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.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Big Furry Felines

Sometimes through my work I visit different zoos and wildlife parks for meetings or to look a exhibit design etc. In September I nipped up to the South Lakes Wild Animal Park to discuss a couple of things and afterwards I had a wander around. As a youngster I was enthralled by all of the carnivores but especially the big cats and I used to love visiting places like Chester Zoo to see them. It's amazing to think that in my lifetime a couple of races of tigers have become extinct and also the rate that Indian tigers have decreased - a really sad situation. 

A few years ago when I did some survey work looking for White-headed Ducks in the Ilie delta, feeding into Lake Balkash, our guide Vladimir, told me that their used to be tigers there, that hunted the boar - I didn't believe him. I was recently reading about the extinction of Caspian Tigers and sure enough the Ilie delta was mentioned as a last stronghold, sorry Vlad! It got me thinking about the value of conservation projects, wildlife rescue missions and captive breeding programmes for tigers and wether earlier intervention could have ever saved Bali, Javan or Caspian Tigers. So it was heartening to read about the positive efforts by researchers, conservation land managers and zoos happening on behalf of Sumatran Tigers. The Sumatran Tigers at South Lakes had recently become infamous for the wrong reasons (I have genuine sympathy for the young lady that lost her life there), but it's always a privilege to see them up close. I took a few pictures of them and their feline cousins. Amazing animals....

A few photos of the pair of Sumatran Tigers at South Lakes

Male African Lion

Male Snow Leopard

Jaguar at South Lakes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment