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Bird Identification

Our Bird Identification courses aim to provide an informal and enjoyable introduction to birds and birdwatching. Aimed primarily at beginners and improvers, the course is ideal for learning about a wide variety of birds in the estate grounds and further afield with plenty of opportunities to see and hear birds in the field and put what you have learnt into practice. By the end of the course participants will be able confidently identify common birds by sight and sound and most of all enjoyed themselves!

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2023

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

April 9th to 14th 2023
June 18th to 23rd 2023
September 24th to 29th 2023

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A 25% deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 3 months prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 3 months of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.

Our bird identification holidays are loosely themed as follows:

You will spend the morning with an introduction to the basics of bird identification (Indoor session) before heading on a bird identification walk. Post lunch, you will venture back outdoors to continue your identification walk.

You will have the option to join tutor Scott on an early morning bird sound walk (optional).
The morning session will consist of an indoor and outdoor session covering introduction to bird sounds.
Post lunch, you will venture outdoors for a bird identification walk.
You will have the option of joining tutor Scott in the evening for a bird identification walk (optional).

You will have the option to join tutor Scott on an early morning bird sound walk (optional).
You will spend Wednesday developing your bird identification and bird sounds.

Thursday morning will be spent further developing your bird identification and bird sounds identification ability.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy an indoor and outdoor session covering bird surveys and bird recording before enjoying a celebratory dinner in our dining room. 

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Scott Paterson
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

All course participants are kindly asked to bring the following items:

  • Good quality binoculars. During the course, tutor Scott will cover use of optics. There will be a few spare pairs of binoculars to use throughout the week if required.
  • Telescope – not necessary but guests are welcome to are welcome to bring along if you want.
  • Field Guide – A good field guide will be useful and we will look at the many different field guides available during the course.
  • Notebook – useful for noting what we see and hear in the field
  • Weather appropriate clothes – you will spend as much time as possible outdoors and it’s nice to be dry! Bring a few layers, waterproofs and walking shoes or boots.

Tutor Scott Paterson

Scott is a passionate and enthusiastic birder who enjoys anything involving birds and birdwatching. He has been fortunate to work on some fantastic nature reserves throughout the UK including the Farne Islands, Loch Garten, St Abbs Head, Vane Farm, Loch of Strathbeg and Minsmere where he worked on all manner of habitat management projects, species monitoring and people engagement.

Has also worked within the environmental consultancy sector in Scotland and is currently a self-employed ornithological surveyor, trainer and guide based in Kinross, Perth and Kinross. He leads training courses and walks for a variety of organisations including the Scottish Ornithologists Club, British Trust for Ornithology and Sustrans.



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