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I've been a London Birder since 1984. My local patch is Brent Reservoir and I’m fortunate enough to live adjacent to it. My best finds at Brent include: Great White Egret (a joint find and a first for London), Lesser Scaup (2nd for London but also seen elsewhere), Blue-winged Teal (3rd for London), Spotted Sandpiper (6th), Ring-billed Gull (10th), White-winged Black Tern (28th), two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Spoonbill (seen from my flat). I also co-found a Black Stork at Cheshunt on a bird race which was a modern-day first for London (this proves how luck plays its part in finding rarities as we wouldn't even have been there if we didn't still need Lesser Whitethroat!).

I’m also the London Bird Recorder and was Editor of the London Bird Report for the years 1998-2006. When I’m not at Brent Res regularly visit Swanscombe Marshes (good birds found - none so far) and like to go birding overseas. I have visited every continent and have seen 5900+ species (IOC).

The best bird I've ever seen is Pel's Fishing Owl in Botswana. Not far behind are Harpy Eagle, Great Grey Owl - a female on a nest with three well grown young and a male nearby on lookout, adult male Pied Harrier in Nepal and Yellow-headed-Picathartes in Ghana.

In 2014 I had my first book published 'The Birds of London' (Bloomsbury).

Apart from birds I'm also interested in butterflies (UK List 48 including Large Tortoiseshell & Monarch), moths (I run a trap) and mammals (Total 400+; I saw 11 Tigers in 2005 and Mountain Gorilla, Wolf, Black Bear & Puma in 2006). And rock music (in recent years I've been to see UFO (3 times), Rush, Journey, Magnum, Def Leppard & Whitesnake).


Andrew Self, 2016.

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