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, 16 January 2014

Piscivores Park

Hesketh Park is one of my old 1970s playgrounds, a great place for a good mess about then and now. The only scarce bird I've ever seen in there was a Yellow-browed Warbler found by Dominic Rigby back in the late 1980s. I still nip,in there from time to time usually with the kids, as their is a decent and clean playground. Anyway, I was on an errand is Southport yesterday so I had half an hour pottering in the park, I was keen to see the Goosander that's been on the lake since November; it wasn't hard to find - tucked up on the bank, fast asleep with mallards. 

Goosander, Hesketh Park, Southport. 15/01/14. 

Cormorants are are one of those birds that seem to split opinion; folk either seem to love them or loathe them. I'm okay with them, they bring back happy childhood memories of counting them on the breakwater in Southport Marine Lake when I was a lad. They're certainly doing well locally, WeBS counts of well over 2000 in the Ribble nowadays, I expect to see over 1000 in my sector on the beach at Birkdale during the WeBS count this coming Sunday. Great to see some in the park, I guess they and the Goosander are finding plenty of fish in the lake. 

One of the happy and fulfilled Cormorants on Hesketh Park lake. 15/01/14. 

The final fish eater showing on the lake was a fine breeding plumage Grey Heron, no doubt looking to be fit for the soon to commence laying season. 

Grey Heron, Hesketh Park. 15/01/14. 

The park also proved, as ever, to be popular with dog walkers and I added Wire-haired Fox Terrier, Shar pei, Akita, Yorkshire Terrier and German short-haired Pointer to my canine year list - just over 60 if you're interested! 

A very brief stop at Marshside on the way home provided me with distant views of the Lind staying first winter Ross's Goose and the most amazing bird spectacle, with thousand and thousands of waterfowl covering the flooded fields of Marshside and Crossens. 

 Ross's Goose RSPB Marshside. 15/01/14. 

A small part of the Marshide spectacle

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