A Margate Cemetery Birder since 1991, but my interest in birds/wildlife spans back to the age of 14. I was lucky to be brought up in an area of fairly decent countryside with a railway line backing on to the house, this in turn produced a nice variation of birds which from there on got me hooked. But I didn't discover the cemetery until I was nearly 20 years of age even though the place was 10 minutes walking distance from the house, but after several visits I pretty much new that this place had potential, and this proved its case with a female Red-backed Shrike in my first spring, and needless to say the rest is history. Up to 2009 the place grew in stature with many places becoming overgrown and pretty much neglected turning it at times into a gold mine of common/scare/rare and Occasional MEGA birds being found. But does this surprise me, after all how many cemeteries turn up excellent birds a few I could mention especially on the east coast, yes on occasions I do go elsewhere but I am a strong believer on patch watching its great fun, you get to know the area very well and where to look etc etc, and like most things turning up goodies is an element of luck, but this I truly believe is some what deserved and comes to those who can spend the time and persevere which at times can look a lost cause.
I have been quoted that the cemetery is the second highest point on Thanet, even if its not it makes no difference as it is very much a rich ground for passing migrants as this has shown, with my best highlights being a Great Spotted Cuckoo, Aquatic Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Alpine Swift, Red-footed Falcon, Black Kite, Booted Warbler, Common Crane Cattle Egret and various others, also with both Dave Gilbert and I recording just under 400 Common Buzzards last year (2011) I hope it says a lot for the future, after all a cemetery isn't just gravestones!!, the patch also covers the adjacent horse paddocks and allotments.
I also have other varied interests including Football watching Liverpool, Cricket and Snooker. I have worked in the Environment industry on and off for the last 20 years being a Field Officer, Ecologist and Wildlife Conservation Manager, and also graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Landscape Management and a Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation and Law. I now work part time which gives a little bit extra time for the patch.