We would like to welcome a new recruit to the Sea Watch team, Martin Kitching, who has recently been appointed as Sea Watch Regional Coordinator for NE England!
Martin is the Director and Senior Guide at Northern Experience Wildlife Tours (NEWT) and a Director of Astroventures. Fascinated by everything in the world around him since a very young age, Martin divides his work time between leading wildlife, landscape and photography day tours, workshops and package holidays for NEWT and delivering sessions covering a range of astronomy topics for Astroventures. Whether searching for Otters on the Northumberland coast, cetaceans in the North Sea or raptors over the moorland and forests of inland Northumberland, Martin’s relentless scanning and concentration means that he’s usually the first to spot the target species on any trip. Martin’s astrophotography concentrates on widefield nightscapes, the Milky Way and aurora. His wildlife and landscape images have featured in several magazines and books, including the award-winning travel guide ‘Wild Times’.
Martin is also the North East regional officer for MARINElife and has been organising pelagic wildlife trips off the coast of Northumberland for over 20 years, spending much of that time mapping the distribution and abundance of White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals off the North East coast of England, identifying key feeding and calving areas and making important contributions to the location and designation of Marine Conservation Zones off the Northumberland coast. A qualified MMO (Marine Mammal Observer), PAM (Passive Acoustic Monitoring) Operator and ESAS (European Seabirds at Sea) Surveyor, Martin is in his element when he’s offshore with a camera in his hands or carrying out transect surveys, and he’s a mentor on the CalMAP survey project off the west coast of Scotland. He’s also one of the organisers of the Big Watch Weekend, a coordinated series of shorewatches from North East England during the National Whale and Dolphin Watch each year
In his ‘spare time’ Martin is a British Cycling Level 2 Road and Time Trial coach and occasionally finds time to ride his bike – Otter, Harbour Porpoise, White-beaked Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin and Minke Whale are all on his ‘wildlife bike list’.
Look out for future events in NE England and if you want to report a cetacean sighting in the area, contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 07908 119535.
If you are interested in getting involved in Sea Watch’s work and are based in this region, do not hesitate to contact Sea Watch Sightings Officer, Chiara at email@example.com for more information!