Lectures
 

I am regularly asked to give lectures to bird clubs and other groups both in the UK and overseas.  The most popular titles I offer are described below and if you are interested in booking me as a speaker please contact me via the contacts page:

Birds of the Russian Far East

This is my most frequently requested talk which is a comprehensive review of the birds and wildlife of this amazing, but rarely visited, region.  The lecture covers the Sea of Okhotsk, Sakhalin Island, the Kamchatka Peninsula and further North (Koriak and Chukotka) with top quality images of many species including Auks (eg Tufted and Horned Puffins), Steller’s Sea-eagle and Siberian Rubythroat.

Part of the lecture also covers the searches I participated in for three years (2011-13) to locate new populations of the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper.  These searches have been a collaborative venture between Birdlife International, Birds Russia and the New Zealand expedition company, Heritage Expeditions.

We were lucky enough to find a new breeding site for this amazing bird in 2011 and that year I was also working with Heritage Expeditions on their ship, Spirit of Enderby, when the Spoon-billed Sandpiper eggs and chicks which the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust team had collected (to start a captive breeding programme at Slimbridge) began their long journey to the UK.  Seeing a Spoon-billed Sandpiper chick moments after it emerged from the egg was a unique privilege and truly one of life's special moments !!!

Ribbon Seal (male)Ribbon Seal (male)Probably the best place to see this stunning seal is in the western part of the Sea of Okhotsk which can still be clogged with sea ice in mid-June. As a result, the seals can be found hauled out on the ice allowing for some great views of what is surely the best looking seal on the planet.

    Spoon-billed Sandpiper at a new breeding site discovered in 2011               Ribbon Seal, Sea of Okhotsk 2012

 

Amazing Birds

Working as a freelance bird tour guide, I am fortunate enough to travel extensively around the world and this talk discusses various amazing facts from the avian world.  Topics covered include migration and how modern tracking devices have allowed researchers to learn so much more about birds and their travels, feathers (eg their evolution, use in display etc), endemism and new species to science.

A varied and popular talk full of top quality bird photos covering species as diverse as Jocotoco Antpitta, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Greater Bird-of-Paradise and Wandering Albatrosses !!

              Jocotoco Antpitta - only discovered in the 1990s                        Bristle-thighed Curlew - Henderson Island, Central Pacific

                                                                                                                                 

Birds of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

I am lucky enough to regularly travel to the ‘The Great White Continent’ and have made about forty visits to the Antarctic Peninsula.  There is, however, much more to this amazing part of the world and this lecture also covers the New Zealand subantarctic islands, the Falklands and South Georgia, as well as the Indian Ocean islands of Heard and Amsterdam.  The latter is the only place in the world where the critically endangered Amsterdam Albatross breeds and with a world population of just 170 birds, very few people have had the privilege of seeing this special bird, especially as the island is roughly equidistant between Australia and South Africa.

   Amsterdam Albatross - one of the world's rarest birds                          Rockhopper Penguin - a 'classic' penguin on subantarctic islands

 

Around the World in Eighty Minutes

In “Around the World in Eighty Days”, Jules Verne’s character, Phileas Fogg, took eighty days to circumnavigate the world.  In this lecture, we will spend eighty minutes (or there abouts !!) on a similar journey travelling around the world visiting some amazing destinations for birds and wildlife.  These include locations as diverse as Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Island and Guyana with some stunning shots of the incredible birdlife which inhabit these remote locations.

     Kagu (New Caledonia) - a unique bird in its own family                   Greater Bird-of-Paradise - one of Papua New Guinea's special birds

 

The Birds and wildlife of Guyana

Bordered by Venezuela and Brazil, this small South American country is rarely visited by birdwatchers, despite having many special birds to see.  I have been lucky enough to spend several months there and in this lecture we will visit many of the habitats which make Guyana such a unique destination.  In the tropical forests there are hundreds of species including antbirds, toucans, macaws as well as the majestic Harpy Eagle, whilst out on the savannahs, it is possible to find Giant Anteaters and the highly endangered Sun Parakeet. 

Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock - one the most colourful birds in Guyana             Common Potoo - one of the more cryptically plumaged species

 

 

Testimonials

"Your talk last night was excellent and I had many complementary comments on how interesting and well presented it was...... and will most certainly recommend to committee that we invite you back again." J.T. May 2017

"Thank you so much for visiting us, your talk was excellent, very varied and a lot of ground covered, not to mention the wonderful photography.  As well as thoroughly enjoying it, we all learnt something new.  We would certainly like you to return...."  L.B. Jan 2017

"The talk was fascinating and the pictures really do pull one in. It is so different to anything I have ever experienced..... Thanks for an excellent effort."  R.M.  Nov 2016

"Thank you for your talk last night.  It was much enjoyed by the membership."  J.D. July 2016

"Many thanks for your very informative and fascinating talk on Guyana last night.  There were many positive vibes from our members to the pictures and content..... We'd love to have you back again in 2017."  J.L.  May 2016

"On behalf of ..... Group, we would like to thank you for a stunning 'Whistle stop tour of the Russian Far East'..... We felt your presentation was one of the best we have had during our time as Indoor Meetings Organisers. The photography was superb and your presentation style, knowledge and passion for the subject all contributed to a memorable evening thoroughly enjoyed by ourselves and all members present." K.&S.C.  Nov 2015

"I wanted to thank you so much for coming to talk to us.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your expeditions and particularly loved your story about finding the Spoon-billed Sandpipers.  I have had several comments from other members saying how much they enjoyed the evening too and a great many compliments on your wonderful photographs."  A.H. Nov 2015

"Many thanks for giving us one of the best, if not the best, presentation we have had since I have been involved with the group."  J.T. May 2015

"Thank... you for your talk and wonderful pictures last week. We would definitely like to see you back next year."  J.L May 2015

"Many thanks for an inspiring presentation." M.H. May 2015

"Thank you for such an interesting talk.  ......commented on the excellence of your photos."  V.H.  March 2015

"Thank you again for your excellent talk last night...... Your presentation was exceptional.  We look forward to another talk in the future."  B.R.  March 2015

"I have been involved with [...... Ornithological Society] for nearly fifty years and heard many speakers during that time, for photos, content and presentation you are top of the list!"  B.R.   Oct 2013

"Thank you so much for a great evening. I had many favourable comments so yes will definitely suggest you return..... Your photos are excellent and I enjoyed the geographical and geological info too."  S.M.  Oct 2013

"I just had to write to you today to thank you for such a brilliant talk to our Group last night.  All the people I have spoken to both on the night and this morning have told me how much they enjoyed the super photographs with the wealth of information you gave us accompanied by excellent maps and illustrations"   J.E.  May 2013