I can remember the day when I became a bird watcher. As a young boy I was on holiday with my family in Scotland. One morning we went for a walk in a wood behind our cabin. Almost immediately we saw a smart black and white bird. It was a male Pied Flycatcher! We watched it and were delighted to see that he was visiting a nest hole feeding chicks. Fantastic! We continued through the wood and climbed a hill. As we reached the top, another surprise, a male Hen Harrier quartering the hill below us a beautiful pearly grey in colour and with a slow, graceful flight. That was it, I was hooked and became a bird watcher.
Although family and work keep us all very busy I have always made time for birds and birding. We are not built to be inside as much as we are. Escaping outside into the natural world is a wonderful antidote to the stresses of life. A couple of years ago I took the plunge and bought into a bird watching holiday company, and at a stroke my hobby became my livelihood. Over the years I have been lucky enough to go birding in some wonderful places in this country and abroad, but some of my favourite places to bird are still in Nottinghamshire. Whether it’s the gravel pits of the Trent and Idle Valleys or the woods and heaths of Sherwood, being out birding in Notts is a fantastic way to spend a day. A day in the field, is never a day wasted.