Meet the Team

Cian Cardiff: (@thomascardiff1)
Founder of the Identification & Ageing Series
Social Media Officer
Photographer

Cian birding at the world famous Tacumshin, Co.Wexford.

It was at the age of 9 that Cian began his life long fascination with the avian world. This fixation of his feathered creatures all started off when he was on a family holiday to Spain, which when watching Purple Heron's and White Storks feeding in the nearby Wetlands, it trigged a spark inside of him to light up and take over his life. It was shortly after this life changing trip that Cian picked up his Field Guide and he that taking a much more deeper interest in birds of the Wetlands habitat.

Cian loves Birding, its taken over his life, but nothing beats checking out his local patch (Cahore), for any new arrivals: Glossy Ibis, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser whitethroat (rare in Ireland) Siberian Chiffchaff, Spoonbill and Great White Egret are all birds he's found on his patch just this last year. Cian isn't a Birder that likes to sit in a hide all day (which there's nothing wrong with), but instead when he's out and about he likes to get down and dirty in the field; stomping around marshy areas of his patch and trying to pick up something a little special a Buff sand or something of the kind. An important piece of equipment that he always brings out with him is his beloved camera that always hangs off his shoulder. The reason why he takes round with him is because you never known what be round the corner.

For Cian there's always something that little extra with birds, anyone can go oh there's a Chiffchaff, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant or Rock Pipit, but what intrigues Cian is that you can go into even more depth and explore the multitude of races and subspecies which many aren't even aware of. It's this depth of classification that drives him to go out and explore. To end Cian believes very strongly in a point made by his icon the great Martin Garner (R.I.P), is that were always learning and discovering.



Elliot Montieth: (@Elliot_Montieth)
Co-Founder of the Identification & Ageing Series
Photographer
Editor
Elliot assisting the Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory in their Manx Shearwater
(Puffinus puffinus), studysas part of a new tagging project to track the birds
feeding locations throughout the breeding season.

It was on his first visit to WWT Martin Mere at the age of 5, that the seed for Elliot's life-long compulsion for all things feathered was planted. What triggered it all was a split second decision by his mother to visit the outstanding reserve in order to allow her children to experience the sites waterfowl collection (Common Eider, Greater White-fronted Goose ssp. albifrons & Cape Barren Goose etc.), along with hopefully connecting with a pair of breeding Black-winged Stilt. Ever since that turning point 13 years ago Elliot's fixation & dedication with birds is regarded by many as inspirational. It was after that family day out to WWT Martin Mere that Elliot picked him self up a number of guides got his head down into knowing the ins and outs of the birds of British Isles & the Western Palearctic.

In what ever free time he's given, no matter how long or short you'll find Elliot out birding at his beloved patch of Birkenhead Docks situated on the Wirral Peninsular. This very urban environment is an area that many, if not all typical birders tend to keep away from, falling into the misconception that such environments simply don't have the capacity to sustain any form of worth while life. Yet over the past 2 years Elliot has managed to prove otherwise with discovering a number of locally rare breeding birds as well as countless county and national scarcities & rarities: Roseate Tern, Iceland Gull, Red Phalarope, Great Northern Diver, Lesser Black-backed Gull (ssp. intermidius), Wirral & Cheshire's only Common Tern colony, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glaucous Gull, Leach's Storm Petrel & Common Chiffchaff (ssp. tristis). In addition to this Elliot also has a pretty good run with national his finds including the likes of "Orange-billed Tern" sp, Balearic Shearwater, Taiga & Tundra Bean Goose, Eurasian Wryneck, Rough-legged & European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Icterine Warbler, Ring-billed Gull, Cattle Egret, Yellow-browed Warbler and Great White Egret, with his work on Great Cormorant (ssp. sinensis), enabling the species to be taken off the county rarities list!

What Elliot shares in common with Cian, and it's something that seems to be on the rise, is an interest to delve a little deeper and pick out the stuff which many don't even bat an eyelid at, subspecies & races. With there Asperger's Syndrome both Elliot & Cian are able to focus their minds on a subject for as long as they wish whilst gaining the ultimate pleasure in doing so, education; for common species such as European Herring Gull, Great Cormorant, Common Chiffchaff & Eurasian Rock Pipits then there seen by your average birder as just that species. For people such as Elliot & Cian then they want to know is which of the multitude of subspecies it belongs to, doing so giving you a natural geographical location of that birds origin! To round off Elliot he follows in one very simply code, never give up and expect the unexpected.

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