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I was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, and have lived here all my life.

The following is a brief history of my interest in birds:

  • I joined the Young Ornithologists' Club (YOC) when I was about 5 years old and became a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds  (RSPB) in my twenties. Until the mid-1990s I had always been an armchair birdwatcher - a condition, I was told, that many older birdwatchers hoped to achieve.
  • I became a member of the British Trust for Ornithology  (BTO) in 2002, though I had joined their Garden Birdwatch survey in 1997. I have also taken part in the Scarce Woodland Bird Survey and Bird Atlas 2007-2011 and continue to do fieldwork for the Breeding Bird Survey. I served as the BTO Regional Representative for Yorkshire Southwest and Yorkshire Southeast regions from 2007 until 2010, and was the regional organiser for Bird Atlas 2007-11 until its completion in 2012.
  • I have been a committee member of the Hope Valley Birdwatcher's Club  in Hope Valley, Derbyshire, since 1999.
  • I have also been a member of Sheffield Bird Study Group  (SBSG) since 2003.
  • In 2005, I completed the Cornell University Home Study Course in Bird Biology  - biology has always been one of my favourite subjects.
  • I joined the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust  (WWT) as a member in 2006.