Homecoming to finish
Finished this winter set of talks to bird clubs. Had great fun and have already started booking for next winter. Let me know if you are interested. The final talk was in Runcorn; where my dad was born. A rather special occasion as it was so close to Frodsham Marsh where my birding began at 11 years old. Went for walk with my Mum in the afternoon and saw 2 Avocets on the Weaver Bend (mega!!!), then both Marsh and Hen Harriers. Still a great place!
Billy Morton had organised the evening event. We went birding together from teenage years on. Dougie Percival came along – my YOC leader! Plus Don Wheedon the Halton RSPB members group field officer- another early mentor. Here we are many (many!) years later:
Marc Hughes wrote this very nice review of the last evening- Thanks Marc and now they are gripping us off on the Great Orme with a very early Dotterel: http://webirdnorthwales.blogspot.com/
Last night caused a headache; a Welsh tick in the form of a Purple Heron or a chance to hear Bird i.d. guru Martin Garner talk to the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society? Tickets had already been secured and as Chris, Mike and I were the only gatecrashers from this side of the border we headed off to Runcorn to listen to Martin speak. It was the right choice; Purple Heron will occur again I’m sure. How refreshing to hear a talker who wonders at every feather, rejoices at every call, celebrates every bit of bird behaviour. The talk was pitched perfectly, with a mixture of cutthroat i.d. speak, tales and stories of birding and birders and a constant reality check on why we are in this great hobby of ours. Photographs, sonograms, sketches and field notes all contributed to a class talk from a birder who thinks from outside the box. Many of us get stuck in our ways, fail to look beyond the obvious and get all too wrapped up in chasing or finding scarcities. Last night was a reality check and an inspiration. There is so much more to learn and we can all start on our local patch – Song Thrush, Robins and Snipe -all from further afield than we think and all identifiable to race. Redpolls, Herring Gulls, Shearwaters, Scoters, Redstarts, Chiffchaffs, dabbling ducks etc etc etc – all include more than meets the eye. If any of you get the chance to go and hear Martin, it is well worth the effort. Refreshing and inspirational are the words I would use. The journey back in the car was buzzing, not far off the feeling of a mega successful twitch or day’s birding. If you haven’t already checked out his blog here it is- http://www.birdingfrontiers.com/ Let’s get out there and try to add our own little bit to birding advances, but at the same time never forget to wonder at all aspects of birds and what it is that draws us to this fantastic hobby, here in North Wales.
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