I have been birding since around 1994. Though I grew up in Perth, Western Australia, I was not a birder back then, something I now look back on with regret. Instead I took it up in a rather childish attempt to grip off PhD mate Steve Young with the easy south west WA endemics on a trip home to Perth. As cunning (or juvenile, whichever you prefer) and successful (yes, he was gripped) as this plan was, it also back-fired: I was bitten by the bug myself and I am now subject to the same swings of mood and fortune that beset all who pursue this fickle hobby. It has provided some fantastic experiences and taken me to some amazing places: like South Stack on Angelsey in June, wildflowers covering the clifftop and seabirds wheeling above and below; or watching the sun set over Holkham Pines in January as skeins of Pink-footed Geese fly over; from a walk through the jarrah bushland in Piesse Gully at dawn; to sleeping under the stars on the Extremaduran steppes, waking to the sound of hundreds of larks; and gazing over primary rainforest to the sound of lekking birds of paradise at the wonderful Keki Lodge in the Adelbert Mountains, Papua New Guinea.

My British birding dates from May 1997 when a trip to the north Norfolk coast revealed that there is a lot more to British birds than LBJs... and that there is a lot more to LBJs than drab looks.

Foreign birding, not counting WA, started in '99 with a long weekend trip to Extremadura, a place I have visited several times since. Various conferences have enabled me to tack a day or two onto the end of a work trip, birding in such places as Beijing (Baihe River), Rio de Janeiro (REGUA), Vienna (Neusiedlersee and the Hansag), Adelaide (Gluepot), Queenstown (Kaikoura), Bangkok (Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia), Singapore (Panti Forest). Once or twice I have even accumulated sufficient brownie points for my wife and family generously to "grant permission" for a longer dedicated trip: PNG in 2008, The Philippines in 2010 and most recently South East Venezuela for a week in early Jan 2012.

Seeing birds well has always been a higher priority than photography for me, but as for many other birders, the advent of the digital age has made bird photography much more accessible and much cheaper. My early photos on film were mostly taken with a Canon A1 and 500mm mirror lens. From around 2002 I started digiscoping using a Swarovksi AT80HD (30ww eyepiece), a custom tube adaptor and a Nikon Coolpix 995. In 2007 I upgraded from the Coolpix to a Fuji F31fd which I used with a custom swing-out adaptor on the 30x eyepiece. In 2008 I took the plunge and bought a DSLR, a Canon 30d which I use with the Canon 100-400mm L-series lens. In 2010 I bought a 20-60x eyepiece (new style, but using it still with my AT80HD) and made a new slide on adaptor for the F31fd. Last year (2011) the trusty F31fd finally died and I replaced it with a Nikon P300 and made a zero-cost slide on adaptor from an old cup and bits of tape. The pictures on this site (except for a few by SMR Young) were all taken by me using one of the above combinations.

Griffon Vulture, Monfrague Splendid Fairy-wren, Wungong Gorge
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Hillarys
		   Pelagic Pin-tailed Manakin, REGUA
Silvery Kingfisher, PICOP Wallcreeper, Vadiello Dam
Fire-maned Bowerbird, Keki Lodge Marbled Frogmouth, Keki Lodge
Ptarmigan, Cairngorm Oriental Hobby, Keki Lodge
Ibisbill, Baihe River White-cheeked Honeyeater, Perth
Australian Pelican, Perth Azure-winged Magpie, Beijing
Channel-billed Toucan, Rio de Janeiro Lammergeier, Vadiello Dam