SBBOT: Warden


Our warden, Ian

Our warden, Ian

Warden, Ian Hodgson

We are sad to say that Ian has let us know that he will be retiring in 2018.  His will be a hard act to follow but we hope that we will find someone to fill his wellie boots.  No doubt he will still be around long after August 2018, he just won’t have to be!

I don’t recall exactly when I realised that Fulmars weren’t gulls, or that some gulls come with a ‘five plumages for the price of one’ offer, but I do still vividly recall the bird that got me hooked. It was a Wheatear. Even though it was a relatively dull autumn bird, its elegance and distinctive black and white tail marked it out as something special and I was soon looking forward to seeing them in spring the following year, and I still do.

Since then, it has been my good fortune to be able to travel to places like the Indian subcontinent and Borneo in the east, Israel and Turkey in the Middle East and, more recently, countries from Costa Rica to

Brazil in the neotropics. They are all great places with some wonderful wildlife, but I’m still fascinated by the comings and goings of our own birds and they way they respond to weather, changing seasons and, now, a changing climate. If anything, birdwatching for 30-odd years has taught me that, enjoyable though it might be, a trip overseas is a just a snapshot and that such changes can only be appreciated by studying the often subtle changes that take place in an area over a whole year, then more years. To say nothing of how much there is still to learn.

It is a real privilege to be appointed Warden at the Bay and to be able to work with the enthusiastic band of people who contribute so much. My initial focus will be to provide and encourage fuller coverage of the recording area, getting the annual report back on track, organising breeding bird surveys and ensuring that butterfly and dragonfly surveys are carried out each week during the spring and summer.

I’m also keen to involve others in getting the best out of being at the Bay and to encourage visitors to discover the wealth of interest, in all areas of natural history, which the area has to offer.

So, come and see us!

Ian Hodgson