About Charlie Moores

Born July 1960, in Southport, Lancashire.

First job was in 1979 at WWT Martin Mere on a youth employment scheme.

Life-long interest in the natural world. I started out looking at butterflies (when I was four) and then turned to birds. I was a fairly serious UK ‘twitcher’ between late 1982 and the early 1990s, starting with a Green Heron on Humberside and an American Redstart the next day at Gibraltar Point. Went to Scillies for most of October 1983, 84, and 85 – unforgettable highlights during those three years inc Green warbler, Cliff Swallow, both American cuckoos, Yellowthroat, Sora Rail, Eye-browed Thrush, the hand-fed Upland Sandpiper, Pine Bunting, etc etc.

Moved to Bath in 1983 and birded at every opportunity. Almost every twitch and trip birding for the next twenty years was done with great friend and mentor Peter Mowday, who died tragically early of cancer in 2007. With Peter visited Portland Bird Observatory on an almost weekly basis for many years, serving a short term on the ‘Obs Committee’ in 2004/2005.

First serious trip abroad was with Richard Crossley and the near-legendary Paul Holt when the three of us went to India and Nepal in 1985 for a three month birding trip: we recorded over 400 species.

At Peter’s suggestion I joined British Airways as long-haul birdwatcher (my contract said Cabin Crew but I knew what I was there for) to begin birding worldwide in October. My third trip was to The Gambia when I went birding for five days while the rest of the crew partied without me.

Year-long world birdathon, ‘SpeedBirding 91’, undertaken in 1991 while working as Cabin Crew to raise funds for Dominica’s Imperial Amazon Parrot – total species seen that year: 1976

Set up what would become Birds Korea with my brother Nial Moores (Dr Nial Moores as of mid 2012) in 2002, making five trips to South Korea to make a three hour video between 2002 – 03 which was partly intended to raise the issue of wetland reclamation, particularly the massive reclamation at Saemangeum which destroyed the most important staging site in the world for the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank.

Set up (now long-gone) Charlie’s Bird Blog in 2004 to highlight global travels as airline crew and my conservation .

Around the same time became vegetarian (after guiding a group of senior Korean priests on a fact-finding conservation visit to the UK) and more committed to animal welfare issues.

During airline travel visited conservation projects in eg Mauritius, California, Australia, and Africa.

Saemangeum sea wall closed in 2006: an enormous failure of international conservation and one of the bitterest moments of my life so far.

Became involved in the conservation of Kenya’s grassland endemic Sharpe’s Longclaw in 2007, working with the Friends of Kinanagop Plateau and was deeply honoured with the status of Kikuyu tribal elder for conservation work by them.

Moved to a small cottage on a National Trust Estate, Great Chalfield, deep in the Wiltshire countryside in mid-2009, with my partner and our daughter, which triggered a deeper passion for more general natural history and a strong interest in food production and its impact on farmland wildlife.

After twenty years and countless flights left British Airways in July 2010, with a world bird list of around 3200, and determined to do leave my enormous carbon footprint in the past and to do something more positive for conservation.

Worked as freelance for a year for the Great Bustard Group in Wiltshire, helping drive re-design of in-house magazine ‘Otis’. Edited six issues.

With Digital Spring (DS) set up this conservation-based podcast website, Talking Naturally, after working with DS at the British BirdFair in 2010. An entirely amicable ‘divorce’ saw Talking Naturally handed over to my sole control in Nov 2011.

First podcast, with Geoffrey Saliba, campaigns manager with BirdLife Malta uploaded in October 2010. By late 2012 more than 100 podcasts uploaded. Interviewees include Dr Nial Moores (Director of Birds Korea), Dr Andy Clements (Director of BTO), Dr Debbie Pain (Director of Conservation at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust), Dr Mark Avery (ex-RSPB Conservation Director), Christoph Zockler (Chair of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Species Recovery Group), Jim Lawrence (Manager of BirdLife’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’), Richard Porter (Middle East expert and conservationist), Keith Betton (Chair of the African Bird Club), Mike Parr (vice-president of American Bird Conservancy), Martin Hellicar (campaigns manager BirdLife Cyprus), authors (inc Richard Crossley and Chris Gooddie) and smaller organisations working on conservation projects in eg Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, and Bonaire.

In December 2011 I was joined on Talking Naturally by Tristan Reid (aka the ‘Inked Naturalist‘), a fellow vegetarian and life-long conservationist with a passion for birds and animal issues.

Began working with Wildlife Travel as a guide in 2010 on a trip to Bavaria, with plans to develop that work over the next few years.

Since 2010 I have been also developing a much wider interest in general wildlife, particularly hoverflies, moths, and arable plants – and mainly around the Great Chalfield estate where we live in Wiltshire. Interesting observations at Great Chalfield include eg Dotted Bee-fly, Scarce Chaser, the hoverfly Rhingia rostrata, and Buttoned Snout.

3 Comments

  1. Els van Alfen-Koome says:

    Charlie and Tristan,
    I reached your site by opening your review on Bird Migration of Ian Newton, a book I wish to buy.
    What an informative site. Useful and necessary articles on nature and our unbounded wonderful birds. After reading some of your articles, I got to some extend depressed of my own kind, human beings because of the shameless way they mistread nature and all the wonderful creatures. On the other hand, there are still a lot of human beings like you, who chear me up.
    I apologize for my poor english and wish you the best both personally and with the good work and your site. I will visit your site regularly!
    Kind regards,
    Els

    Reply
  2. Hi there Els
    Many thanks for your kind words. It’s very encouraging to hear from people who have discovered the website and enjoyed it. – thankyou very much indeed.
    Yes, it’s easy to get depressed, but there are some amazing people working incredibly hard on behalf of our wildlife and we’d like to support them as much as we can – we do our best but there’s always more to do!
    And, please, no apologies for your English: like most English people I have no other language at all and would find it impossible to leave a comment like yours on any other website but an English one…
    Thanks again
    Charlie

    Reply
  3. Tim Ward says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Stumbled on your site via http://www.birdingtop500.com/ and read your life history with interest …. a truer naturalist, conservationist and birding nut I’ve yet to find! Your life list is staggering and dwarfs mine as it probably does most of us other mere mortal birders … well done!

    Lifelong birder myself (40 yrs plus the rest!) and now semi retired working part time for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. I’m also a keen photographer and blog more than is good for my health but hey it keeps me away from the dark side! Wish I could do more with my time to be honest.

    Congrats on very informative site … cutting edge and globally worthwhile!

    Tim

    Reply

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