I’m Elliot Montieth, a 19 year-old all round nature addict based on the Wirral peninsula in Cheshire. I have particular interests in geology, entomology and arachnology, however my heart is set upon ornithology with my main areas of focus being the identification of ages, sexes and subspecies.
The Cameron Bespolka Trust has been a charity I’ve admired and had the up-most respect for since day one. In the autumn that Cameron sadly passed away in, I was attending an RSPB Phoenix Conservation Weekend at RSPB Conwy. Here, for the first time in my life, I encountered other young Birders such as myself. I’ll never forget the priceless joy I felt that weekend, being around similar aged likeminded folk and everyone just unloading their knowledge and experiences – life-long friends were made.
Following the RSPB Phoenix Camp I attended several more young birders events across the breath of Great Britain, all of which were now supported by The Cameron Bespolka Trust: Phoenix Camp’16 at RSPB Saltholme, BTO Bird Camp’16 and BTO Bird Camp’17. These events create a safe environment, for like-minded NGB’s to socialise in whilst at the same being educated in the ways of the environmental sector. I salute The Cameron Bespolka Trust for all the work they do, they are the unsung heroes of today’s conservation scene.
In 2018 I thought I’d give something back, I walked 100 miles in just over 4 days from my home town Birkenhead, across North Wales to the picturesque seaside town of Aberdaron. In total £1564.61 was donated all to aid the future developments of the trust. A few months down the line I was over the moon to hear that I’d been elected to take the years once in a life-time Scholarship to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York (A trip which at this moment in time I’m currently packing for!).
As do The Cameron Bespolka Trust, I love and find it my duty to play my part in inspiring the next generation, passing on knowledge and ensuring they have the best opportunities to excel in the areas their hearts are set upon. From years of surveying experience in all sectors, to internships at Bird Observatories such as Bardsey & Fair Isle, working alongside corporations such as Peel Holdings & local Councils, being a proud Ambassador for Viking Optics and reasonably top notch on my avian knowledge. I use pass the skills, mistakes and experiences of my own, to educate the three young birder’s I currently mentor.
What’s next? I’m currently a Zoology Student at the University of Cumbria and over the next few years, I wish to develop and broaden my skill base in order to pass onto the next generation and to continue my work with the trust.
For three decades, Rutland Water has hosted to the internationally acclaimed Birdfair; a festival dedicated to the birds, one described by many as the Glastonbury of birding.
Here thousands descend, vast numbers of suppliers from binoculars, cameras, books and clothing, amongst various other equipment, tour companies, plus artists. In the thirty years its been in operation, Birdfair has attracted a larger youth audience and in 2019, it would be the year of youth.
The Trust was out in force …
I set an early wake-up call this morning to lead the 'Bespolka Bird Walk' at Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve near Cheshire.
We had several drop out at the last minute but still I'm happy that some could make it. The group enjoyed sightings of a wide range of species at the reserve from Black-necked Grebe and Garganey to 'British' Speckled Wood and Broad-leaved Helleborine butterflies.
The early risers were rewarded with an enjoyable walk around the reserve
Many thanks go to Brian Martin …
A species I've not caught up with in a few years is the Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus). Current figures estimate the breeding population of Britain, where the species is now restricted to breeding in the Scottish Highlands, to be between 510-750 males.
However, in Britain this beautiful monotypic wader used to be much more widespread and numerous than it is to-date. Its scientific name morinellus means 'little fool' and rightly so as the species tame nature made it an easy target …
Fair Isle; it’s a small isolated island no more than three miles long and a mile wide situated in the North Sea just 24 miles south of mainland Shetland. For those reading this who are Birders then this isle of legend needs no introduction, but for those who aren’t here’s a brief description.
Arctic Skua. Photo: Elliot Montieth
The isle is a haven for Birders & Twitchers alike; from its breeding seabird colony which is over 50,000 pairs strong, to breath taking scenery, …
For the past 2 years now The Cameron Bespolka Trust has awarded a scholarship for one young British ornithologist to attend a young birders event at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York state. For the first time in 2016, Hampshire’s very own Amy Hall jetted off on this once in a life time trip followed by Essex’s Max Hellicar in 2017 and on the 10th of April whilst out on a morning stroll with my partner, the news came through that’d been awarded this year’ …
The European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), are arguably the most familiar ‘seagulls’ we encounter on a daily in Britain. The misconception is that to the general public these iconic creatures are everywhere, they’re a pest that need to be controlled as the population is increasing; but that isn’t the case, is it?
Data gathered by JNCC and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), shows us that both Lesser Black-backed Gull & …