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.
Friday, 30 November 2012
I was working at Martin Mere briefly yesterday and managed half an hour in the hides. While chatting with Whooper Swan researcher David Walsh I noticed a white looking goose in the distance, in amongst a big flock of pink-feet. Brief scope views proved it to be a 'pied' pink-footed goose. Turns out two had been seen earlier in the week by Martin Mere regular Gordon Taylor. Gordon kindly sent me a photo of one of them which I put on the Ribble Estuary Nature facebook group last night. Any road, I was driving past Martin Mere this lunchtime and noticed a big flock of pinks on windmill farm, despite not having my scope I had a quick look through the flock and picked up yesterdays pied pink, but this time with the second pied bird. Luckily I had my camera with me! Apparently these same birds were recently at the RSPB Strathbeg reserve in Aberdeenshire. I see a pied pink-foot or two most winters but it's the first time I've seen a pair together. It's been interesting this winter for aberrant pinks; two leucistic birds, two orange-legged birds, two Danish collared birds and now two pied birds. Who said Pink-feet were boring?
Pair of 'pied' Pink-footed Geese at Windmill Farm, close to WWT Martin Mere. 30/11/12.
Pink-feet coming in to land at WWT Martin Mere. 29/11/12.
Golden late afternoon sunshine over the mere at WWT Martin Mere. 29/11/12.