Our Courses

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: Starts 28 March 2020

This course was run for the first time in 2017 and, following its excellent reception, is due to run again for the 4th year from spring 2020.

Over the 12-month course participants attend five study weekends from March-December 2020, with a final exam in April 2021. 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

Passerines Masterclass 2 Day Course

Dates Available: 28 and 29 April 2020

By the end of the course you should feel more confident in the identification of the songbirds/perching birds, in particular those seen in the Cairngorms National Park and surrounding area. As well as specific help with identification, we shall cover the ‘how to do it’ of general identification. In this way, participants can start to improve their skills going forward, make a start on learning birdsong and have useful hints and tips on telling difficult species apart. Click here for more information and to apply

Bird songs and calls Masterclass 2 Day Course

Dates Available: 30 April and 01 May 2020

By the end of the course the participants should feel more confident in the identification of bird songs and calls, in particular those of birds found in the Cairngorms National Park and surrounding area. We shall cover the ‘how to do it’ of song/call identification, with lots of tips and hints on how to learn birdsong, focusing on specific species, with the aim of participants learning some of the more common species songs and calls. Participants will cover how to learn birdsong, improve their song and call identification skills, as well as understand why birds sing and call in the first place. 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: 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