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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 03:53   #1
biking birder 2010
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Biking Birder 2015 - A cycle ride to every RSPB and WWT reserve.

Just 2 days to go before I set off on my bike again.

Next year, 2015, I will once more be taking to my bicycle in order to visit every RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) nature reserve, of which there are over 200 around the UK. I will also visit all of the WWT (Wildfowl and Wetland Trust) nature reserves.

My aim is to break the UK Green birding year list record which currently stands at 251. Secretly I might add that my real ambition for this trip is to reach the unimaginable 300.

To this end I will be cycling south in January, heading from my home near to Bromsgrove, Worcestershire towards Kent. Then I will be cycling the south coast to Land's End, back up the west coast into Wales, across to Northern Ireland. Now here I have a Green problem in that I will need to take a ferry - 50 shades of green?

Once back into England it's across to East Anglia for the whole of May, over to Lancashire and into Scotland in June. More ferries I am afraid as I explore the fabulous RSPB reserves of the Western Isles of Scotland in July before reaching Orkney in August.

The whole of both September and October will be spent on Shetland. November is for cycling down the east coast of Scotland and England. December is for cycling to any rare bird that I haven't seen during the year.

All of this starts at Upton Warren Worcestershire Wildlife Trust reserve on the first of January and ends there on the 31st of December.

As well as the aim of 300 bird species, well 305 would get me the European Green Birding record, I will be asking people for donations towards 3 charities and a project for children at Chaskawasi/Salvacion in the Manu jungle in Peru.

The charities are:-

The RSPB - Britain's largest nature charity.

The WWT - Sir Peter Scott's creation, my childhood hero.

Asthma UK - the leading charity for asthma in the UK. I am asthmatic and appreciate their efforts.

Each day I will endeavour to count and list the birds I see, I will try to update this blog and embellish it with photographs. Back in 2010 I didn't have a decent enough camera to photograph the birds. I hope that my new Canon SX50 and I will be up to the task.

There will be facebook and twitter entries.

Facebook - Gary Prescott (Chester College) and Biking Birder 2015

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, can offer bird information as I cycle into your county, area, patch or can offer a cup of tea (I'll bring the biscuits) then please message me using either of the above facebook pages or my email -

bikingbirder2010@hotmail.com

Right now I have a cold, my legs are healing nicely after the infections picked up stupidly in Peru and I have almost all of the equipment I need for next year. I sit here terrified. I am now 58 years young and I know what I am letting myself in for.

Roz Savage, the round the world rower and great inspiration, said that when one gets out of the comfort zone expect discomfort. I know what to expect.

Will the extreme weather events of 2010 be repeated; deep snow and extreme cold at both ends of the year, almost hurricane strength winds on Shetland etc?

One thing I can guarantee, I will have one hell of a ride. The British Isles are beautiful. Their nature reserves, wildlife and scenery will give moments of pure joy. The people I will meet will be wonderful and the experience will be challenging and so worthwhile.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 12:54   #2
Himalaya
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Good luck! I wish I could ride a bike! What about Wildlife Trust and National Trust Nature Reserves?

There are some spectacular reserves in the UK no doubt about it.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 14:01   #3
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Best of luck, I am also into cycling and birding, sounds a real adventure, take care
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 16:41   #4
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I wish you all the luck in the world. Hope the weather is good for you, and the traffic kind.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 18:19   #5
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Perhaps you should negotiate for a lift to Northern Ireland on a sailing yacht? I would expect fifty shades of green before you reach the Emerald Isle.....

You will also presumably have to go to the Isle of Wight, but I've kayaked that, so I think you should too.

Alternatively perhaps someone could sponsor the cost of a pedaloe for all your water crossings. That way your green credentials would be intact.

John
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 18:23   #6
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Good luck, take care and all the best.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 19:16   #7
Nutcracker
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Alternatively perhaps someone could sponsor the cost of a pedaloe for all your water crossings.
A pedalo to Shetland??
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 20:33   #8
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I thought that you broke this record in 2010 (253?).

