Who we are

Garden BirdWatch Organiser: Kate Risely

Kate took over as Garden BirdWatch Organiser in 2014, following ten years at the BTO working in the Ringing Team then running the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey. She is a strong believer in the value of citizen science and public engagement in wildlife conservation, and is committed to making the best possible use of the records collected by Garden BirdWatchers. Kate has many years' experience of bird surveys, is a licensed bird ringer, and enjoys recording moths, butterflies and marine life. As well as contributing to scientific papers and editing Bird Table, Kate writes articles for the birding press, including a long-running column in BirdWatching magazine. Kate lives on the edge of a village in south-west Norfolk, and hopes one day to attract Little Owls to her garden nest box.

Garden BirdWatch Development Officer: Claire Boothby

Claire joined as GBW Development Officer in November 2016, after completing her MSc thesis, which looked at a novel way to conserve nesting seabirds. She has previously worked for the National Trust, in Polesden Lacey, situated in the Surrey Hills and on The Farne Islands in Northumberland. She believes in the importance of scientific research in shaping land management decisions and the need for scientific research to be more accessible to everyone. She's undertaken surveys on small mammals, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians and is a trainee bird ringer. She enjoys watching the wildlife in her garden and has recently moved to Norfolk where she aims to design her own beautiful wildlife garden. 

Garden BirdWatch Administrator: Heather Pymar

Heather is our full-time Administrator and has been with the Team since 2007. Since coming to work for the BTO her interest in birds has blossomed, to the extent that she has since been on one of the BTO's birdwatcher training weekends. She birdwatches regularly in Thetford Forest and at the RSPBs Lakenheath Fen Reserve, where she sometimes sees the Cranes, Marsh Harriers and (in summer) the Golden Orioles.

Garden BirdWatch Assistant: Donna Hobbs

Donna joined us in 2009 but has been a BTO Garden BirdWatcher for many years. Donna feeds her birds year-round, attracting a range of fairly common species, with the occasional unexpected visitor (a pair of Egyptian Geese were regular over a few weeks the other year). She also provides nesting opportunities, with a Robin in residence in one of her boxes during 2010. Donna job shares with Nicky and is usually here on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

Garden BirdWatch Assistant: Nicky Ward

Nicky joined as Garden BirdWatch Assistant in March 2013. Her interest in wildlife was sparked whilst living abroad and it has been growing since she came to work for the BTO. She is an enthusiastic gardener and her large rural garden has many wildlife-friendly areas. It attracts many different birds but she particularly likes seeing Long-tailed Tits and Goldfinches. She job shares with Donna and can be found here Wednesday to Friday.