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Work with Marcus Coates

Conference for the Birds, Cherryburn 2019

I have collaborated with Marcus on a number of projects over the years, the latest one celebrating the work of Thomas Bewick. It involved becoming blackbird.

Marcus Coates - Conference for the Birds flyer

Participants in taxonomic order:

Grey Heron - Ceri Levy
Dotterel - Marcus Coates
Great Black-backed Gull - Sally Reay
Roseate Tern - Tom Cadwallender
Cuckoo - Helen Macdonald
Blackbird - Geoff Sample
Tree Sparrow - Muriel Cadwallender

Listen here to extracts on Marcus' site.

Marcus Coates - Conference for the Birds flyer

I thoroughly enjoyed my day discussing life as a blackbird. With a particular interest in blackbird song ever since I began wildlife recording, I’d spent much of the last decade following and interacting with the blackbird community centred on my back garden in Wooler. One male in particular I got to know over a four year period through a few signature motifs in his songs and a few quirks in his behaviour. Though never a big outstanding male bird, he was always very alert and self-assertive; and though he got to know me, coming to my whistle and several times even begging to me, he never became tame, would always keep a little distance and retained a shield of wariness.

Review by Dave Pritchard