My name is Elliot Montieth and I’m a 18 year old ornithologist, geologist, wildlife photographer and surveyor, from the Wirral peninsular, England. The story I have with the natural world began at the age of five when I was paying a visit to WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire as my mum was curious to see what all the fuss was about in the regional press. The answer was breeding Black-winged Stilt! Since that day when the spark was ignited the natural world, birds particularly in regard to taxonomy, ageing & identification have dominated my life and the paths I take.
I’m fortunate enough to be to situation where I am on the Wirral peninsular, which must be one of the most biologically richest areas in the British Isles; where I can exercise the hobbies that have taken over myself to the max. But it’s not just the biodiversity of Wirral that’s on my door step: to the south North Wales and Snowdonia, I can get the ferry west to Ireland from the very town I live in, north there’s Cumbria and the Lake District whilst to the east lays the Peaks.
At the age of eight I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which as anything has negative as well as positive effects. The negative effects remain off the blog, but what many deem as a weakness even in the birding community, I take advantage of and put my ‘dis’ability to my advantage by focusing on the one thing which matters to me most of all in this world, nature.
Besides education then the bulk of what time I have is spent in some way to do with the outdoors; weather it’s visiting my patch, volunteering at a reserve, local park or a bird observatory, going out birding for the day with Luke Anderson another young birder from the Wirral peninsular, carrying out one of the countless surveys I do for the British Trust for Ornithology. Or simply staying in for the day going through my collection of 2nd hand books to further my knowledge in all things wild.
As well as birding primarily in the British Isles where my British life list stands at a respectable 311. I’m fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to bird aboard to the likes of Iceland, North America, France, Cyprus, Corsica and most frequently Iberia with a Western Pelearctic (401) & World List (534).
In the future I hope to study Zoology in University and continue to develop my skills in scientific monitoring as one day I’d like to work for an ornithological scientific organization,or in taxonomy or as an ecological consultant. Any job, no matter the pay where I’m in touch with the natural is all I need.
This is my birding memoir and I hope that it is of interest to those who venture upon it.
Thanks for reading,