My Work with Birds
I have worked in Ornithology for almost a decade. This has covered academic Zoological research into avian plumage and bill evolution, and bird flight and flocking behaviour.
I've also been a licensed bird ringer since 2016, conducting ringing on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). This involves placing small metal (and sometimes plastic) rings to birds' legs to help track their movements, monitor their survival, and study their behaviour. I've been involved in a variety of ringing projects, including seabird cannon-netting, Mute Swan colour-ringing, Starling whoosh-netting, Hirundine roost catching, Nightjar monitoring, and supporting efforts at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Portland Bird Observatory, and Icklesham Rye Bay.
Another key part of my bird surveying is Nest Monitoring. This I've done across a range of sites and projects. This includes monitoring target species like Dartford Warbler in Somerset heathland under Schedule 1 Licence, as well as Nightingales in the Knepp Rewilding Project in West Sussex—this work was featured in David Attenborough's Wonder of Song BBC One documentary. I've also monitored the nests of Pied Flycatchers, Barn Owls, Kestrels, and general woodland species. Observing the development and growth of nestlings is always a rewarding experience.
I also conduct BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) on sites across Somerset. These surveys involve counting breeding bird species in specific 1-km squares, identifying species from sight and sound. This is vital to highlight patterns in bird populations across different sites and how they change over time.