About Graham Clarkson

Born & brought up in Marshside, I started birding there in the mid 1970s & made my first birding trip to Martin Mere in 1977. I've lived, worked & birdied in Abu Dhabi, Northern Ireland & Gloucestershire & I've spent time working in Kazakhstan & Madagascar. I enjoy birding my various West Lancashire patches, making frequent birding visits throughout the north-west of England and North Wales. I stray elsewhere in the UK & enjoy birding abroad from time to time. I'm particularly interested in wildfowl (especially pink-footed geese) with an interest in waders & raptors, bird counts & surveys & conservation. I'm trying to get the hang of photography & digiscoping - I'll get there eventually.

My degree from Edge Hill University is in conservation biology. I've guided on numerous birding days out & trips & guided birding holidays to Lesvos, Andalucia, Extremedura, Majorca, Camargue, Hungary, Finland & Florida. I enjoy showing people birds & habitats & helping them learn more about birds & enjoy birding. I'm currently involved with the Birdwatching and Beyond course at Edge Hill and a brand new venture; Skein Birding.

As well as birding I'm interested in captive breeding & reintroduction projects & zoos, how they're managed & how they contribute to conservation. I'm a proud Lancastrian & love the Lancashire countryside & landscapes. I'm an Evertonian & also keep up with what's happening at Southport, PNE & Bristol Rovers. Gardening, dogs (I have a Labrador & a Tibetan Terrier) and keeping chickens (especially Marsh Daisys & Scots Dumpy Bantams). Ruth & I have two marvellous boys who both love nature too. I hope you find the blog and subjects covered interesting; please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Glos Odonata and brief encounter of the Purple kind.

Had a good night in the Badger in Eastington on Friday night with excellent company including top birding mates Martin McGill, Jeremy Squire, Neil Smart and Steve Dark. Jeremy, Martin and I carried on the jovial frivolity today and set off to the Forest of Dean in search of two local Odonata rarities; Red-veined Darter and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly. We found both after a great deal of searching. To be honest they did the searching and I gamely tagged along! Paul Tay, a local Odonata expert was also on hand to come up with the goods. Birds seen while searching for our four-winged, six-legged friends ncluded 16 Crossbills, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler.

Red-veined Darter a Glos rarity seen photographed today in the Forest of Dean
The same Red-veined Darter today.
Emperor Dragonfly, Forest of Dean.

Large Red Damselfly, Forest of Dean

Martin and Paul certainly take Odonata ID, recording and photography very seriuosly
Black Darter (juvenile), Forest of Dean.

Flushed with success from the forest we headed over to Coombe Hill Nature Reserve, where we added a couple more species of Dragonfly to the days's species list. We also managed to see some interesting birds; a juvenile Purple Heron being the highlight. Two hunting Hobbies, 120 Lapwings, six Snipes, a Black-tailed Godwit, two Curlews, 15 Grey Herons, 345 Swifts, Yellowhammer and Chiffchaff were all good too.
The final list of Odonata recorded today was;

Emerald Damselfly; Large Red Damselfly; Common Blue Damselfly; Blue-tailed Damselfly; Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly; Common Hawker; Southern Hawker; Brown Hawker; Emperor Dragonfly; Four-spotted Chaser; Broad-bodied Chaser; Common Darter; Ruddy Darter; Black Darter and Red-veined Darter.

Great wildlife and great company.

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