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Site Info:

This site includes my Blog, Wildlife Photography, and Reviews which can be accessed in the menu at the top of the screen.

All photos on this website are taken by me unless stated otherwise. If you would like to use any photos on this website then please ask for permission by contacting me. 


About Me:

My name is Michael Sinclair and I’m a 16 year old naturalist and climate striker from Glasgow who’s trying to juggle his teenage life with a hobby and volunteer/ community work.

Me building pond in my garden (photo credit: Kevin Sinclair)

Below are some things I’m up to at the moment
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DNOMD Community Project

At the beginning of 2020 I helped set up a project which allows people to borrow wildlife monitoring equipment for free! Through funding this was made possible. Please have a look at my website and then check out the project afterwards! https://dnomd.com


Climate Campaigning and Striking

I’ve been to many strikes and regularly post on social media about it. At school I have also helped gain numbers for strikes. Sometimes I’m even brave enough to take the megaphone and lead some chants.

George Square, Glasgow

Conservation Volunteering

Since 2018 I have been volunteering at one of my local parks/nature reserves (Linn Park) with a community group called Friends of Linn Park.  The work involves a range of activities including habitat improvements, wildlife monitoring, infrastructure improvements and community information days. As a result of corona virus in 2020, volunteering has been limited but i have spent hours checking bird boxes, collecting data from other volunteers boxes and then imputing them online for the BTO.

wildflower planting
Friends of Linn Park wildflower planting (Photo credit: Dorothy Buchanan)

Wildlife Photography

I am Glasgow based but also include photographs from trips in the UK and abroad. I have taken a break from photography in 2020 to focus on volunteering, conservation, and community work. Most of my pictures have been taken using my Canon 7D Mk II with a 70-300mm lens or  a 100-400mm MkII lens. Some pictures have also been taken with a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX 300.

A few years ago I had three photographs shortlisted for one of the ‘Young Peoples’ categories in the British Wildlife Photography Awards with one of my images (shown below) making it into the published book! I tend not to enter competitions now preferring instead to encourage other young people to develop their photography skills and interests through field demonstrations and writing articles.

Scarlet Elf Cup Fungi (Sarcoscypha coccinea)
Scarlet Elf Cup Fungi (Sarcoscypha coccinea)

Below is one of my personal photography highlights! If you have ever seen a Bittern then you will know how elusive they are, very difficult to see never mind photograph. I was lucky enough to be at RSPB Lakenheath Fen in one of the hides watching an adult with young. I was then amazed when this adult flew right past the hide!

Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

Here are some more of my favourite photos! All and more can be viewed in the British Wildlife Photography section.


Moth Trapping

I have a 20W actinic Skinner Trap. I record everything I get in my garden and send it to the local recorder. I also take my trap on holiday or short trips away to see what different species I can catch. All moths caught are recorded for scientific purposes and released unharmed into the wild. My local moth recorder for the area also kindly loaned me a 125w mains powered Skinner trap.

Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus)
Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus)

Bat Detecting

I use an Echo Meter Touch 2. This plugs into my i-pad and identifies bat species by picking up their echolocation signals and converting them into a frequency we can hear. It also displays a sonogram which can be saved allowing me to watch back the recording with a sonogram. Below is a Common Pipistrelle sonogram recording.

Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) sonogram


Wildlife Recording

I try my best to record wildlife I see. I use apps like BirdTrack and iRecord to do this.

Birdtrack
iRecord

Nest Box Challenge 

A few years ago I started a 100 nest box challenge to build and sell 100 bird boxes to raise money for the RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT). By mid-February 2018 I had completed the challenge and raised over £1000 for these charities with boxes being purchased by over 70 people across the UK. I am still making them on occasion so if your interested please contact me!

Nest Boxes

As part of the challenge 13 boxes were put up in Linn Park. During Spring/ Summer 2018 these were monitored as part of the nest record scheme run by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). We were delighted that 47 chicks successfully fledged from the boxes.

The project has continued to grow with over 60 boxes now installed in the park covering a range of species including blue tits/great tits, treecreepers, dippers and spotted flycatchers. Instead of monitoring boxes using ladders to look inside the boxes we now use endoscope cameras which link to smart phones which can capture images. To help with the extensive monitoring programme we’ve trained a team of 10 volunteers who collect data that is submitted to the BTO Nest Record Scheme.  I can’t thank these volunteers enough!  The project was a 2019 finalist in the Evening Times ‘Streets Ahead’ Awards Environmental Category.

I’m still making boxes and have helped make over 200 now. (including some bat boxes)

Me up ladder
Me up ladder (photo credit: George Wilson)

Bird Ringing

I am a T-permit (trainee) ringer with the Clyde Ringing Group. One of our long-term  projects involves tracking movements of Jack Snipe using a Geo-locator. A few winters ago we managed to recapture one bird with a tracker and the data showed it had been to Russia and Scandinavia before returning to Glasgow! This story was featured on Winterwatch 2018. I don’t post images of bird ringing online anymore as I understand some of the views opposing it.


Nest Finding

In addition to bird box monitoring, I also find naturally occurring bird nests and record them.


21 thoughts

  1. Great work Michael, I hope many other young people follow your excellent example. We need their enthusiasm and commitment if our wildlife in Scotland is to thrive in the future. All best wishes.

    1. Thank you Jimmy! Hope to see you again and I’ll definitely email you about the nest boxes in Linn Park and let you know if nuthatches nest in 2019!

  2. Congratulations Michael. An excellent blog. Well done. You are one talented young man – and your passion shows!

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