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.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Local Pain, Local Gain

Three bites of the outdoor cherry today. First was an early walk across the local stubble with Marty. I counted 49 Yellowhammers and c.50 Meadow Pipits come out of the stubble. The Yellowhammer count was the highest in the Burscough area for a couple of years. 

The second trip out was with Samuel and Jim Sines, one of my birding pals. Samuel isn't keen on being cold or birding so not a great combination really....

Samuel giving Jim so birding tips early into our walk

Two barm pots having a tussle over a branch

Nothing unusual at Mere Sands Wood although a couple of very common species were added to the Patchwork Challenge list; Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. Plenty of Goosanders and Gadwall again and a single Little Egret. Things got unsatisfactory for Samuel as we trudged round, he demanded I carry him - which I resolutely refused to do and this led him pretty much blow his stack. These things happen....

Gutted to see the Rufford Hide had been vandalised (not by Samuel). What is wrong with folk? Hope LWT can  afford to put right the damage. Very annoying. 

Nice to see Dave Mallett and his partner Jo and baby Holly when we returned back to the visitor centre. Lovely folk. Jo bakes especially good cakes! That reminds me about food - my mate Jim in the proprietor of Master McGrath's restaurant, in Scarisbrick - half way between Ormskirk and Southport on the main road. Always a great welcome and great food. I thoroughly recommend it. That's a fiver please Jim.

 Interesting to see the hazel catkins out in the wood. 

My third and final trip out was over to Hundred End and Hesketh Out Marsh to catch up with some local wildfowl. 

One of six Bewick's Swans at Hundred End with c.180 Whooper Swans 

Hovering male Kestrel at Hesketh Out Marsh with Emmanuel and Holy Trinity church towers

Truly awful record shot of redhead Smew at Hesketh Out Marsh

After a few minutes perusing the estuary wildfowl I got cold and being soft I headed home via Curlew Lane adding Peregrine to the patch list - not a bad day out and about. 

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