' many years later. He is a regular contributor to Bird Watching magazine and his birding as a tour guide for Avian Adventures has taken him to five continents.

27th April 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Autumn Migration In Southern Spain by Steve Lovell - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Autumn Migration In Southern Spain by Steve Lovell - 8.30pm

The area around Tarifa and Gibraltar is both bottleneck and a migration spectacle when conditions are favourable with literally thousands of birds passing overhead. There are also many other local sites of great ornithological interest as well as the straights of Gibraltar acting as a cetacean hotspot. This talk will look at them all.

1st May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A flyway approach to the conservation of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: A flyway approach to the conservation of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pm

The Sociable Lapwing is a Critically Endangered species that migrates from its breeding grounds in central Asia to the wintering areas of the Middle East, north-east Africa, Pakistan and India. Research and conservation efforts have been ongoing since 2004 across many countries and involving many project partners. This talk will outline the approach that has been taken, some of the key findings so far and discusses the future for this wonderful bird and the implications for other species.

Rob Sheldon has worked in nature conservation for almost 20 years, including 12 years with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Since 2013, he has been the Chairman of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, The Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME). Most recently he has worked for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as the Director of the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre (KKWRC) in Saudi Arabia.  He now works freelance as a consultant through RDS Conservation.

2nd May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The wonders of migration and future conservation challenges by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The wonders of migration and future conservation challenges by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pm

Migration is one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles that captures the imagination of a broad cross-section of the general public. But with the continued exploitation of natural resources around the world these spectacular events are under greater threat than ever before. This talk will showcase some of the incredible feats of migration, highlight some of the key conservation challenges and discuss what we can do to preserve these natural wonders for future generations.

Rob Sheldon has worked in nature conservation for almost 20 years, including 12 years with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Since 2013, he has been the Chairman of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, The Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME). Most recently he has worked for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as the Director of the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre (KKWRC) in Saudi Arabia.  He now works freelance as a consultant through RDS Conservation.

3rd May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wild Ocean Watching… by Steve Lovell - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Wild Ocean Watching… by Steve Lovell - 8.30pm

Sail across the Bay of Biscay and experience Dolphins, Whales and Tall Ships. An illustrated evening talk by one of our regular guest speakers, Steve Lovell

4th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Taymyr the endless day by Brayton Holt - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Taymyr the endless day by Brayton Holt - 8.30pm

This illustrated talk is about Brayton’s 12 days camping on the Taymyr Peninsular about 600 miles North of the Arctic circle.  With both Red-necked and Red (grey) Phalaropes nesting close by the tent, and all around Long-tailed and Pomarine skuas, Snowy owls, Ruffs, Red-breasted and White-fronted geese, Curlew, Pectoral sandpipers, Long-tailed ducks and Steller`s eiders to name but a few.

5th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Tales from the Taiga by Ronan Dugan - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Tales from the Taiga by Ronan Dugan - 8.30pm

Ronan Dugan shares stories of adventure from his time alongside capercaillie and other wildlife in the natural Taiga forest of North West Russia. Ronan will also compare the forests of Russia to those of Scotland and describe what conservation stories he has learnt along the way.

11th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wildlife and Birds of South Georgia by Andrew Clarke - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Wildlife and Birds of South Georgia by Andrew Clarke - 8.30pm

South Georgia is a spectacular wildlife-rich Antarctic island in the South Atlantic.  In this talk Andrew will give a brief outline of its discovery and history (particularly sealing and whaling), describe the wildlife (plants, marine mammals and birds), and end with a mention of conservation, including the recent successful eradication of rats.

18th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Springtime in New England by Jim Almond - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Springtime in New England by Jim Almond - 8.30pm

For most of May 2012, Jim Almond, the Shropshire Birder was on a tour of New England. This talk looks at the whole trip from getting the camera gear safely through customs, the odd mishap... to the birds and other highlights of the three states visited! Over 130 species of birds were seen including a good number of Warblers, Herons and most of these were photographed. Nature reserves, forests, the coast and gardens were the main habitats visited. Some of the native plants and creatures will also be featured. It was a truly memorable trip at absolutely the best time of year.....

22nd May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Shetland to Scilly, Birds of the British Isles by Ashley Grove - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Shetland to Scilly, Birds of the British Isles by Ashley Grove - 8.30pm

This is my most popular lecture and as the title suggests takes the audience on a journey all the way from Shetland, right down to The Isles of Scilly. Basically a good excuse to show you some of Britain's wonderful bird life.  Over 130 species make an appearance during the lecture, which is rounded off by a montage of more images to music.

