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, 14 October 2012

Altered images

This morning the first WWT coordinated nationwide pink-footed goose count of the autumn. We try to get to the roosts pre-dawn so that all birds are counted as they leave the roost; much easier than trying to count them as they arrive to roost. I counted the Alt roost that covers the mouth of the Alt estuary and Taylor's bank, out from Higntown (between Crosby and Formby on the Lancashire coast). Dave Mallett normally covers this roost but was busy elsewhere. I counted 20,200, while Alan Bedford, Kim & Sean Ashton counted 7581 on the Ribble, with Nick Godden & Jean Roberts counting 29,000 from Pilling. Counts from Martin Mere, Simonswood, Cocker's Dyke and the Wyre estuary aren't in yet, but it looks like it's going to be a decent count for Lancashire. Hopefully this'll also be the case elsewhere and the Icelandic/Greenlandic population will have made some recovery from recent worrying declines. We'll only know that once all of the counts have been collated for the whole of the winter. As you can see from the images below it was a beautiful morning. A joy to be out and about.

Pink-footed geese leaving the Alt roost just after dawn this morning
Pink-feet at dawn
River Alt at Hightown
After the goose count I was joined at Birkdale by Kim & Sean Ashton who helped me with the WeBS count there. Rather low numbers of waders with highlights being; Knot 1550; Dunlin 1250; Sanderling 165; Grey Plover 385; Bar-tailed Godwit 1700; Snipe 2; Turnstone 2; Curlew 18; Oystercatcher 2650; Cormorant 620; Common Scoter 6. Other birds of interest included an adult Peregrine, a female Kestrel, two female Sparrowhawks, a migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker and five migrant Coal Tits in the velvet trail scrub.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics of my original 'home turf' there Colin. Sure there weren't that many geese there in those days although they did distract me whilst trying to play rugby (didn't take much) on our nearby playing field