About Me

I grew up in a little known rural area of south Wales and spent much of my younger years in the countryside around my home. At the age of nine, my Dad (himself a birder) bought me my first proper bins and field guide and I began birding.

Gwyddon Valley - My Old Patch.

That year I also began to keep a notebook recording my sightings and that Autumn I saw my first mega – a 1st-winter Masked Shrike in Fife. Since these early days I have learned a lot, birding regularly, and adding many new species to my rapidly growing lists. I also began to keep a patch list of the birds in the Gwyddon Valley (near Newport), and managed to add some reasonable species such as Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe, Nightjar and Wood Warbler.

Regular birding at Newport Wetlands, occasional short distance twitches and holidays to the Cairngorms (every year), Shetland (2004), Mull (2005), Cornwall (2005, 2015), Norfolk (2008), Scillies (2012, 2013), Bardsey (2014), Skye (2015, 2016), France (2004, 2008, 2009), Switzerland (2008), Malta (2014) and India (2015) have all helped boost my British and Life Lists.

I have now completed my studies at Swansea university where I thoroughly enjoyed my time birding the university campus and surrounds where I recorded over 100 species including self-found Glaucous Gull, Kumlein’s Gull, Ring-Billed Gull, Black Redstart and Great Northern Diver. I also took part in the university birdwatch challenge, which we successfully won in both my first and second years.

I aim to update this blog soon after each birding trip, with highlights and photographs where possible. I hope you enjoy!

James Garside


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