Start Birding Outdoors


Start Birding classes are aimed at adult beginners and people who are wanting to improve their birdwatching skills. There is a continuous programme of classes running throughout the year which enables you to observe the seasonal changes and migration of birds in the UK. All classes can be booked individually. They are available from 2 hours to a full day. Classes are limited to 8 people to ensure that everyone has a great learning experience.

Approximate prices for the published trips are as follows. Check out the events page for details:-

  • 2 hours – £18 per person
  • Half day – £39 per person
  • Full day – from £70 per person

This includes guided birdwatching, birdsong tuition from January to June, binocular tuition, learning about different species and their story and, in most cases, the chance to see birds in detail through a high powered telescope. Refreshments and bird lists are also provided. Trips may be more expensive due to distance and whether there are other fees, e.g. for boat trips or entrance fees to reserves.

Every Friday session starts with optional breakfast and is held in the Lower Aire Valley featuring Reserves such as St Aidan’s, RSPB Fairburn Ings and lots of other places managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service.

On most occasions, I offer a pick-up point from the Moor Allerton Centre (just off the Leeds outer ring road).

Find out more by contacting

One day taster sessions

From time to time I run one day taster sessions in and around Leeds. A taster day will give you a half day in the classroom followed by an afternoon outdoors putting your learning into practise. Subjects include Tools of the Trade: learning about binoculars and field guides; The Miracle of Birdsong; The Miracle of Migration.

Weekend courses and tours

Check the programme of events for short weekend courses.  Three day intensive tours are held in Northumberland, Norfolk, Suffolk and Dumfries and Galloway.

Fast track your learning or design your own birdwatching session

Learn quickly by booking a one-to-one birdwatching class or design your own group birdwatching session for family or friends (up to 8 people).

When you design your own session, you get to choose from a range of habitats such as woodland, wetland, moorland, river bank or coastal cliffs depending on the length of your session. Alternatively, you may want to study a particular group of birds (such as wildfowl, birds of prey or waders), or target a favourite species. Contact me to discuss your preferences or for advice on what would suit your individual ability.

Community groups

If you look after a nature reserve, or you’re part of a group that manages a special place in the Leeds area, then I can provide guided birdwatching walks or surveys for your group. I also run bird song listening events so that you can learn which birds are singing in your area.

Children and families

I teach indoor and outdoor sessions to families and groups of children on request. Please contact me to book a school visit or home schooling session.

Common Questions

  • Improve identification skills
  • Learn about the birds we see on our scheduled walks
  • Learn fieldcraft
  • Provide a friendly and supportive learning environment.
Binoculars are available on request. Only bring binoculars if you have them already. You don’t need to buy any especially for the class. As part of your first session, you will be given some useful information about binoculars. This will enable you to make an informed choice, when you do decide to buy, and prevent you from making an expensive mistake.
British weather can be very changeable so please wear plenty of layers. Unlike walking, you’re not likely to generate much heat when birdwatching and it is easy to become cold. Bring a hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof jacket, over-trousers and waterproof boots. No jeans please! These get wet very easily (either by rain running off a jacket or by being in contact with wet vegetation).

Gift Vouchers

Treat someone to a one-to-one birdwatching session or, alternatively, pay for someone to attend a scheduled group walk – prices start at £15.

Gift Vouchers

Learn Indoors

Look out for my indoor classes which run from September through til April.

Indoor Learning

Book your tickets