Have you ever wandered around a park, heard a twittering noise, looked up, seen a bird in a tree, and then felt embarrassed because you have no idea what type of bird it is? I have. I try to fool myself by saying the name is on the tip of my tongue, or that I have momentarily forgotten, but in truth, I have absolutely no idea.
In an effort for conservation, and just our own general knowledge, we should really become more familiar with our British and visiting birds. Where one should start exactly, is another question. Do you buy a book on the subject and then go off in search? You could, but I find books never quite help out as much as you think. They can't answer back if you ask them a question, and when you have your nose stuck in a book, you can't have your eyes glued on nature.
On the 18th January, Peter Burrows-Smith is giving an introduction to birdwatching at Richmond Park. It includes a half-hour talk with tea and coffee, followed by a two hour walk around the park. The course costs £6 to book, and starts at 10am at Pembrook Lodge.
If you find you have an interest in discovering more, then you can join the London Bird Club. Members hold regular events in London's Royal parks; for example, on the 6th February, there will me an evening with the Inked Naturalist, Tristan Reid, who will be talking about his wildlife holiday in Turkey.
Once you are a member, you will also be able to attend more of Peter Burrows-Smith's courses - this time for free. The following course will be on the 15th February.