The BirdTrack team

There are a few key members of the BirdTrack team who spend at least part of their working day beavering away behind the scenes. Here is a little bit about us (more serious information is available by clicking on our names). If you manage to identify us in the field, please come up and say hello.

So as not to imply any hierarchy within the team, we are listed in order of the number of BirdTrack complete lists we collected in 2013!  

 
 Nick Moran
For any information about BirdTrack, help with the website, or to make any comments, then Nick is the person to contact, at birdtrack [at] bto [dot] org.
 
Nick headed the Biology department at the British School in Abu Dhabi (UAE) until July 2009, when he arrived in Thetford to take over from Mike Prince as BirdTrack Organiser.
 
Nick has been scribbling wildlife notes since he was 6. Migrating north from inland North Yorkshire to Fife at 18 rapidly expanded his opportunity and appetite for birding, and over the next 20 years he travelled extensively in the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Nick spent two years in Shanghai, China before moving to Abu Dhabi in September 2004. There he contributed more than 15,000 records to the Emirates Bird Records Committee - he quickly quadrupled that total with BirdTrack records! Notable finds in the UAE included Paddyfield Warbler (by the school laundry room!), Marbled Duck and the Western Palearctic's first Ashy Drongo. Since coming back to East Anglia, his best returns have been Glossy Ibis and Pallid Harrier; a haul inhibited by most of his birding taking place at the BTO's Nunnery Lakes reserve!
 
 
Iain Downie
Iain is the BTO's Senior Web Developer, and was involved in the evolution of BirdTrack from the (far simpler) era of Migration Watch (2002-2004). Nowadays he has a more advisory role, but still dips into the code now and again. He's primarily responsible for the online development of Atlas 2007-11 and Garden BirdWatch, but juggles this with his role as Joint Head of Information Systems at the BTO (with Karen), overseeing all BTO systems, networks and stuff like that...
 
Originally from the outskirts of Glasgow, Iain has an ecological background (spending 15 years studying spiders at Paisley Tech, Durham University, then Scottish Agricultural College) and, with the BTO's influence, now feels confident of identifying Wren, Robin, Dotterel, Gough MoorhenGalapagos Hawk and Kookaburra (more a question of being in the right place, rather than skill). [Err, and which species of Kookaburra Iain?] As an 'obsessed' triathlete, Iain is not happy unless he's spent about 10 hours of the week in the pool, on his lovely road bike or pounding the local Thetford Forest trails. He used to rock-climb. A lot. Then he moved to Norfolk...
 
 
Karen Wright
Karen has been involved in building and maintaining the BTO's online database since it's beginning (Migration Watch) right through to present. As well as managing this and the internal databases, she is Joint Head of the IS Unit along with Iain.
 
When not dealing with databases or other IS matters, Karen prefers to be outdoors, and is interested in all flavours of natural history - sadly she isn't an expert in any particular one!
 
Andy Musgrove
After many years running WeBS (the Wetland Bird Survey), Andy is now Head of Monitoring, a brief that still includes an overview of WeBS, but also of the Breeding Bird SurveyAtlas 2007-11 and BirdTrack, amongst other things. Andy has a strong interest in developing BirdTrack to be the best online bird recording system possible, as he has been scribbling sightings of birds down in paper notebooks since 1983, amassing about 75,000 UK bird records in the process; as a result he is busy making use of the new upload facility to get all his old records into BirdTrack! Most of Andy's birding has been in Yorkshire, Avon, Cornwall and Norfolk, with his most visited sites being the BTO Nunnery Lakes and Barnhamcross Common, Whitlingham Country Park, Horsey Dunes, Buckenham Marshes, Chew Valley Lake, Landulph Marsh and Knotford Nook. Andy has also recorded birds in 26 countries abroad.
 
Andy's memorable birding moments include finding Fea's/Zino's Petrel, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Pacific Swift in the UK, whilst overseas highlights include watching raptor migration over Israel and Short-legged Ground-rollers in Madagascar.
 
Stuart Newson
After spending three years of climbing and sometimes falling out of trees, ringing Cormorants, Stuart felt that it would safer to spend more time in the office trying to make sense of some of the BTO's fantastic datasets. Working as a Senior Research Ecologist, he has come to appreciate that other species can be interesting too! Stuart's recent work has included producing national population estimates, examining the impact of parakeets on native hole-nesting birds and the impacts of climate change, bird flu and deer browsing on woodland birds. At some time or other he has worked with most of the BTO's surveys, and is now looking at what the BirdTrack / Migration Watch dataset can tell us about changes in migration timing.

Stuart is an active birder and has found a few lesser rares [you're too modest, Stu!] in his time in the UK, including Citrine Wagtail, Rustic Bunting, Black-winged Stilt and Black Kite. He was also in the right place at the right time to see the Norfolk Grey-cheeked Thrush, and to twitch Andy’s Yellow-rumped Warbler – thanks Andy!

 
Mark joined the BTO as a Java Web Programmer in May 2010 and spends his work time fixing bugs and building new modules, most recently the Explore My Records tool and Roving Records form.
 
Mark prefers his creature comforts above the great outdoors, and so lists his hobbies as retro computer games and electronics, reading, movies, sleeping, and eating pizza. He is often found after work in a swimming pool in a long running failure to keep fit. Mark is not a ‘twitcher’, and while he likes birds, he couldn’t eat a whole one…