Blue Eyed Birder - Walks on the Wildside with Howard Vaughan

Getting you closer to the natural world

Small group and bespoke tours

I have been a naturalist for what seems like all of my fifty-odd years and yes, birding has always been at the forefront but with that has come a desire to know and learn about the wild world around me.  

I have worked in conservation for over twenty years now between the BTO and RSPB with much of that at RSPB Rainham Marshes but the time has now come to get myself back outside and sharing my passion for wildlife with others. I would love you to join me on my ambles around the British countryside and perhaps further afield. 

UK Day trips & short breaks & trips further afield

From coastal marshes and ancient woodland to rolling chalk downland and sandy heaths and even the steamy jungles of Costa Rica...

Many of my day trips will be in the East Anglia and the South-east where there are so many special places to encounter wildlife. We are spoilt for choice. 

A meeting point will be arranged and I will actively encourage and try to facilitate car sharing where possible.

For budding birders

Soak up and absorb the ornithological world around you!

I have always believed that the best way to become a better birder is to go birding. By coming on my walks you will develop the skills of ear and eye to make the most out of your hobby regardless of your perceived ability.  There is no formula; it is learning by osmosis.

It's not just about the birds...

There is so much more to discover...

Birds have always been my first love but I grew up in awe of all the wildlife I encountered and so during the summer months in particularly we will be exploring sites renowned for their wonderful insects and botany too. 

Butterflies & Moths: It is possible to see almost all of Britain's Butterfly species within the South-east and East Anglia, and areas of the Kent and Sussex Chalk Downlands and Woodlands provide you with ample opportunities from April onwards. 

Can you imagine a flower covered slope flickering with Blues, Browns and Whites?

We often encounter Day Flying Moths too but there will be the opportunity for some moth evenings too!

Dragonflies and Damselflies: The first Large Red Damsels are on the wing in April and by early summer the rivers and ditches are alive with Hawkers, Chasers and Skimmers. A visit to the Surrey Heaths adds a different selection, Swallowtails in the Norfolk Broads and the coastal Thames marshes are now home to Blue-Eyed Hawkers and Southern Emerald Damselflies too.

Other Inverts: Everything catches my eye with impressive Hoverflies, Bugs, Bees, Long-horn Beetles and Spiders amongst other families.  

I am always looking (even when birding) but my Insect Afternoon Walks will focus on the smaller creatures.

Botanical Wonders: Orchids are obviously a popular suite of plants but there is so much more to see and enjoy throughout the seasons from spring carpets of Celandines, Primroses and Violets to carnivorous Sundews and acres of summer Poppies.

Wellbeing:  It is not the knowing - it is the doing.  During my Furlough year my almost daily walks near home and the wildlife encounters I experienced were the anchor that kept my body and soul in a better place than I might have otherwise expected.  

I do not need to identify everything little thing I see (I would spend a long time not going very far otherwise!) but being outside in whatever natural environment you can find is the key.  

Stepping away from home and appreciating the wider world around you allows you to unwind and re-evaluate.

Evening Talks

Come with me on a visual journey through my travels

I am available for Powerpoint presentations to any groups in Kent, Essex, south-east and north-east London. Most talks last 90 minutes.  

  • Lesvos
  • Costa Rica
  • The Gambia
  • Spring & Summer on the Kentish Downs

With more to follow soon.  I am happy to talk either in person or on Zoom.  £75 per talk plus expenses where appropriate.  Obviously Zoom talks can be anywhere!

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.