Being With The Birds

Led by Planet Birdsong

A weekend devoted to spending precious time with the birds.

Dates and Times: 6pm Friday, June 12 – 4pm Sunday, June 14 2020

Fee: £90 – £180 Being With The Birds weekend tickets include food, accommodation, teaching, downloads and concert tickets.


The natural world around us vibrates and chats with a cacophony of communication and meaning, of which we are largely unaware as we hurry about the daily business of being human.

What does it take to slow down and listen, to notice and perhaps even hear? Are we the only ones that don’t take part in this vibrant conversation of the world? What are the rest of our fellow creatures talking and singing about?

Join us for a weekend in which we devote precious time to the birds – to be with them, to hear them, to sing with them, to celebrate them.

What To Expect

During this weekend we will be exploring bird songs and calls in depth – through walking, singing along and even using our modern human technology to aid us.

We will take you on walks, at night and at dawn, listening for nightjars and other denizens of our land. We will explore their songs, their meanings and give you tools to help develop a deep understanding of the calls in your garden at home. We will invite you into our birdsong studio, to become and sing with the bird of your choice, and ask you to participate in creating birdsong songs, along with us, for singing and for music – bring your voices and your instruments.

One highlight of the weekend will be an outdoor concert performed by The Conference of the Birds – interspersed with gypsy fiddling and real birdsong.

All this, and the usual Embercombe treats – waking up to nature, wild swimming in the lake, sharing stories around the fire and enjoying our home-cooked, completely delicious, plant-based food.

Is It For You

If you want to spend time slowing down and taking more notice of the creatures and the meanings in the air around you.


Planet Birdsong

Planet Birdsong is a UK based charitable initiative devoted to engaging the greatest possible number of citizens with bird songs and calls, an international language that transcends geographical and species boundaries. The initiative is multi-disciplinary, involving scientists, conservationists, musicians, educators and IT professionals.

With Isak Herman of the Cambridge University Computer Department they are creating games suitable for people of all ages and nationalities that enhance engagement of with bird vocalisations. They create lesson plans for primary and secondary schools in collaboration with James de Winter of Cambridge University Education department.

Click here to watch a short BBC documentary about Planet Birdsong and its founders Peter and Liz Cowdrey.

Planet Birdsong

Conference of the Birds

The Conference of Birds is a flexible ensemble founded in 2009, with a special interest in creating and performing music based on birdsong. Repertoire ranges from traditional and baroque music to improvisations, often accompanied by live or recorded birdsong. The ensemble is led by Liz Cowdrey, and her brother Peter Cowdrey is composer-in-residence.

CoB received British Council funding to work with birdsong inspired artists in the Amazon basin and leads birdsong and music walking tours.

Conference of the Birds

Upcoming Dates & Booking

We aim for all of our courses to be as inclusive and accessible as possible – please contact us for information on paying in installments.

If you have any questions please call +44 (0) 1647 252 983 or email


Photo by Ravi Shekhar on Unsplash

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