New dates for popular birdwatching course announced

A popular birdwatching course, comprising a mix of evening classes and guided field trips, is being offered at two venues in the north and south of the Island.

Birdwatching For Beginners, supported by the Manx Ornithological Society, will take place at two venues this autumn:

  • The Lightroom @Idea Hat, 14-15, St Paul's Shops in Ramsey;
  • St. Mark's Schoolroom in the heart of the Island.

Tim Earl“We have for some time wanted to hold our indoor evening classes, which have been so successfully piloted in the south of the Island, at a northern venue for some time,” course tutor Tim Earl said. “A suggestion to use The Lightroom in Ramsey provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.”

Each course will help attendees to discover the basics of how best to observe birds, share hints and tips on how to recognize the main groups of birds and receive recommendations on which equipment and books to use.

The course has run since 2015 with more than 150 people attending.

Course dates

Each course is three weeks in duration. Evening class sessions are held indoors on a Wednesday or Thursday, with field trips – including to the new Manx BirdLife Point of Ayre National Reserve – arranged for each following weekend:

Ramsey Course
Venue: The Lightroom @Idea Hat, 14-15, St Paul's Shops, Ramsey;
Evening classes: Wednesday 20th September, Wednesday 27th September and Wednesday 4th October (all 7.00pm to 9.00pm);
Outdoor field trips: Saturday 23rd September, Saturday 30th September and Saturday 7th October (start 8.00am, locations to be decided with the class).

St Mark's Course
Venue: St. Mark's Schoolroom;
Evening classes: Thursday 28th September, Thursday 5th October and Thursday 12th October (all 7.00pm to 9.00pm);
Outdoor field trips: Sunday 1st October, Sunday 8th October and Sunday 15th October (start 8.00am, locations to be decided with the class).

How to book

Course places can be booked by emailing Janet Thompson, Course fees are £40 per person. Proceeds are donated to Manx BirdLife.

A growing alumni

An alumni of course attendees has formed a self-help group called the Manx Early Birders (MEBs).

The group now has its own active Facebook page where birdwatching advice can be sought and shared. A WhatsApp group has also been established for sharing news of sightings.

As well as birdwatching outings and social events, the MEBs have organised their own citizen science projects – one of which has mapped the Island’s Long-eared Owl population.





Course tutor: Tim Earl 07624 205949,