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.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Blue-winged bonus

Arrived at Marshside at 7.30a.m. expecting to meet mad dog, who didn't turn up, funnily enough because he was looking after a new mad dog all of his own. I did bump into Dave Nickeas and he and I spent to c.9a.m. with Dave birding the sandworks, junction pool and Nel's hide. Very pleasant it was to. Lots of the usual suspects on show; a marsh full of birds.

Unfortunately I had to get going as I had to count my WeBS sector on Birkdale/Ainsdale beach/sands lake and had arranged to meet Pete Kinsella at 10. Pete duly turned up and we set about the serious business of counting and searching through flocks of waders and gulls. Our total counts were; Knot 18200; Sanderling 3070; Dunlin 410; Bar-tailed Godwit 275; Curlew 22; Grey Plover 198; Ringed Plover 5; Oystercatcher 3600; Lapwing 11; Little Egret 2;Cormorant 36; Mallard 119; Tufted Duck 56; Shelduck 15; Common Scoter 1290 (with many more further offshore); Coot 18; Moorhen 4; Little Grebe 3; Sandwich Tern 144; Herring Gull 397; Lesser Black-backed Gull 74; Great Black-backed Gull 37; Common Gull 145; Black-headed Gull 393; Med Gull 1. Decent totals of Knot, Sanderling, Oystercatchers, Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns, but disappointingly low counts of Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plovers. A Peregrine did it's spook everything act and I saw a Wheatear near to the old pleasureland site. It was great to catch up with Pete, one of the north-west's more experienced birders, and share some thoughts with him.

I dropped Pete in Formby to catch his train home to look through some Little Crosby Pink-feet and I headed down onto Plex Moss. While driving home I received a text from Alex (Marshside warden), simply saying; Blue-winged Teal at junction pool. Intrigued I headed for Marshside and was met by Neil Hunt (who'd found the bird - nice one Neil), Barry McCarthy, Tony Baker, Alex, Mark Nightingale and a few other local birders. The bird showed well for a short while and I managed a few shots (see below). A discussion regarding the birds age and sex was inconclusive, but I was certainly mistaken to suggest it was an adult female. It certainly looks like a male, but is it eclipse or juvenile? I'd have to see it again to decide, but I'll certainly look at my photos and look through any decent literature. A nice bird to top of a good morning.


No comments:

Post a Comment