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.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
So much to see. So little time.
Spent a small chunk of this afternoon (a long dinnertime, don't worry I made up the time this evening.....) at Crossens and Marshside. The big tide was just dropping and huge numbers of birds were flighting about the place and just waiting to be looked at. I was keen to see the recently reported short-eared owls, I wasn't disappointed, I saw three. Other predators seen were a peregrine, a sparrowhawk and a kestrel. 19 little egrets were roosting on Sutton's marsh, with three more on the outer marsh, where a stoat managed to swim to safety. A great deal of pink-foot movment was happening with c. 6500 on the edge of Crossens outer, 2300 on Crossens inner and 1650 on Sutton's marsh. A single barncle goose was with the pinks and a leucistic pink-foot (see Ribble estuary nature facebook page for some photos) was noted, as was an individual with an all pink bill and neck collar TNS. Numerous black-tailed godwits included two very showy colour-ringed birds and 15 ruff were busily feeding amongst in the flock on Sutton's marsh. If you visit Marshside in the afternoon do try to walk along the seawall (try accessing from Dawlish Drive), the views of the birds really are amazing. Plenty of sunshine, black clouds and rainbows. If only I had more time.
A couple of blinged black-tailed godwits on Sutton's marsh this afternoon
A pair of pink-feet enjoying the sunshine on Sutton's marsh this afternoon
Sutton's marsh is a grazed, wet, bird filled paradise