After 13 years of leading offshore wildlife trips in the North Sea, Northern Experience Senior Guide Martin Kitching is looking forward to this year's programme of trips with the same sense of anticipation as in all of those previous years.
As well as leading hundreds of hours of offshore wildlife watching, Martin is Lead Surveyor for the Northeast Cetacean Project
and a member of the northeast regional hub for Netgain
(the North Sea Marine Conservation Zones Project).
Asked for the highlight of his North Sea pelagic trips, Martin finds it hard to pick one stand-out moment "finding the first Wilson's Petrel for the British North Sea, in 2002, on an extraordinary morning that also produced sightings of 2 Ocean Sunfish, was a birdwatching highlight, but the White-beaked Dolphins on our groundbreaking Farne Deeps pelagic
in 2010 possibly just achieve that accolade".
Far from being a hard-bitten cynical businessman, Martin's primary concern is conservation - "Being involved with the Netgain Project, and studying the distribution of White-beaked Dolphins and other marine mammals as part of the Northeast Cetacean Project, has really hammered home how important it is that we protect and preserve our seas for future generations of all the groups that use our offshore waters. Being a responsible, environmentally-aware, business that helps to raise the profile of local conservation seems a good part of the foundation of that"
For details of the 2011 Northern Experience Pelagics click here