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.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Enjoying a Ribble morning

I Enjoyed a few hours at Crossens and Marshside this morning. The highlight for me was the 16000 pink-footed geese that left the estuary roost in dribs and drabs from 7.30, with the last birds leaving the roost at 10ish. Several thousand flew in to feed on Crossens inner and Sutton's until Tom walked out onto the marsh to check the cattle; off they went. With excellent visibility I could see another 4500 drop in on the other side of the estuary, beyond Lytham. Lots of wigeon and teal on the marsh, providing a real spectacle. Raptors on view were a juv Marsh Harrier, two Sparrowhawks, two Merlins and a Kestrel. I checked for migrants along Marine Drive seeing only a Chiffchaff, six Goldcrests, nine Robins and eventually a Wheatear that I enjoyed watching with Pete Allen, Mad Dog and the Kelly brothers at the sandworks. I walked back to my car at Crossens while the other four headed to Hesketh golf course, where they found a Yellow-browed Warbler! Fair play to them. I ran out of time and had to get home so couldn't go and see it; nevermind, I'd enjoyed the wildfowl spectacle, sunshine, fresh air and some good laughs. A good morning.

Pink-footed Geese overhead at Crossens this morning
Pink-feet leaving Marshside after being flushed by the tenant farmer
Thousands of wigeon were grazing at Crossens and Marshside this morning
Big flocks of pink-feet on the move this morning
Wheatear showing well at the sandworks

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