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 nine years (2011-19) 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 new breeding sites for this amazing bird in 2011 and 2016 and in 2011 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 !!!
Spoon-billed Sandpiper at a new breeding site discovered in 2011 Ribbon Seal, Sea of Okhotsk
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
Unknown Antarctica: The Birds of the Ross Sea and New Zealand Subantarctic Islands
I have been fortunate to travel on several occasions to the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands (including Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Bounty and Chatham Islands) which are an amazing place for birds and other wildlife. These islands hold more penguin species than anywhere else on the planet including Snares Crested Penguin, Royal Penguin, King Penguin and Yellow-eyed Penguin. There are also many other fantastic birds including breeding Southern Royal Albatrosses and various landbird endemics. A fantastic location visited by very few people each year.
In 2017, I also travelled with Heritage Expeditions to the Ross Sea (Antarctica south of Australia and New Zealand) and this lecture also described the wildlife of this extremely remote region which is only visited by a few hundred people each year but is the place to see species such as the Emperor Penguin.
Emperor Penguins - the classic penguin of the Ross Sea Humpback Whale tail - a regular species in the Southern Ocean
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
Birds of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
I am lucky enough to regularly travel to the ‘The Great White Continent’ and have made over forty visits to the Antarctic Peninsula. There is, however, much more to this amazing part of the world and this lecture also covers 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
"Many thanks for your excellent presentation Birds of the Russian Far East last night....." J.N. March 2022
"Thank you so much for the talk last night! It was really excellent once again, accompanied by a fantastic set of photos" T.C. Feb 2022
"On behalf of ....... RSPB Group, can I say a very big thank you for your fascinating and superbly illustrated talk" R.F. Nov 2021
"Just a short message to say that the feedback from the talk you gave at the last meeting was very positive. The members enjoyed your talk very much." P.W. Feb 2021
"We had some lovely feedback about your talk last night. Thank you so much for brightening our evening." J.C. Jan 2021
"Brilliant talk last night..... I have had emails from members saying how much they enjoyed your talk..... This is a first." C.D. Sept 2018
"I am sure that the group would like to have you back for another talk..... I totally agree with the complimentary comments on your website about the quality of the photos and the excellence of your delivery.... I would have no hesitation in recommending your talks to other RSPB groups....." V.W. Sept 2018
"Birds of the Russian Far East certainly lived up to expectations....... I loved your presentation style being both informative and entertaining....." D.W. Sept 2018
" I would like to thank you for an excellent talk tonight with superb photos....." G.J. Sept 2018
"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