My name is Robert Hoare and ever since I can remember I have always had a fascination with nature, but a love of birds is my true passion and started from a very early age.
It was during my Comprehensive school years when my birding really started to take off. Meeting my good school friend Billy Simpson we would spend all our spare time birdwatching at various sites in Nottinghamshire, and regular weekend trips to Gibraltar Point in Linconshire. In the early eighties we progressed onto the Twitching scene thinking nothing of hitch hiking all over the country to see the latest rare bird. The lure of rare birds lasted for many years and I do still go on the odd twitch if I've not seen the species before.
In 1995 I moved to Clifton with my girlfriend Yvonne who is now my wife. Moving to Clifton I discovered the area of woodland next to the river Trent known as the Grove. Before I moved to the area I had never even heard of Clifton Grove but will never forget my first visit. Walking down the steep hill from Clifton Village towards the river I was amazed at the different types of habitat within the area. The more visits I made to the area the more I saw the potential of an excellent birding area in a part of the county previously ignored by birdwatchers. Making regular visits since 1995 I am now an avid patch watcher and most of all of my spare time is now spent in the area. My main passion here is recording visible migration throughout the different seasons. At times the area can seem virtually bird less but the lure of finding something special keeps me going. Since 2002 I have been keeping records of all sightings as well as arrival dates of migrants, prior to 2002 I didn't see the need to keep records of what I had seen in the area, This is probably my biggest mistake in all my years of birdwatching as seven years of records and migration dates are now lost forever.
The Website Clifton Grove Birds first went online in June 2003. In November 2009 it had a complete revamp, with many new pages added and is now regularly attracting 250 visitors a week. The site is gradually gaining a reputation as a reliable online guide to finding birds in an previously ignored area. With a regular updated sightings page, eight years of Archive listings and a Systematic List with information on each species including arrival dates of migrants and many photos. Hopefully this website will give any visitors a pretty good idea of the best time to visit and what birds are likely to be seen in the area.