The best way to experience the wildlife of Somerset is to explore it with someone who knows the area and its wildlife. Private guiding is ideal for those wanting to see or learn as much as possible, see particular species, or if you want to improve your wildlife-watching skills. By hiring me on a private basis I can give you my full time and attention to help you get the most from your visit to Somerset.
I provide fully customised private tours for individuals and small groups from just £30 per person, and can also provide guiding for visiting groups and coach parties, from short, easy walks to whole day explorations.
Your time with me can be customised to fit your specific needs, but suggested ‘themes’ include the following:
Birding Tuition: When starting out birding, the variety of species and plumages can be quite bewildering, especially at such superb locations where the sheer number of birds leaves you wondering where to start. I can help you develop your birding skills by focussing on problem groups that you may be struggling with. Groups such as:
Female and immature ducks
Birds of Prey
Gulls and Terns
Improving your abilities with difficult species will raise the level of enjoyment you get from your birding no end, giving you the confidence to positively identify more species in the future.
Target Birding: The dense wet habitats hold several species which can be really tricky to see if you don’t know exactly where to look, Water Rail, Bearded Tit and Garganey for example. If there is a species that you are particularly keen to catch up with, I can take you to the very best spots to increase your chances of connecting.
Bird Racing: A bird race is a competition in which teams compete to see as many species as possible within a given time frame. We move quickly around the different habitats, and use my knowledge of the locations of any unusual visitors to boost our tally. All the fun of a bird-race, but without the competition aspect, unless of course, you want to beat a total that a friend achieved on a previous tour with me.
Other Wildlife: It’s not just about the birds! the Somerset Levels hold an incredible variety of widflowers, butterflies, damsel and dragonflies, some of which can be found no-where else in the country. Spring, Summer an early Autumn are obviously the best seasons for this type of tour.
History: The Avalon Marshes have been exploited and shaped by the hand of man for the last 5000 years, leaving behind a rich heritage. From the prehistoric Sweet Track to the current conservation efforts, the marshes are steeped in fascinating history. We will visit the most important sites and learn just what happened to leave the marshes looking as they do today.
Photography: Digital technology has made wildlife photography hugely popular in recent years, not that it's got any easier! I can show you the best settings to switch your new camera too, take you to the best places to capture the action up close, and offer insights into how an understanding of the creature you're after is crucial in capturing that perfects shot.
Or any combination of the above, just let me know what you want to get out of your visit, and i’ll customise our time together to suit you.
A voucher for a tour is an excellent alternative gift idea for the budding birdwatcher or nature lover in your life. Ideal for an unusual birthday or christmas present that shows you’ve really thought about the perfect present. Or how about as an anniversary gift for a special day that a birding couple can spend together.
Slightly further away but one of my all-time favourite birding spots. This is one of the premier bird migration watchpoints on the South coast, with a great variety of species possible inlcuding seabirds and the occasional rarity
The rugged open coast of Bridgwater Bay and a newly created nature reserve combine to
create a wildife haven. Wheeling flocks of waders
and wildfowl fill the skies, and the 'working wetlands' provide far-reaching benefits whilst teeming with life
One of the largest expanses of reedbed habitat in the country, providing a home for a range of rare species throughout the year. The famous Starling murmurations are a perfect ending to a winter visit
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I am not currently available for tours, apologies