Monday, February 23, 2009

My Lists and Me

Me at Lake Louise, Alberta Canada
Most birder's keep lists and of course I'm no exception! However, my lists are purely for personal reference and so therefore I only keep the basics, where, when and what. I'm definitely no anorak!

I've been a keen Birder since I was about 7 years old and have some really happy memories of my Young Ornithologist Club outings with the school, hosted by a very eccentric physics teacher called Mr Scales. If I'm really being honest I should also mention that during my youth I'm sad to say that egg collecting was also a passion of mine, until at around 12 years old I realised the error of my ways! Education is a great thing.

I've been lucky enough to visit and work in various countries so far in my lifetime, Kenya, Tanzania, Oman, Arab Emirates, Cuba, Canada and Venezuela to name but a few, and indeed still plan to visit more, but my work always seemed to take priority. So during 2004 I made the life changing decision to give up my £60K a year job, sell my house, and go travelling! I also purchased a traditional English Narrowboat, which is now my base and U.K. home.

Having spent 4 years touring the canal system aboard my boat, affectionately called 'Quidditch' and spending time abroad, I'm now moored at Wigram's Turn Marina, Napton in Warwickshire, on a more permanent basis. After my return to the U.K. and with lots of time on my hands, I decided to join Brandon Marsh Voluntary Conservation Team in December 08, up until that point I'd forgotten about how really passionate I was about nature and in particular bird watching, having had a job that was 24/7 and my life literally spinning around it's axis, I'd simply never found the time to enjoy.

My voluntary work at Brandon has revitalised my passion for nature and the outdoors, not that living on a narrowboat is anything but outdoory, if that's a word! The people that I've met on the team are an inspiration and also very knowledgeable too. I joined with an open mind and an idea of learning at least three new things every visit. I've now lost count and find myself spending endless hours at the reserve working and birding, I must also thank my wife Dee, who I married in Banff, Canada in 2009, for her patience and support.

Canada May 2009.