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, 4 November 2012
Flocking at the mere
I spent much of my free time this weekend looking through and at the big flocks of pink-foot geese at Martin Mere, 7000 have been present all weekend. The geese have been feeding on the outer fields to the south and west of the reserve and heading on to plover field to roost and when spooked. All this action has been easy to view from the UU hide. Not much with the flocks other than a single lecuistic bird, a probably wild greylag, a couple of neck collared bird and Colin Bushell saw a brent goose in flight today. All the usual wetland species on show, with whooper swans, teal, wigeon, pintail, shoveler, ruff, lapwings, snipe all very easy to see. Raptors included four buzzards, four peregrines, a marsh harrier, a sparrowhawk and a kestrel. Both Colin and I searched for the reported firecrest and couldn't find it, although I did enjoy seeing goldcrests and coal tits amongst the roving long-tailed tit flocks. Lots of visitors enjoying the the sunshine and the birds, long may it continue.
Pink-feet taking off from plover field
Pink-feet determined not to crash into the UU hide
Can you spot the odd one out?
Landing gear being lowered as pinks come back to land on plover field