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Simply Birds: Enjoy birds with less stress while nature journaling

November 17, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST

$45.00 – $75.00
  • Do you enjoy watching birds but have a hard time nature journaling them?
  • Do you find birds move too much for you to draw them?
  • Do you want to enjoy birds more and have less stress in journaling them?
  • Do you want to be more confident in capturing your bird observations?

Simply Birds Workshop Might be for you!


Here is an in-person workshop to practice your skills with bird journaling! In this hands-on, interactive workshop you’ll do the following:

  • learn what kinds of information we observe with birds
  • how to incorporate our senses in bird journaling -I’ll show you my personal tips on drawing sounds and movements!
  • tips to begin identifying birds
  • practice effective ways to draw loose and quick birds so you have more time to enjoy watching them
  • practice ways to sketch moving birds in the field
  • quiet your inner critic so that you can build confidence in bird journaling
  • personal guidance from me while journaling together


  • 10am-~12pm: Indoor workshop
  • ~12-1pm: Step outside for outdoor tips ( if weather permits)
  • Optional add-on: Bird watching and nature journaling ~1:30-3pm at near-by Moss Landing State Beach.

We will be working indoors for the first part, and then move outdoors bird journaling (if rain, we will stay indoors). You will come away with seeing birds in a new enriching way, more easily incorporate birds and bird life in your journal to expand your appreciation and knowledge of your local birds.

This is for :

  • Beginners and experienced nature journalers
  • Anyone who enjoy birds and wants to expand knowledge through journaling
  • learning how to SEE birds for  building Identification skills
  • Anyone wanting in-person encouragement and guidance
  • You if you’re open to learning
  • And ready to try new ways to build confidence in drawing and writing about birds

Is this for me?  This is NOT for you if :

  • Just want to make perfect illustrations
  • Just want to focus on specifics of identifying birds
  • Just want to focus on just creating artistic pages

These topics can be covered in other classes.

What you need to bring:

  • your nature journal (or one can be purchased)
  • your supplies- pen, pencil, colored pencils or watercolors
  • your willingness to try this out!


The Elkhorn Slough Safari bookstore has nature journaling supplies for you to peruse- as well as a great selection of natural history books and gifts!


Your instructor: Melinda Nakagawa

I’ve kept a nature journal for over 25 years, and a bird watcher for over 30 years. I have been a naturalist, seabird biologist, educator and guide.

My earliest nature journals were mostly words— just writing down the birds I saw on my nature walks.

But over time I incorporated new strategies as learned and developed as I went along. Now, I have a whole complement of tools to use to make my nature experience richer, drawing more freely and with ease.

It took me a while to discover my style and I have come to use my nature journal not only to learn more about the birds and world around me, but also about myself and my connection to the natural world.

Drawing is a skill, and anyone can learn to draw. It just takes a little guidance and continued practice. You can totally do this. Let’s do this together!

Melinda also teaches

Spark your Bird Love- 6 week online course designed to feed your love of birds through enriching nature connection practices and bird-related nature journaling

and other nature journaling courses. See https://spark-in-nature.teachable.com


Some feedback from past participants

“Thank you. Gave me confidence to include birds in my journal. At last!”

“I neglected live-bird sketching in the past because I didn’t know what to put on the page. Melinda’s session was KEY so I give myself permission to observe birds, their behavior, and quick drawings that do not necessarily have to be perfect renditions. Melinda’s calming nature and cool approach to nature journaling made this session even more amazing. I can’t wait to go outside and apply what I learned.” B. Martin

“This wonderful class reduced my panic around sketching birds on the move.  It’s great to be able to add so much information about behavior and not just have pages of drawings.”

“Very generous sharing of lots of useful information that can be confidently incorporated right away!” M. Lloyd

“THANK YOU SO MUCH Melinda! This was so soothing and a beautiful reminder for me to keep drawing contour to feel the experience.” M. Turin

“After the class, I woke up the next morning looking at the world differently!  Thank you for reminding us that we’re just not drawing pretty birds, You gave us so much more to think about and add to journals.” K. Pennington

“Very fun. Its the most relaxed I felt about my drawing.” J Schwartz

“What a wonderful and inspiring teacher…not in search of perfection in our journals but reminding us to have fun and capture the moment.” R. Villa





November 17, 2023
10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST
$45.00 – $75.00
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Elkhorn Slough Safari Store
7981-E Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, Caifornia
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