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.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Marshside morning with mad dog

I met up with  mad dog (a.k.a John Bannon) at 06.45 on Saturday morning for some early doors vismiging at Marshside. John had been there since 05.45 and had already gripped me with Tree Pipit at he sandworks!  The morning was overcast and completly still and the calm broken by 330 Pinkfeet in scattered flocks, that had roosted out on the estuary, and were drifting inland, happily calling. A 3rd calendar year Marsh Harrier flying strongly south west out on the saltmarsh was a pleaseant distraction to the groups of Meadow Pipits overhead. A fall of Robins was evident with 34 counted up to 10.30. As site record?  Other birds recorded on passing through  included 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 35 Golffinches, 2 Chaffinches, a Siskin, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Goldcrests and 5 Whitethroats.
Looking closely at the RSPB marshs we counted 2104 Blackwits, 98 Golden Plover, 8 Greenshank, 5 Ruff,  24 Gadwall, 124 Shoveler (amongst c.800 Teal), and a minimum total of 207 Snipe. Two Merlins, two Kestrels,  a Pegrine and an adult female Marsh Harrier were hunting the saltmarsh mid-morning and two Ravens drifted over high, one spiralling down onto Rimmer's marsh. Other highlights were  98 House Sparrows feeding on Stanley School playing field (adjacent to Marshside Road) and a Kingfisher on Junction Pool. A decent morning in the company of a decent chap.

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