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.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sleeping Spoonbill

Nipped out to Banks late afternoon to check the pools in front of Old Hollow. Lots of bird there; 275 Teal, 186 Wigeon, 4 Avocets (2 ads, 2 juvs),  170 Golden Plover, 1510 Canada Geese, 3 Barnacle Geese, juv Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine, 4 Kestrel. Numerous Lapwings, Dunlin and Ringed Plover on ther pools but I didn't count them. I heard but didn't see Raven, Greenshank and Yellow Wagtail. Inspired bu Banaks I headed to Marshisde.

At Marshside I could see clouds of waders gathering out on the tideline beyond the sandworks, but my attention was taken with Little Egrets on Sutton's marsh, I counted eight, with another eleven on the saltmarsh across the road, where three Greenshanks flew over. A big white, immobile lump on Polly's pool proved to be a Spoonbill. Presumably the bird Colin and Ron have seen recently on Banks marsh.

Spoonbill., Polly's pool, RSPB Marshside. 23/08/12
From the sandworks numberous waders were roosting, I counted; 2100 Knot, 1650 Dunlin, 420 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 175 Curlew, 160 Ringed Plover, 1670 Oystercatcher, 64 Cormorant and 560 Shelducks. Out on the river a raft of 23 Eiders sailed past. A Merlin and two adult Peregrines occupied well known perching posts out on the saltmarsh.
At junction pool a Garganey dabbled amongst the Shovelers (74 on Rimmer's), nine Wigeon, three Gadwall and c.200 Teal were also on Rimmer's.
Garganey, Rimmer's marsh, RSPB Marshside. 23/08/12
A flock of 1560 Black-tailed Godwits were roosting in front of Nels' hide, closer inspection revelealed three colour-ringed birds, which I'll submit details of in due course. Two Ruff and c.50 Snipe were the only other waders of note present.
One of today's colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits; a typical view.

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