Have finally taken the plunge and opted for more I.T. nonsense by impulsively setting up this new blog. I'm not too sure what I am doing and it will certainly be an ongoing work in progress. I started birding in my back garden in 1971 (aged 11) when I first realised that some of the 'sparrows' were rather good looking and had lovely blue and yellow feathers! (Blue tits of course). Became heavily involved in the twitching scene in the very late 70's and early 80's. Most memorable day was on Portland Bill in April 1981- Woodchat shrike, Black Kite, Hoopoe, Firecrest, Pied fly, etc etc. At that time I did some pretty big twitches for the likes of Lark sparrow and Oriental pratincole but with time I became increasingly disillusioned with the growing twitching scene. Now I am a committed 'local patch' birder in the NW highlands of Scotland. I occasionally twitch a good bird elsewhere (went for the Greater sand plover at Dornoch and the Loch Fleet Greater yellowlegs last year but have not twitched a bird this year). I am a professionally qualified marine biologist and work as a freelance seagoing surveyor, specialising in seabird, marine mammal & fisheries work. As such I spend weeks, sometimes months at sea looking at marine fauna and seabirds in some wonderful locations. I hope to share some of my pelagic trips on this blog. Between pelagic stuff I will probably bore you with 'highlights' from my local patches around Ullapool, which can be rather mundane although they can occasionally turn up an interesting bird.