We would like to welcome a new recruit to the Sea Watch team, David Tompkins, who has recently been appointed as Sea Watch Regional Coordinator for North East Scotland, and North Grampian area!
I’m David and I live in Nairn, on the Moray Firth coast, Scotland. I recently moved to the area from County Durham and it’s given me a great chance to get back to having more involvement with the sea and marine wildlife. I have worked and volunteered in conservation for nearly ten years, although mostly in terrestrial based roles. I’ve been keen on whales and dolphins for ages, but never really been in a position to get involved with them in any way. Now, living on the coast in a region that regularly offers Bottlenose Dolphins and Minke Whales, plus occasional Killer and Humpback Whales, gives me an ideal base to get involved from.
People seem to regularly spot marine mammals in this part of Scotland. I think it’s vitally important to engage with these people, helping to get them involved with recording their sightings and recognising how special marine mammals are. I’d like to play my part in this by helping to link people up with the recording process. It’s my experience that so many people think recording wildlife, be it a hoverfly or a whale, is something that only specialists from conservation organisations can do. But the truth is, it can be so much more than that and it needs to be something that everybody is empowered to do.
So much of what we know about our wildlife across the UK comes from the army of people recording the species they see at the weekend, on their evening walk or out of their window. My aim is to help people in North East Scotland to feel they can make a valuable contribution to our understanding of whales and dolphins by watching out for them and recording what they see. I want to help people to realise that this is both a relaxing and rewarding thing to do.