With the Big Garden Birdwatch, run by the RSPB, taking place this weekend, we look at attractions to get your group interested in birdwatching.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is taking place between 27th and 29th January and encourages members of the public to get outdoors and note what birds they spot and report back to the RSPB.
Yet why stop at this weekend? Why not consider it as a theme for your next group trip?
We suggest a number of attractions which offer group visits that can inspire and inform you about the birds of the world.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover is a great place to celebrate all things bird-related. With group admission rates and benefits such as free entry for the GTO and coach driver, the attraction is well suited for parties of all sizes. Plus, there are plenty of daily activities to enjoy such as flying displays, meeting owls, various displays and demonstrations, and time to explore the nearby meadows. There are also events throughout the year focusing on different birds housed at the conservancy.
Birdland in Gloucestershire allows you to see a multitude of different bird species, from penguins, to cranes, to owls, to ostrich and flamingo. When visiting you might also like to explore the parks and gardens and the nature reserve is a great spot to do a bit of birdwatching. Group visits are welcome and can include an afternoon tea package or ‘Winter Warmer’ package and can also involve an evening tour. Special group rates are available for those with ten or more in the group.
Pictured: Flamingo at Birdland.
Those visiting Scotland should visit the RSPB Scotland Loch Garten Osprey Centre. Not only does the Loch provide a wonderful place to stroll and take in the views, but there is a wealth of Scottish wildlife waiting to be spotted. In the centre itself, you'll find equipment to take a look through to spot the ospreys nesting. In the UK there is thought to be only 200 to 250 pairs of osprey, making them a rarity. At the centre they nest at certain times of year. Besides the centre you may spot them during the spring and autumn at large freshwater lochs diving for fish.
Gigrin Farm in Rhayader, Wales, also known as the Red Kite Feeding Centre is a 200-acre working farm which is well known for its mass red kite feeding sessions, where reportedly hundreds of red kite feed every single day. Group visits can be arranged and there are five main hides in which you can view the feeds from. These huge birds are gradually increasing in population and can often be seen flying in parts of England too.
The Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Rutland is a great place to get a close look at wildlife. As well as walking around the waters, group can enjoy the wildlife hides in which they can look out from with binoculars in search of birds and other creatures. Birds you may spot whilst on a visit include geese, swans, a variety of ducks, cormorants, egrets, grebes, lapwings, and even Osprey at certain times of the year.
Find out more about the Big Garden Birdwatch and birdwatching in general by visiting www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/