Waterbird ID training (Scotland; 2 sessions, Wednesdays 10am)

Pochard by John Proudlock
Ben Darvill and Steve Willis
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 10:00 to Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 10:00
Fully booked

Improve your identification of winter wildfowl and other waterbirds in this two-part online course.

The training will consist of two weekly online modules, complemented by supported self-study exercises which will be provided after each session. The training will be run by BTO Scotland staff members Ben Darvill and Steve Willis who are experienced trainers, birdwatchers and surveyors.

The two sessions will be as follows:

SESSION 1: Identifying dabbling ducks, swans and common grebes
Wednesday 28 September, 10:00–11:45am

We will introduce the most important elements of wildfowl identification, using a range of interactive activities. The main groups that we'll cover in this session are dabbling ducks (excluding males in breeding plumage), winter swans and the common grebes.

SESSION 2: Identifying diving ducks, sawbills and grey geese
Wednesday 5 October, 10:00–11:45am

Building on self-study exercises on diving ducks and scarcer grebes, we'll take a closer look at how to identify these tricky groups, along with some other common waterbirds that dive for food. The remainder of the session will focus on the identification of grey geese: Greylag, Pink-footed, White-fronted, Taiga and Tundra Bean Geese.

In order to participate you will need:

  • broadband of sufficient speed to view live video (we can carry out a test in advance if you are unsure)
  • a computer with sound and ideally a webcam, or a tablet/smartphone.

COST: The programme of two weekly online sessions and supported self-study exercises costs £24. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend both sessions to get the maximum benefit. We are unable to offer single sessions at a reduced price. If the cost is prohibitive for you please get in touch and we'll be happy to discuss a concessionary rate. If you have any other questions about the course, please contact us at ben.darvill [at] bto.org.

This course complements two other courses that will run during autumn 2022: a two-session course on wader identification and a one-session course on survey skills for the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS).

After booking you should receive an automatic confirmation email. If this doesn’t arrive, please check your spam/junk email folder and if it is not there, or you have any other questions or booking issues, please email us at steve.willis [at] bto.org or ben.darvill [at] bto.org

This course is designed for amateur birdwatchers and bird survey volunteers – professionals seeking training should contact us by email.