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, 13 January 2014

Fatballs, hoodies, spuds and mud

I looked up from my computer screen this morning and noticed some movement on my fatballs out in the garden; a male Blackcap was eagerly picking away at the fatballs, much to my delight. I've had a couple of singing spring migrants briefly in the garden but this male was the first winter record for the garden in over ten years of being here. Nice. 

Male Blackcap (taken through conservatory glass)

Late morning I nipped down the road to Martin Mere to meet with staff there and discuss some work stuff. I took the opportunity to use my dinner break there and enjoyed watching the captive Hooded Mergansers displaying - mentalists! 

Drake Hooded Merganser doing his stuff

Same Hoody, different angle

After enjoying the Hooded Mergansers I popped into the Infocus shop for a chat with Andy Bunting to discuss Patchwork Challenge. Then on to have a look at the Whoopers from the Hale hide. Lots there feeding on waste spuds donated by local farmers. Some of them get rather dirty....

Filthy faced Whooper.

King of the castle? 

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