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.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ribble mixed bag

Picked up a Hesketh Out Marsh tick in the shape of a female Goshawk this morning. She was along way off, sat on a post and in heat haze. But no doubt about her ID; size of a Buzzard and a big, flaring white super. She briefly flew towards Tony and I but then disappeared over the seawall and presumably headed inland - we couldn't find her again. Maybe a migrant, an escape, a falconer's bird? Who knows? I'll leave that to the commitee. Regardless of her origins a nice bird to pick up on a visit to HOM. Other stuff at HOM; 76 Goldfinch and two Whitethroats in the hedge, juv Marsh Harrier, two Buzzards, four Kestrels; four Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, three Little Egrets, 40 Teal, three Wigeon and three Common Terns over the river.

At Old Hollow farm from the sewall I saw my first local Golden Plover of the 'autumn', along with two Barnacle Geese (with Canadas), 81 juv Shelduck with six adult female minders, nine Wigeon, two Yellow Wagtails and a distant juv Marsh Harrier  towards Crossens outer marsh.

At Marshside no sign of Garganey but a flock of c.450 Black-tailed Godwits, included three juveniles (first of the year). Also two moulting male Ruff (see photo below), female Tufted Duck with six young ducklings and the usual scattering of Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal and single Pintail and Wigeon. Three Reed Warblers were frustrating the lensmen as they scurried in the reeds in front of Nel's hide.

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