If you’ve always wanted to know what the bird calls are that you hear whilst out walking in our Scottish National Parks, or to feel confident that you can tell the difference between a Buzzard and an eagle as you scan the hills, then our wildlife identification courses in the Cairngorms are for you. They teach you the ‘how to do it’ of wildlife identification, to work things out for yourself, either by sight or sound, whilst you’re out and about – complete beginners welcome. Our ‘masterclasses’ are designed for those who wish to gain more knowledge on particular families of birds, such as raptors or waders or for help on birdsong and calls identification; or you may wish to join our year-long course for personal career development, either as the start of a career as a wildlife tour guide or just for your own enjoyment.
Speyside Wildlife has been employing wildlife guides for over 30 years and found over the years that whilst people may have a qualification in ecology, that doesn’t mean they have sufficient wildlife identification skills to take guests out for a day in the field and identify birds; at all times of year, in all plumages – when they can see them – or by sound when they can’t. We started the original year-long course to address that skills gap in 2017 and in response to requests for a shorter in-depth training opportunity, the first of our ‘masterclasses’ began in 2019.