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.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring sprung

As I fed my chickens at home this morning a pair of bullfinches plaintively called and a goldcrest squeaked out it's high-pitched song in the trees down the back. The longer days and sunshine seem to have things geed up a  little; even if an overflying skein of pink-footed geese were a reminder of winter. 

The daily dog walk along Red Cat Lane was enjoyed with a backdrop of corn bunting and yellowhammer singing and tree sparrows chipping in the hawthorn hedgerows. 

I visited Latom Farm (just up the road) to help with conservation projects there and the place was a joy with bright sunshine and azure sky. Displaying lapwings and squabbling oystercatchers are always fun to watch and a snipe, grey partridges and red-legged partridges were also there today. Great to see so much lesser celandine flowering (photo below) on the Eller Brook flood bank - presumably good news for early emerging bumblebees. 

One of the conservation projects has been the creation of a wildlife pond (see below with Jacob and Samuel inspecting); hopefully lapwings will bring their chicks to feed there later in the spring. 

In the early evening sunshine I managed a walk at the other end of Eller Brook at another private site that's managed with wildlife in mind; Scutchers Acres. Highlights there were singing chiffchaff, nuthatch, goldcrest, treecreeper, coal tit and a pair of kingfishers zooming along the brook - a wonderful end to a lovely spring day. 

The Eller Brook looking good in the sun

Moss in the sunshine at Scutchers Acres

Early spring canopy at Scutchers Acres

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