We recently caught up with Travel Media Awards 2015 finalist and keen Ornithologist, Ed Hutchings, to find out what he journals whilst looking for his favourite raptor species. Ed is also a regular contributor to Birdwatch, Bird Watching, Discover Britain, Hertfordshire Life, Nature's Home, Nature Travel Network and The Telegraph, and is usually just one step away from another adventure.
You travel a lot for work and pleasure, so must have plenty of top tips for keeping notes and capturing those special moments? A lot of my time travelling is spent watching wildlife, so I tend not to spend large periods of time gazing at notebook as I might miss something good! I tend to write up my notes at the end of the day when darkness has fallen, unless I go looking for owls! Where is your favourite spot for taking in nature and updating your journal? Too many too mention, but India is very special, especially Rajasthan. Closer to home, Spain is hard to beat as a birding all-rounder. Where is the most extreme place you have visited? I’ve not been anywhere that I would consider extreme as yet, but I am visiting Antarctica and South Georgia early next year. Why keep a journal? It’s a good question in this day and age. The internet provides one with instant access to information, but nothing beats immediately committing to paper ideas that come into your head. Journals are also useful for sketching in, especially when it comes to birds. You have collected a lot of feathers on your travels – which is your favourite? Probably the Blue Jay from the USA. They’re extremely common but stunning birds and their azure-coloured feathers a delight. What else do you include in your travel journal? Boring statistics and lists! Well, they’re not boring in my eyes. Listing is very much habitual behaviour for the avid birder. What lead to Ornithology and conservation? I worked a sommelier in London for many years, but then decided to run from the rat race seven years ago. After initially volunteering and then work ing for a couple of conservation NGO, my writing and wildlife tour guiding evolved naturally. It’s my dream job. What is your next big project and where is it taking you? I’ve developing some new tours for the Travelling Naturalist’s India portfolio and I’ll be looking for the critically endangered Cherry-throated Tanager in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest in October too. You never quite know what’s round the next corner, do you?