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, 20 October 2012
I got to Marshside just before sunrise this morning and the first bird I saw was a superb barn owl hunting in front of the car park and then flying over the road onto Sutton's. c.2200 pink-feet lifted off Rimmer's and headed straight out to graze the adjacent saltmarsh. The Ribble pink-foot roost held c.12100 birds, these drifted inland in dribs and drabs through the morning providing a constant spectacle. I manged to get my first redwing (just one) and fieldfare (two) of the autumn, but other than a couple of goldcrests in the sandworks vis mig wasn't really happening. Two great white egrets dropped on the western end of Banks marsh together and I counted 26 little egrets there, with ten very distant whooper swans on the edge of the marsh. Other birders I enjoyed the company of were playful Pete, Mad Dog and Carlos The Mild.; big Davey Mallett joined us later on. It was the first time this autumn I've managed to see the sexy seven raptors; kestrel, sparrowhawk, buzzard, female marsh harrier, female hen harrier; at least three merlins and three peregrines - all busily doing there thing out on the saltmarsh, with at least two different peregrines bombing over Sutton's and Crossens inner scaring the life out of the hiige flocks of teal, wigeon, black-tailed godwits and lapwings. A glorious morning with a beautiful sunrise, good company and amazing birds.
Sunrise over North Meols
Mad Dog, Carlos The Mild & Playful Pete at the summit of Mount Clarko
Pink-feet dropping onto Sutton's with Winter Hill in the background