Hello everyone, I’m Elliot Pierre Montieth and welcome to my blog “Elliot’s Birding Diaries” which has been on show for its 3rd year running. I myself am a 18 year old Birder, Surveyor, Wildlife Photographer, Geologist and occasional Twitcher based on the Wirral peninsular in the north west county of Cheshire.
My addiction as its been called for the world of nature first came about at the age 5 after my very first trip up north to WWT Martin Mere were mother wanted to see “what the fuss was all about” when a rare bird turned up and appeared to be having a breeding attempt; the bird in question was the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and for the first time a pair were breeding in Lancashire. For those who haven’t been to a WWT (Waterfowl & Wetlands Trust) reserve such as Martin Mere, Slimbridge or Washington, then they have waterfowl collections. Their are those who object to the ideas of such a thing but it was by getting up close and personal to birds such as Red-crested Pochard, Bufflehead & Black Swan that I was if you like “touched” by nature and 13 years down the line the connection is just as strong as it was then.
Being a Birder (not a bird watcher as they have different meanings), I wake up at what “normal” people mad or insane hours in the morning which is then followed by countless hours of walking on and on all in the name of “seeing what’s about”. May sound tiring and dull but it takes the stress away from everyday life, makes you happy and the joying of birding is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. As well as being a Birder I’m also known as the much more familiar term a “Twitcher”, someone who goes out in the pursuit of rarities to up their lists; twitching is somethings that’s relative new to me compared to general birding and photography and after I was open up to the young birders community on Facebook & Twitter I soon learnt that I had one of the lowest lists going. So in 2016 (couldn’t of chosen a better year to do so), I set off around the country to complete a “Big Year” to get my list up to a somewhat respectable level considering a wasn’t a full time twitcher. But as the months went on ticking Great Knot, Western Swamphen, White-winged Scoter, Siberian Accentor and Dusky Thrush it then came to the 31st of December where I ended the year with Ellis Lucas & Austin Morley at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucshire to finish year with my 58th lifer of the year putting me on 281 all thanks to the stunning adult male Blue Rock Thrush.
On the rare occasion where I’m not off twitching or out birding then theres only really 3 things I could be up to: A). Bed B) Surveying or carrying out some volunteering down at my local parks and nature reserves or C) Here in bed typing up a post or editing images. My life has and is centred around birds, even my choice of university, where I hope to study Wildlife Conservation all comes down to when I was 5 years visiting WWT Martin Mere.
I first set up Elliot’s Birding Diaries 3 years ago with the aims for it to improve my literacy as I was servilely dyslexic, to take up free time so that so wouldn’t get bored, to take my mind off some of the more unpleasant things happening in my life and to simply express my passion for the world of mother nature as at the time I thought it was just me who liked nature, but that was before I ventured onto social media sites such as Flicker, Twitter & Facebook where my eyes were opened up to a much more boarder community of like minded folk with the same interests as I. Unlike other blogs about nature which reflect on conservation matters such as Raptor Persecution, Global Warming and the political impacts on the environment this blog is as the name suggests just about me and days out birding, twitching and every so often a guest blog.
Thanks for reading, Elliot.