This book explores the best birding experiences that the UK has to offer. Expert birder Dan Brown knows exactly what makes other people with an interest in birds tick – whether it is watching a single charismatic bird in flight, finding something out of the ordinary, or witnessing a true avian spectacle.
In Great British Birding Experiences Dan has compiled a 'Top 40' list of the very best that the country has to offer. These experiences vary, from watching huge congregations of geese or waders, spending a night in a petrel or shearwater colony, to getting up early to listen to the dawn chorus and watching skydancing Hen Harriers. The month-by-month calendar approach makes it easy for the reader to dip into Great British Birding Experiences and find out what the key spectacles they should be looking for are at any time of year. Locator maps and a gazetteer make it easy to locate sites.
The United Kingdom is incredibly fortunate to be home to an amazing network of conservation bodies, protected areas, and a plethora of birds in a compact and highly varied country. Every year birds descend from all parts of the world: Brent Geese and Turnstones from Canada, Swallows and Sandwich Terns from South Africa, Sooty Shearwaters from the South Atlantic, Lesser Whitethroats from India and Rednecked Phalaropes from the coast of South America. The UK really is an international hub of bird activity, and never have birds and wildlife in general been so accessible to the masses. With this unique book as your guide, it is possible for readers to experience the incredible sights and wonders as well.
Dan Brown's life has always revolved around nature. He grew up in Treborth Botanic Garden, Bangor, surrounded by wildlife from the word go. His father, the curator of the botanic garden and lecturer in plant biology and ecology at the university, and his mother, encouraged him endlessly and his passion for natural history soared. Before long Dan was birding, moth-trapping, recording dragonflies and damselflies, and looking for mammals throughout North Wales. The botanic garden represented the perfect place to explore and learn about nature as well as look after animals, from a family of orphaned Foxes to Tawny Owls, Fulmars and numerous Hedgehogs. By the time Dan had reached his teens he was already undertaking research on a huge local Raven roost which contributed towards him receiving a Young Wildlife Champion of the Year award through BBC Wildlife Magazine. At 18 he retraced Shackleton's footsteps in the Antarctic, from Elephant Island to South Georgia with the British Exploring Society and it was only a natural progression that Dan should go on to study Ecology at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Here in this hub of ecological study and all round natural history mecca, Dan met plenty of like-minded people which led to expeditions to Madagascar, joining Sunbird tours (for whom he still leads) and becoming a professional ecologist. Dan now runs his own business Natural World Consultants which is an exciting mix of research, consultancy and conservation and undertakes projects as diverse as assisting television production companies in finding unusual species, to producing large scale biodiversity action plans. He also works as a lecturer and guide with Heritage Expeditions in the Pacific, Arctic and Antarctic.