About Simon STARR
I have been fascinated by wildlife, and particularly birds from a young age.
I began my birding in the southeast of England, and as I got older travelled all over the British Isles, a wonderful place to be a birder. My passion for the natural world lead me to study Ecology following which I visited and worked at a number of Bird Observatories, in the UK, Canada and Australia. My local birding patch was the salubrious Beddington Sewage Farm in south London, and along with two birding mates we produced the first ever bird report for the farm. The focus on this area by amateur naturalists has developed and today conservation programs are operating there.
After a variety of jobs interspersed with travel to a number of exciting birding destinations connecting with over 2,500 of our planet’s avian wonders, I eventually married and settled in Australia age 28. This started a whole new and exciting chapter in my life as we started up a horticultural business in northern Victoria, and raised two children. Discovering the birdlife in my new “backyard” was a bit like starting birding all over again, and what a backyard Victoria turned out to be. I quickly realized that many of the fantastic birding sites I was finding were rarely if ever visited by others. As a member of Birdlife Australia I assisted with organizing and leading a few campouts which were very successful and sparked the passion in me to share my knowledge of birds and the many special places I had found with others.
As well as operating Victoria’s longest running bird tour company, I am a moderator for Birdline Victoria, a site for the reporting of rare bird sightings, I am conservation officer and treasurer of the Echuca and district branch of Birdlife Australia, representing our group on many issues affecting birdlife in the region. I am a member of the Friends of Terrick Terrick National Park and was their secretary for a number of years. I am also a member of Landcare, a grass roots organization committed to improving the health of our environment. During my year as president of the Loddonvale Landcare group I was able with much assistance to protect an important wetland and Brolga nesting site, as well as contribute to the planting of many thousands of locally indigenous plants. I was a contributor to the book “Where to find birds in Victoria” and am involved with the recently formed Victorian Recovery Group for the Plains-wanderer, which aims to see an end to the recent dramatic decline in numbers of this bird. Spending time in the field will always be my favorite pastime, and sharing it with others gives me great pleasure.