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Bird watch to aid radio station.

EARLY bird Paul Davidson will be up with the larks to use his ornithological expertise to benefit hospital patients.

Paul, who lives at Sunniside in Gateshead, presents an afternoon show on Radio Tyneside, the volunteer-run station which broadcasts to hospitals in Newcastle and Gateshead.

The station is celebrating its 60th birthday and has launched an appeal to raise pounds 60,000 to replace its ageing equipment.

Next Saturday Paul will put his skills, built up in over 40 years of bird watching, to good use to support the fundraising campaign.

He will set out on a 24-hour sponsored bird watch with the aim of recording 70 species in Gateshead.

By noting birds he either sees or hears, Paul hopes to raise at least pounds 500.

"It's a tall order, but it's not impossible," said Paul, who points out that each year birdwatchers in Gateshead record between 140 and 150 species.

He has drawn up a list of the best birding sites to visit in Gateshead.

These include Shibdon Pond nature reserve in Blaydon, Lamesley water meadows and the nearby Northumbrian Water treatment works with its reed beds, Ravensworth Fell, Thornley Woods and the Derwent Valley, Crawcrook Sled Lane pond, Chopwell Wood and River Tyne mudflats exposed at low tide at Dunston.

"This is a good time to do the sponsored bird watch because migrant birds are arriving," said Paul, who will be accompanied by partner Eileen. "We have no idea what will turn up. It's like the throw of a dice and it will also depend on the weather."

People can sponsor Paul on www.radio tyneside. co uk

CAPTION(S):

SPONSORED BIRDWATCH Ornithologist Paul Davidson is raising money for Radio Tyneside
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 7, 2011
Words:282
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