Meet the Guides: Alan and Ruth, The Biggest Twitchers

Alan and Ruth

Alan and Ruth

Alan Davies and Ruth Miller are world birders and authors of The Biggest Twitch: Around the World in 4,000 Birds. Coming back to North Wales after their extraordinary, year-long adventure,  Alan and Ruth set up their own company, BirdWatching Trips, which offers guided birdwatching daytrips, weekends and longer tours in North Wales, across the UK and in Europe. Instead of twitching, they now enjoy running relaxed-paced guided birdwatching tours sharing the very best birds with other people. Nature Travel Network is pleased to have them cover the UK and Europe, with occasional excursions wherever their bins may lead. Find their articles here.

About Alan Davies

“Birds are my passion, always have been. From a very early age, birds have been the focus of my life. The reason to suffer altitude sickness in the Andes to see an Ecuadorian Hillstar, trek across the Karoo desert in 45°C to glimpse a small grey Eremomela, empty my stomach over the side of a small boat with engine failure just to see an Isabelline Wheatear it has always been birds. To see birds in wonderful places is what I live for.”

Birds have always played an important role in Alan’s life, from his first job cast adrift as a warden alone on Llandwyn Island off Anglesey at the tender age of 16, to paddling about in dinghy off the North Norfolk coast protecting a huge tern colony. For six years, Alan was the Site Manager of the RSPB reserve at Conwy on the North Wales coast, and oversaw its development into a popular visitor attraction as well as a haven for wildlife. Although this was the dream job for a keen birder, Alan gave up his job with the RSPB to travel the world  with Ruth and fulfill a lifetime ambition with The Biggest Twitch, their year of travelling the globe in 2008 to set a new birding world record.

BiggestTwitchLogoAs the author of the successful site guide ‘Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales’, he has over thirty years’ experience of finding the very best birds. He runs Birdline Wales and Birdline North West, the successful information service established in 1990, run by birdwatchers for birdwatchers, so with access to up-to-the minute bird information, he is in a unique position to know just what birds are being seen and where. Born and bred in North Wales, nobody knows birdwatching here better than Alan!

About Ruth Miller

Ruth is a relative rarity in the UK: a female birder who goes birding regularly herself for the sheer pleasure of looking at birds. Already a keen outdoors girl interested in wildlife, Ruth met Alan through their mutual work at the RSPB, and her passion for birds grew under his influence.

Since leaving her job as the RSPB’s Head of Trading and moving to North Wales, Ruth has worked as a freelance marketing consultant which allows her the freedom to escape the computer if a good bird shows up. When not writing marketing plans, Ruth can often be seen walking and birding in the beautiful Welsh countryside. Combining this with her third passion of drinking tea, Ruth has written the popular ‘Birds, Boots and Butties’ books on the best places in North Wales for birding, walking and enjoying a good cuppa, with other regional editions on the way.

“I’m always looking for something new, I want to see what’s just around the corner. I walk along looking at life rather than where I’m putting my feet, and if it’s flying, crawling, growing or flowering, I want to take a closer look at it, even if I don’t know its name.

When I’m old, I want to be able to look back on our big adventure of The Biggest Twitch, our world record breaking birding year in 2008. That was a truly life-changing experience! Now we’re back living in North Wales, there’s nothing we enjoy more than sharing our wonderful birds and beautiful scenery with other people on our guided birdwatching trips.”

Reach out to Alan and Ruth if you’re interested in reading The Biggest Twitch or hiring them for guided birdwatching daytrips, weekends and longer tours in North Wales, across the UK and in Europe. With their knowledge and experience, there’s no-one better than Alan and Ruth of The Biggest Twitch to offer you the best “home-brewed” birdwatching experience.


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