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, 17 November 2012
Hundred End's hundreds of Whoopers
I enjoyed a couple of hours exploring around Hundred End and Hesketh Out Marsh this afternoon. The sun was shining which made it particularly enjoyable. From the seawall at Hundred End I scanned the NNR and could see huge but distant clouds of waders and wildfowl wheeling around over the pools and saltmarsh, the tide was dropping and I saw the resident Great White Egret grabbing fish stranded in tidal pools. A distant flock of c.600 Pink-feet provided company for a single Barnacle Goose, but the flock was to far away to look through properly. A Kingfisher flew by and briefly perched on the metal barrier of the Hundred End sluice gates; a unexpected splash of colour. Three separate groups of Whooper Swans could be seen from the seawall, the largest of 259 was a couple of fields inland of Hesketh Out Marsh and contained six broods of one, eight of two, four of three and one of four. I didn't go through the other groups in detail; 76 near Shore Road and 15 on the NNR. 62 Tree Sparrows in the hedges inland of HOM was the biggest flock I've seen around there for a long time. I bumped into Colin and Angie Bushell out birding/dog walking and we discussed seeing Hen Harriers; which we pretty much instantly did, a distant ring-tail hunting along the outer seawall, flushing flocks of Teal, Wigeon and Mallard as it did so. Colin and Angie carried on with the dogs and saw a female Goosander on the Scaup pool and I happily headed home for a warming brew and a double helping of football carnage...
Whoopers drifting past at Hundred End
Looking towards Hundred End and beyond form Hesketh Out Marsh