This Blog
This blog is for the most part about my birding and wildlife experiences in my local area (see map below) with other trips further afield thrown in and the occassional unrelated subject. The blog title? Well I do prefer to go birding / exploring on my own or with close friends and family only. Busy hides and big twitches are not for me, too many people. That's why the Highlands suit me just fine. Thank you for taking the time to vist my blog, drop me a comment saying hello.

My name is Sam, and I recently graduated with a BSc in Sustainable Forest Management with Forest Conservation.

I've always had a general interest in wildlife and the environment and in the last few years started to take it a bit more seriously, especially with regards to birds.

Always took an interest in the garden birds but a couple years ago decided to expand my horizons. Recently spent a year on the East coast of Northern Ireland on a work placement with the Forest Service and my interest in birding really took off.

I am now back in the Highlands of Scotland where I have lived for over 20 years, just on the edge of the Black Isle North of Inverness. I stay in the small village of Conon Bridge in a small terraced house with a small garden but it can attract a wide variety of birds. Not too far away is the Conon River, Cromarty Firth and plenty of farmland / woodland. A bit further away to the South is Inverness and the Moray Firth. Overall I live in and close to some excellent areas for birding and there is always something to see at all times of the year.

At the end of 2012 I returned from a four month stay in Finnish Lapland as an exchange student which was my first experience of bird watching abroad and it was truely fantastic. I also spent two weeks near to Krakow, Poland in Spring 2013 where I saw some excellent birds. I look forward to visiting as many new countries as I can to experience it's birdlife, wildlife and natural environment.

I am still very much a beginner but I enjoy every minute of it and I am slowly starting to get more involved by undertaking surveys on a small area for the the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) and other smaller surveys such as the BTO's Winter Thrushes Survey. I have also volunteered for the RSPB at their Forsinard reserve a couple hours North of me in the Highlands. I have a special interest in birds of Northern tundra / boreal forest environments, especially after my trip to Northern Finland, and also Gulls and Corvids.