Speyside Wildlife has been employing wildlife guides for nearly 30 years and found recently that whilst people may have a qualification in ecology, that doesn’t mean they have sufficient wildlife identification skills to take guests out for a day in the field and identify birds; at all times of year, in all plumages – when they can see them – or by sound when they can’t. We started the original year-long course to address that skills gap and in 2019, in response to requests for a shorter in-depth training opportunity, the first of our ‘masterclasses’ began.
Wildlife Identification in the Cairngorms 1 Year Accredited Qualification
Dates Available: 2020 in progress, next course starts March 2021
This course was run for the first time in 2017 and, following its excellent reception, is due to run again for the 5th year from spring 2021.
Over the 12-month course participants attend five study weekends from March-December 2021, with a final exam in April 2022. In addition, in your own time, you will progress and practice your skills learnt, producing your own Field Notebook for assessment. By the end of the course, you should be able to correctly identify the major birds and mammals seen and heard in the Cairngorms National Park; know what species are likely to occur in which habitats and at what time of year and also gain a basic appreciation of what wildlife guiding entails. This course is fully accredited by LANTRA. Please click here for more information and to apply
Raptor Masterclass 2 Day Course
Dates Available: 16 & 17 September 2020
By the end of the course you should feel more confident in the identification of raptors, in particular those seen in the Cairngorms National Park and surrounding area. You should also feel that you can see a way forward in how to improve on your raptor identification skills and that you have learned some useful hints and tips on telling difficult species apart. Click here for more information and to apply
Wader Masterclass 2 Day Course
Dates Available: 11 & 12 November 2020
By the end of the course you should feel more confident in the identification of waders from all over the UK, but in particular, those seen in and around the Cairngorms National Park and coastal areas nearby. You should also feel that you can see how to improve your wader identification skills and that you have learned some useful hints and tips on telling difficult species apart using plumage, behaviour and other features. Click here for more information and to apply