Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 27 May 2011

Take a look at Birdguides and see Green Birding Take Off

A superb feat by two with superb feet.

Have a look at the webzine article on birdguides.

Now to be named between the two mighty Green Birding warriors, Chris Mills and Simon Woolley is a privilige but if you look at any photos of the three of us, you'll realise that I'm an old battered statue surrounded by two Greek Adoni. Now add to that list the name of Nick Moran and there are the three most wonderful Green Birders that I know of in Britain - unless you know different.

Speaking of records, Dave Walker is getting close to beating the year list record at Upton Warren in Worcestershire. This brilliant reserve has avocets and LRPs breeding. The record stands at 143 and I think dave has only 10 or so to get with six months to go.

Right time up at school. Must leave to get my fish and chip supper at Morrison's before heading down to the Warren for the night in the hide.

All the best everyone,


Sunday, 15 May 2011

What a Strange Day! A Message perhaps.

At Mum and Dad's today, visiting and enjoying watching the Wingy Wenger beaten by Brave Bent. Warwickshire won too! A perfect day.

So why strange?

Well everytime Mum and Dad put on the TV there was a programme reminding me of last year. I'd woken from a dream this morning where I was cycling in Turkey and was actually feeling tearful over things. Not depressed or unhappy just tearful thinking of certain days and places.

Then there was Mark Beaumont on TV. Film of him cycling, climbing the highest mountain in the USA and reaching Patagonia. Reduced to tears, he sat contemplating hsi massive and magnificent achievements.

Then there was an old Last of the Summer Wine programme with Compo, Cleggy and Foggy, with Nora Batty of course.

Well I went there last year; sat in the cafe and even went in Nora Batty's house!

Puffins on the Pembrokeshire Islands - been there. White-tailed sea eagle on North Uist - I might have even seen the same bird as I saw them there last year too. Lough Erne - was there last June.

The day went on with reference after reference to last year.

Then my youngest niece, Maya arrives with my brother, Paul. She's two years old, just and Dad said that when he was Maya's age there was no such thing as Tele. Paul joked that there were no cars as well!

What will our planet be like when Maya reaches 80 in 2089? Think on and the full effects of climate change will be felt in that year.

So is it a message? Do I need to get back on the bike. YOU BET I DO!


there's money to think about; family too.

I've got my health. I've got the dream - again and the passion is returning to do something again.

Roz Savage is back at sea again.

Mark Beaumont will definitely be planning his next venture.

Now to start planning mine.

How about - well let's keep it under wraps for the moment.

Back to school tomorrow and back to reality but tonight in bed it will be dreams of a reserve list approaching 100 over a two year span with a bird list of  over 500.

Any ideas.

Dream on Prezza and hold on to those tears.

Love to all,


Thursday, 12 May 2011

12th May 2011 - Donations Still Coming in

And sincere thanks to those people who have made donations.

So thank you to :-

Andrew Appleton - for Asthma UK.

Avis Cropper - for Asthma UK

William Oddie OBE! - for Asthma UK. [recognise the name folks!?]

Terry Hinnett - for Asthma UK

Andrew Pitt - for Asthma UK

James Fiddock - RSPB

Phil Andrews - RSPB

Bubo Bubo - RSPB

Thank you - you wonderful people!

I'm now colelcting all of the information about the Green Big Day event to send off to Simon in Calfornia. To be honest I've been thrilled with everyone's efforts and lists. I know that next year we can make it an even bigger event but can I ask you to email me at  if you have any thoughts and comments about it? Thanks.

Personally I would like to see a designated weekend or day instead of the two weeks that Simon suggests. I feel that would give it more of a focus.

So my next blog will have details of that and I've still got to tell everyone about how I enjoyed a fabulous birding holiday in Turkey this Easter.

All the best everyone

Stay Green - or at least start being so!

Gary xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Big Green Day - lastest news

A fabulous email from Susan Rowe yesterday detailed how she'd taken on the mightly Lee Evans. Sue and her birding partner, Tina Perry spent their Green Big day birding around their patch - Tring, Hertfordshire. In fact they walked 12 miles birding at such locations as Tring Reservoirs, some nearby flooded chalk pits, the woods on the Chilterns and the tops of Ivinghoe Hills; all with their local nature reserves. Sue said that local birders were brilliant in helping her and Tina and to add spice to the day, the best known British twitcher, lee Evans was in friendly competition with them both, he using a car - carbon twitching. 
Now neither of the girls would call themselves listers or twitchers but they ended up giving Lee a good run for his money. Lee, the gentleman that he is, gave the girls lots of advice prior to their event, with suggestions for their route and where to find those tricky extra birds. Good on him!
Now the girls I hear celebrated the day with a good bottle of wine [is there any other sort?] and toasted both their success and the Royal Wedding.
How did they get on?
Well both Lee and the Sue-Tina combination finished the day with 84 bird species each; a tie! Brilliant and full marks to both teams for their efforts.
It's great to see that Sue and Tina are the only UK reprentatives [at the moment] on the official Big Green Day website :

Have a look and see.

Now please with only days to go before the end date of may the 8th, consider doing a Green Big day this weekend.

We're going to be doing ours on Saturday at the fabulous Upton Warren nature reserve in Worcestershire. Black terns are there today so here's hoping they stay around for the big day.

It's going to be a great day. John, Phil, Dave, Mike, Des, Paul will be there very early to get things going. Gert will be walking the 4 or so miles to get there and I'll be sleeping in the hide the night before to be there to get things going at midnight Friday.

Bacon sarnies and birding in great company. Brilliant.

As usual we're going to be in competition with Belvide reservoir in Staffs, where Steve Nuttall will also be doing a Green Big day.

So please, if you can, register on the Green Big day website and get another UK flag on their map of the world!

All the very best and well done Sue and Tina!