This course is designed to fit around your own work, study or family commitments. Each week, the learning materials are uploaded on a Monday, and you have a full week to complete the tasks. Your study is supported by a live Zoom call each Thursday at 7pm in which all delegates will come together with our trainers for an interactive session to consolidate learning.
Your time will be split 50:50 between online learning (mostly through video content) and field observation. You’ll watch our instructional videos, and then find a good site for birdwatching. We recommend somewhere near water rather than in wooded areas as identification is easier here. If you live in a city, a park with a lake will work just as well. We estimate the course will take between 4-6 hours of your time each week.
During each week, you will be instructed to complete at least one sketch of a bird you see. You don’t need to be an artist – you’ll be taught basic sketching skills and learn how to annotate your drawing in the field notebook we send you. The aim is to record key features on an outline of a bird, and make some notes of shape, colour and stance.
You’ll then upload this picture with your identification for our tutors to see. At the live Zoom each Thursday, we’ll go through each student’s sketch and ID. This gives you instant feedback on your progress but also a greater breadth of learning as you try out your identification skills on other student’s sketches and sightings.
This course is delivered by our tutors Simon Roper and Fraser Rush. Both have decades of experience in conservation and nature work and bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge.