As far as I am concerned, apart from holding my children, there is not much better in life than being in close proximity to a spring male Magnolia Warbler.
I’ve always been drawn to birds. I joined bird walks at Dinton Pastures Country Park in Berkshire as a 10 year old back in 1980 and was a Junior Voluntary Warden there in my mid-teens. Birding took a back seat through university, but was re-kindled in the late 1990s. As I began to travel abroad, the thrill of racing around the UK to see vagrants seemed to fade. Now with wife and family, life is very local. I recorded the bird species I came across in the 8 years that we lived in Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire in the Birdless Cuddesdon Blog and participated in local bird surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology, combined with the occasional foreign trips, often teaming up with Richard Campey or Ian Reid. I spent 8 autumn weeks on Lundy Island between 2006 and 2014 with Richard, Tim Jones, Tim Davies and James Diamond hunting for migrants. I birded the Bosphorus, Japan, Svalbard, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Georgia and Oman. I also help out writing some of the species reports for annual Oxfordshire Bird Report. Birding has been a fantastic springboard: first to drawing and painting in my younger years, later to photography and video, travel and environmental politics. It has shaped me and continues to inspire me. This website is a personal record of the adventure that birding has brought me. Tom Bedford, April 2016.