About Me

Ashley Beolens and Owen

This is me, I have been Birding most of my life, well for as long as I can remember anyway, I am 3rd generation birder, and I suppose my main influences have come from that. My mum has always enjoyed our shared hobby, but it is my dad that is the more serious, and has now achieved global fame as Fatbirder, as well as co-writing the book whos bird, and appearing in the soon to be released coffee table book, Blokes and Birds and forming the DBA, Disabled Birders Association. (I'm sure he'll appreciate the free publicity, catch him at the bird fair every August).

I am married to a fantastic lady Anita and Owen Anita, whom although not a birder herself, has started to enjoy taking me places rather than endure them, as she used to when we first met! For a non birder she certainly has some impressive birds on her list, and has even been forced to spend a week on the isles of Scilly, whilst seven months pregnant, not a walk in the park as you can imagine. Owen

Together we have managed to produce the 4th generation of birder in the form of our young sons Owen, who is 3, and already has a list most would be proud of, with such gems as: Pallid Harrier, Two-barred crossbill, Lesser sand plover, Night heron (down to 3 meters), Alpine swift, White winged black tern and Honey buzzard as well as finding his own Red kite. Which means he will probably be surpassing his Dad and Grandads life lists before he is in his teens! And Toby, who was born Thursday 8th Jan 2004 (his list needs a bit of working on at the moment but as his eyes can't see more than shapes at the moment I guess that will come). Toby

I started watching my patch in January of the year 2002 (although I have walked in and fished the area before) this was the first time I really decided to do it with a cause, and now I try to get out as often as possible, which is not much with work and family and other birding to do! My ambition is to find a national rarityin the area, which as unlikely as it seems, is very possible especially as there have been two found in bucks (including one at Furzton lake, Milton Keynes, found by a close friend).

I have recently taken up digital photography, in the form of Digiscoping, which for those of you who don't know is when you attatch a digital camera to your telescope, so as to get an enormously powerfull lens. My better attempts are shown on my two images pages. I am still improving with each photo I take, and am very much enjoying the challange (hopefully this year I will get some good shots from Scilly).

I am a part time twitcher (damn those work commitments) but would like to get back into the swing of things as soon as i can, and i am still a regular on the Isles of Scilly during October, you just can't beat the friendlyness of the place, October 2002 being the first time I found a rarity Subalpine warbler which was accepted by the BBRC (also Pechora pipit, which I am still awaiting to be accepted by the BOURC)

I also enjoy the occasional bird race, when I say enjoy I really mean endure; as they are a great strain on the body, and have taken part in the kent bird challenge with Si, Mark and 1 other a couple of times even finishing in the top section. Although this can be embarassing, as we thought it would be a great idea to call ourselves the kentish P...lovers one year, and all wore T-shirts with the name on but with the P from plover being removed by a Kentish plover, We ended up looking like we were called the kentish lovers!!Some of the looks we got from locals were a bit strange. This year we managed to break the Buckinghamshire county 24hour bird race record, which you can read all about on the bird race page.

As you may have guessed each year I spend a week in October on the Isles of Scilly, relaxing and enjoying the birding with a group of friends, some of whom appear here as part of the patch competition. It is a fantastic place to go, and probably the only location that you can go and be surrounded by birders, on virtually every path or out crop there will be a birder scanning, and as for the evenings, the town on St Mary's is alive with tails of birding and misadventure.

Fishing is one of my other hobbies, which means I get to spend some time, sitting and relaxing, on my patch and combining two activities (I am never without a pair of bins). I also enjoy sports of all sorts, mainly watching these days, and football is probably top, with my other great passion being the mighty reds, Liverpool FC!!

Liverpool FC badge


The one lucky thing about the patch is that there is a fantastic pub called the Galleon at the start of it which means in the summer I can relax enjoy a beer and still watch the area (I`m still hoping to get a tawny owl calling from the beer garden one evening). It also includes my garden, which is a shame as nothing but sparrows and starlings come near the place (I don't think they like the cat!)