23rd May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A Winter Weekend in Vancouver by Jim Almond - 8.30pmEvening Talk: A Winter Weekend in Vancouver by Jim Almond - 8.30pm

Well, a bit longer than that actually!  This talk by The Shropshire Birder, Jim Almond covers the events of a trip to the Vancouver area and Vancouver island in Feb/Mar 2008. Whilst this is the wrong time of year for seeing migrants, it was a golden opportunity to see resident birds and plenty of wildfowl. Coastal birds featured include Black Turnstone and Black Oystercatcher with Harlequin Duck, inland birds such as Ringed-neck Duck, Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser. Common raptors seen include Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle. The amazing Anna's Hummingbird (pictured right) overwinters here and other specialities featured are American Dipper, Northern Flicker and Pileated Woodpecker. I was on a lecture tour and these are the moments I managed to spend birding in this fantastic west coast area of Canada!

24th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The state of nature by Dr Mark Eaton - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The state of nature by Dr Mark Eaton - 8.30pm

An illustrated evening talk by Dr Mark Eaton, Principle Conservation Scientist with the RSPB and chair of the Rare Birds Breeding Panel.  A partnership of 50 conservation and research organisations will launch the second State of Nature report in the autumn of 2016. Three years on from the ground-breaking first report, this will give an updated stocktake on the wildlife of the UK and its crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Mark, one of the report's lead authors, will describe what the report tells us about how our nature has changed over the last four-five decades, what has driven those changes, and what action is being taken to help address the loss of nature.

29th May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Counting birds for conservation - and for fun by Dr Mark Eaton - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Counting birds for conservation - and for fun by Dr Mark Eaton - 8.30pm

An illustrated evening talk by Dr Mark Eaton, Principle Conservation Scientist with the RSPB and chair of the Rare Birds Breeding Panel.  It is often stated that birds in the UK may be the best monitored wildlife anywhere in the world. If not, they're certainly close, and this is only possible due to the immense contribution of many thousands of volunteers who contribute time and expertise to this monitoring. Mark will give an overview of the UK's bird monitoring schemes, the role that volunteers play in them, and the value of their efforts to conservation. He hopes to recruit new surveyors by the end of his talk!

31st May 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Blackcaps and Bird Migration by David ParkinEvening Talk: Blackcaps and Bird Migration by David Parkin

Until the 1960s, Blackcaps were regarded as a summer visitor to Britain.  Now, increasing numbers are recorded every winter.  These are not British-bred birds, but migrants from Central Europe.  Experimental work using orientation cages, coupled with captive-breeding has shown that this behaviour is under genetic control.  A new migration strategy is evolving and has led to the divergence of these British-wintering birds from the parental population in Germany.  It seems that we are witnessing incipient speciation in our time.  This talk will describe how the phenomenon is being unravelled by scientists across Europe.

David was Professor of Genetics at Nottingham University specialising in the evolution and population genetics of birds.  I have lectured to audiences as diverse as international ornithological and genetics congresses, university departments in Britain and overseas, plus hundreds of lectures to undergraduates.  

5th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Marking Birds for Science and Conservation by David ParkinEvening Talk: Marking Birds for Science and Conservation by David Parkin

Birders have been using metal rings for over 100 years.  More recently, coloured rings have been used to make individual recognition without the need for recapture.  However, information could only be accessed when the bird was in sight: not a great deal of help for a trans-oceanic or trans-Saharan migrant.  Now, electronic gizmos have been developed that allow birds to be tracked throughout the year, often in ‘real time’.  This talk will describe the various technologies and how they are telling us new things about the birds that we thought we knew so well.

David was Professor of Genetics at Nottingham University specialising in the evolution and population genetics of birds.  I have lectured to audiences as diverse as international ornithological and genetics congresses, university departments in Britain and overseas, plus hundreds of lectures to undergraduates.  

7th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: A Spoonful of Thailand by The Biggest TwitchEvening Talk: A Spoonful of Thailand by The Biggest Twitch

Thailand is a visual delight with colourful sights around every corner.  Join Ruth Miller and Alan Davies of The Biggest Twitch as they explore a variety of habitats including coasts, saltpans, forest and high mountains and share with you the most vibrant and exciting birds and mammals of this wonderful country.

11th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: I’m a Bit of a Bug-er by Richard Pegler - 8.30pmEvening Talk: I’m a Bit of a Bug-er by Richard Pegler - 8.30pm

This talk will feature the insect world and macro photography. The talk majors on Butterflies and Dragonflies, but will feature many other types of creepy crawlies too!