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Originally Posted by biking birder 2010 View Post

My aim is to break the UK Green birding year list record which currently stands at 251. Secretly I might add that my real ambition for this trip is to reach the unimaginable 300.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:37   #9
biking birder 2010
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Good luck! I wish I could ride a bike! What about Wildlife Trust and National Trust Nature Reserves?

There are some spectacular reserves in the UK no doubt about it.
With over 200 RSPB and 10 WWT nature reserves, as much as I would love to visit all the Wildlife Trust reserves and National Trust reserves, I have a lot to get around.

One day perhaps I'll choose my own county of Worcestershire and visit all the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust reserves. After all I am starting at their best nature reserve, Upton Warren.

Thanks for posting.

All the best and Happy New Year

Gary
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:46   #10
biking birder 2010
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I thought that you broke this record in 2010 (253?).
Since 2010 I have had a bird relegated because the red-breasted goose at Exminster arches was deemed by the BBRC to be an escape and my own sighting of sooty shearwater at Flamborough I have disnissed. I didn't get good enough views.

I got in touch with Chris Mills, the previous record holder and told him of this and we now jointly hold the record at 251.

As I say my dream is to reach 300.

Have a look at Biking For Birds on facebook to see what a cycling birder can achieve. The Green record in the USA was 318 before Dorian Anderson did his own BIGBY (Big Green Big Year). He just got to 618!

Happy New Year James.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:47   #11
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Best of luck, I am also into cycling and birding, sounds a real adventure, take care
Thanks Mark. I will do. All the best and Happy New Year
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:48   #12
biking birder 2010
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I wish you all the luck in the world. Hope the weather is good for you, and the traffic kind.
Thanks Savvy. Have a look at Biking For Birds as I mentioned above.

Happy New Year
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:52   #13
biking birder 2010
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Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Perhaps you should negotiate for a lift to Northern Ireland on a sailing yacht? I would expect fifty shades of green before you reach the Emerald Isle.....

You will also presumably have to go to the Isle of Wight, but I've kayaked that, so I think you should too.

Alternatively perhaps someone could sponsor the cost of a pedaloe for all your water crossings. That way your green credentials would be intact.

John
Great advice John. If anyone knows of a sail boat to any of the islands I'd gratefully accept. I do rather like the smile raised by the '50 shades of Green' line but I would like one time to have non carbon transport year with no ferries used. One time.

Happy New Year

PS a pedalo was suggested last time with memories of Freddie Flintoff's escapades.
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Old Tuesday 30th December 2014, 22:53   #14
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Good luck, take care and all the best.
Thanks for your kind good wishes. Happy New Year.
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 06:26   #15
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Great advice John. If anyone knows of a sail boat to any of the islands I'd gratefully accept. I do rather like the smile raised by the '50 shades of Green' line but I would like one time to have non carbon transport year with no ferries used. One time.

Happy New Year

PS a pedalo was suggested last time with memories of Freddie Flintoff's escapades.
Happy New Year to you, and the very best of luck. I think 300 ought to be possible - these days there are over 300 non-BB-rarities on the British List - but I hope you have a high pain threshold for all that time in the saddle!

Cheers!

John
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 10:20   #16
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I would think that 300 will be easily reached with that schedule. Good luck.
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 10:42   #17
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Great to have a thread to follow into 2015 - and what a great plan to see the best of Britain

The SX50 is a great camera - I've been thoroughly enjoying mine over the past 18 months - the ideal camera when travelling light I imagine.

Best wishes for the year!

Cheers
Mike
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 11:42   #18
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Looking forward to reading about your year Garry. Met you on your 2010 trip when you visited Strathbeg good luck beating your record
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 20:32   #19
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Happy New Year to you, and the very best of luck. I think 300 ought to be possible - these days there are over 300 non-BB-rarities on the British List - but I hope you have a high pain threshold for all that time in the saddle!

Cheers!

