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.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

So, that was 2013

Slimbridge sunset. Dec 2013.

I started off 2013 optimistically and for good reason; my health was rapidly improving and work was settling down after a difficult period, to the point where I felt I was actually achieving things. I blogged  regularly early in year, mainly bird related topics, but as my health deteriorated and work and home became hectic I lost interest and packed in at the end of May. It wasn't deliberate I just stopped posting and stuck my occasional pictures on Facebook and waffling on twitter. 

Despite the health, work and personal issues there were some birding highlights from the late spring onwards this year that I hadn't blogged about. Things that particularly stand out are the singing Greenish Warbler at Turton and White-spotted Bluethroat at Martin Mere, Caspian Tern at Rudyard Reservoir, Little Bitterns at Ham Wall, Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Hesketh Out Marsh, huge numbers of Pink-feet in West Lancs in October, and more recently Ross's Goose and drake Baikal Teal on the Ribble. I enjoyed some good birding days out with the Birdwatching and Beyond group and some great days with friends such as Steve Sweetnam and Martin McGill. WeBS counting, coordinating the Lancashire Pink-foot counts, booking speakers for the West Lancs Wildlife group, BirdTracking,  occasionally guiding walks and giving talks  and writing the goose section for LBR all kept me interested, but I did lose my birding mojo a bit....

It's all looking good now and I fully back in the birding saddle and raring to go, so I'll be posting more regularly and taking the Birdwatching and Beyond title to the limit with more blog posts on subjects such as zoos and captive breeding, general natural history, Everton and anything else that floats my boat. So, if you enjoy my random reports and opinions, bad photos and inane waffle welcome back and thanks for your support. 

View of the the Dee and Flintshire hills from Hilbre. Sept 2013.

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