12th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Little Owls of Leicestershire by Richard Pegler - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Little Owls of Leicestershire by Richard Pegler - 8.30pm

This talk will be an updated version of the talk given last year by Richard.

14th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Tales From Concrete Jungles by David Lindo - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Tales From Concrete Jungles by David Lindo - 8.30pm

David Lindo, also known as The Urban Birder, has visited over 270 cities worldwide in search of urban birds. During his travels he has found a surprising number of committed conservationists, interesting birding locations and importantly, many birds. Join him on his journey in and sometimes outside cities throughout the world.

28th June 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Wet and The Dry - Two contrasting habitats in East Anglia by Terry and Helen Moore - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Wet and The Dry - Two contrasting habitats in East Anglia by Terry and Helen Moore - 8.30pm

The Fens and the Brecks both owe their existence to the last great ice-age but they are very different extreme environments for wildlife and man.

Terry has specialised over many years on talks on British amphibians and reptiles and both Helen and Terry run courses regularly for the local wildlife trust on amphibian surveys.  Both Terry and Helen I have had a great crested licence for around 40 years and Terry used to be the holder for all great crested newt records in their region. They also are part of the Breckland Flora Group monitoring many rare plants on Breckland which has 28% of the rarest plants in the UK. 

10th July 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: British Orchids Local to the Grant Arms by Terry and Helen Moore - 8.30pmEvening Talk: British Orchids Local to the Grant Arms by Terry and Helen Moore - 8.30pm

Orchids are commonly associated with thoughtful gifts or exotic displays in tropical hot-houses; to others their unique approach to survival has been a source of fascination to scientists such as Linnaeus and Darwin. World-wide they are very successful, maybe 1 in every 15 plant species are orchids. Great Britain is home to more than 50 orchid species, all of which are intriguing because of the way they evolve and adapt. None are common, many are rare, all have some sort of legal protection and many can be found a car-ride away from the hotel.

Terry has specialised over many years on talks on British amphibians and reptiles and both Helen and Terry run courses regularly for the local wildlife trust on amphibian surveys.  Both Terry and Helen I have had a great crested licence for around 40 years and Terry used to be the holder for all great crested newt records in their region. They also are part of the Breckland Flora Group monitoring many rare plants on Breckland which has 28% of the rarest plants in the UK.

 

12th July 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Unravelling the mysteries of migration by Dawn Balmer - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Unravelling the mysteries of migration by Dawn Balmer - 8.30pm

Dawn Balmer, National Survey Coordinator at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) will be here to give us an updated fascinating insight into the migration patterns and satellite tracking of birds. The talk will look at some of the recent BTO work aimed at unravelling the mysteries of movement and migration of our birds. Using novel technology, we’ve been able to discover the wintering grounds of Cuckoos, follow the migration routes of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and learn more about the movements of Swifts, Nightingales and Nightjars.

24th July 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: the A-Z of changes of birds in Scotland by Dawn Balmer - 8.30pmEvening Talk: the A-Z of changes of birds in Scotland by Dawn Balmer - 8.30pm

Dawn Balmer is Head of Surveys at BTO, and was lead author of Bird Atlas 2007–11. In this updated talk, she will share her thoughts on some of the most significant changes in the Scottish avifauna over the last 40 years. The talk will highlight some of these changes using the latest information from long-term surveys, projects and atlases.

26th July 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birding in Israel - Where Migration is Defined by Yoav Perlman - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Birding in Israel - Where Migration is Defined by Yoav Perlman - 8.30pm

In this talk Yoav will describe the wonders of bird migration in Israel - the busiest migration bottleneck in the world.  He will also talk about Champions of the Flyway, a bird race for conservation that raises funds to prevent illegal killing of birds around the Mediterranean Basin.

Yoav Perlman is director of science and monitoring for the Israeli Ornithological Centre (Birdlife partner in Israel) and is currently doing a PhD at University of East Anglia in conservation ecology. He is a professional birder, wildlife photographer, writer and speaker

5th August 2017

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wildlife in Motion by Cain Scrimgeour - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Wildlife in Motion by Cain Scrimgeour - 8.30pm

Join award winning filmmaker Cain Scrimgeour for an evening of short films spanning his early career. Discover the beauty of nature, the difficulties of capturing it on camera, and the adventures that accompany it.

11th September 2017

Free and open to all

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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: 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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RAPTOR THEMED WEEK 18th - 25th March 2017

This is a great time of year for Raptors, if you want a chance to see these amazing birds we will be putting on extra trips this wee. From just £270pp (4 nights) or £445pp (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.