John
From past experience its the hands that take the main brunt of the agony. as for the 300, well I won't be including any dodgy ducks and geese. Bean geese are one specie to me.
So, thanks John. Happy New Year.
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 20:34   #20
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Looking forward to reading about your year Garry. Met you on your 2010 trip when you visited Strathbeg good luck beating your record
Dom! Brilliant. Sorry i didn't come to Oz last year but I couldn't watch the Ashes down under. I went to Peru instead and fell in love with the country.
How are you and the family?
That Steppe shrike remains one i should have turned around for.
All the very best and Happy New Year.
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 20:38   #21
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Great to have a thread to follow into 2015 - and what a great plan to see the best of Britain

The SX50 is a great camera - I've been thoroughly enjoying mine over the past 18 months - the ideal camera when travelling light I imagine.

Best wishes for the year!

Cheers
Mike
Thanks for best wishes Mike. Brilliant to hear from you. With the bad luck I had with my 2 Nikon P510s I needed a change of fortune hence the Canon. The first of the Nikons went to the bottom of a lake in France when a friend and I found and borrowed a canoe in La Brenne. Deserved capsize and soaking. The second was stolen from me at gunpoint in Peru!

Here's hoping. 300 would be amazing and maybe a slight chance of the European record at 305.

Happy New Year
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Old Wednesday 31st December 2014, 20:59   #22
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Too excited with just 2 hours before 2015.

My starting reserve tomorrow is Upton Warren, a Worcestershire Wildlife Trust reserve.

As a way of saying thanks you i have just put this onto the Upton Warren thread.

It is a real privilege to be able to start at Upton Warren. Upton Warren has the best people; volunteers, wardens, photographers and birders with such diversity and enthusiasm. People everyone can be proud to know and share experiences with. So many special people who have enriched my life over the years and for that I thank you all.

As for the reserve, I hope the new North Moors area is successfully done and that the reed problem at The Flashes is sorted. The perfect 'patch' needs to be managed but with the two volunteer groups and the input from the Trust I'm sure it will remain just that.

The birds will continue to fascinate; avocets breeding in Worcestershire, diving shovelors and cettis returning.

One individual needs to be on the Queen's honours list, well maybe two.

John Belsey. Has there ever been an individual who has put his life and soul into a reserve as much as John has? To me only Bert Axell at Minsmere might be on a levl with John and look at Bert had to work with!

Phil Andrews as archivist is incredible. His book on the Warren is exemplary and yes I know of many others that deserve massive recognition for their work both on that tome and the reserve.

So Happy New Year to everyone involved at Upton Warren.

All the Best


It's a very special place and one that i will miss over the year.
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Old Thursday 1st January 2015, 01:49   #23
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Dom! Brilliant. Sorry i didn't come to Oz last year but I couldn't watch the Ashes down under. I went to Peru instead and fell in love with the country.
How are you and the family?
That Steppe shrike remains one i should have turned around for.
All the very best and Happy New Year.
Hi Garry. The family are all good thanks, would like to say you missed some good cricket but it was a bit of a fiasco!
My daughter still doesn't let me forget she found the Shrike!
Hope it all goes well, will enjoy the updates and pictures
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Old Thursday 1st January 2015, 10:34   #24
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Ah I see. Happy New Year to you too, and all the best for 2015s cycling!


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Originally Posted by biking birder 2010 View Post
Since 2010 I have had a bird relegated because the red-breasted goose at Exminster arches was deemed by the BBRC to be an escape and my own sighting of sooty shearwater at Flamborough I have disnissed. I didn't get good enough views.

I got in touch with Chris Mills, the previous record holder and told him of this and we now jointly hold the record at 251.

As I say my dream is to reach 300.

Have a look at Biking For Birds on facebook to see what a cycling birder can achieve. The Green record in the USA was 318 before Dorian Anderson did his own BIGBY (Big Green Big Year). He just got to 618!

Happy New Year James.
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Old Thursday 1st January 2015, 16:55   #25
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All the best, Gary. Keep safe.

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