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Biking Birder 2015 - A cycle ride to every RSPB and WWT reserve. (1 Viewer)

biking birder 2010

Well-known member
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 -

[email protected]

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.:t:
 
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.
 
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
 
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:t:
 
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.B :)
 
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:t:

PS a pedalo was suggested last time with memories of Freddie Flintoff's escapades.
 
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:t:

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
 
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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Looking forward to reading about your year Garry. Met you on your 2010 trip when you visited Strathbeg good luck beating your record
 
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.
 
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.:t:
 
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