55 year passion for natural history in general and birds in particular. Spurred by weekly visits to The Hermitage/Blackford Pond, Duddingston Loch & Forth estuary in hometown of Edinburgh, plus annual holidays to Isle of Arran & North Yorkshire coast from the age of 3.
Apart from The Observer’s Book of Birds, first major outside influence was ‘Highland Birds’ by Desmond Nethersole-Thompson.
First job after school was in the taxidermy dept at RSM (NMS) working on Antarctic seabirds.
12 years contract work for RSPB, NCC & SNH in Speyside, Southern Uplands, Torridon, Forest of Dean & Shropshire (surveys, management & PR) and the Gwent Wildlife Trust (education & reserves manager).
15 years in West Cork on Sherkin & in Baltimore – birds, flora & Lepidoptera surveys. Has a comprehensive knowledge of Ireland’s wildlife & ecosystems with a particular fondness for the islands.
Collaborated with Anthony McGeehan on two books – Birds Through Irish Eyes (2012) and Birds of the Homeplace (2015). Currently working on a third project.