John Hughes

Location: Andover, Hampshire
About me...

Hi, life dealt me a good hand. I have been blessed with good health, a wonderful wife of 50 years, five children and nine grandchildren. I was in full time employment for 57 years in exciting and interesting jobs. My hobby is birding, and I have studied tropical seabirds on the UK’s Overseas Territory of Ascension Island and migratory birds on Salisbury Plain. I have pursued my lifelong passion for birds in the Army Ornithological Society. At the age of 69 I obtained a PhD from my 25 years study of seabirds. My work received an environmental project award from the Ministry of Defence. I have published 15 scientific papers and regularly present my findings.

About my Talk...

My talks are about birds but also cover military history, conservation, wildlife on tropical islands and on Salisbury Plain. My talks are illustrated with high quality digital images on Powerpoint, each talk lasts about 45 minutes. I have delivered my talks to academics, U3A, Probus, WI’s and care homes. The talks are independent of each other but are linked. Questions from the audience are welcomed through the talk. I bring with me my own computer and projector with a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). If necessary, I can bring a large screen.


Starting figure is £50 plus travelling expenses @ 45p per mile if more than ten miles from my base in Andover.

My Contact Details:

01980 843467

Boobies and Noddies - The Birds of Ascension Island

Public Speaker in Hampshire John Hughes talks about 'Sea Birds in Ascension'

Boobies and Noddies are amazing seabirds that nest on Ascension Island a tiny tropical military outpost of empire. Ascension’s bizarre environment is perfect for seabirds, the birds are magical with little fear of people. With the aid of stunning images, I tell stories of the island’s history and its birds.

Loving birds – Avian science of Ascension

Public Speaker in Hampshire John Hughes talks about 'Sea Birds in Ascension'

Birds need our help. Seabird populations on the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Ascension Island have declined dramatically. With the aid of stunning images, I reveal how a team of citizen scientists from the Army Ornithological Society have discovered some of the causes of the decline and ways of restoring the seabird population.

Where have all the birds gone?

There is no doubt that bird populations worldwide have plummeted. I use the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon to illustrate the scale of losses. My talk focuses on the decline in bird populations in the UK and explores losses due to the collection of wild bird eggs, the millinery trade, exotic predators, habitat loss and highlights global warming and disease as the latest threats.

Goggled-eyed plover and Quail nesting on Salisbury Plain

Public Speaker in Hampshire John Hughes talks about Goggled-eyed plover and Quail nesting on Salisbury Plain

I have completed population surveys of Stone-curlew and Quail on Salisbury Plain for the last 20 years. Stone-curlew were counted in their pre-migration night roost and Quail were monitored by listening for calling males. Here I talk about the migratory birds that visit Salisbury Plain and presents the results of my population surveys of these rare birds.

Testimonials & Reviews


“John’s presentation was educational, interesting and entertaining. His talk, aided by beautiful photographs, was about the history, the geology, the wildlife, and in particular, the birds that live on or visit Ascension Island. John’s talk was well prepared and his delivery of it was excellent. He spoke clearly, so everybody could hear what he said and kept the attention and interest of our members throughout his talk”

Sally  – February 2024


“John has a comfortable conversational style speaks clearly and everything could be heard. His commentary on the bird life on Ascension Island was detailed and accompanied by fine photographs. His information on the history of the island and its use over the years could be expanded to good effect.”

Peter – Probus Club – June 2023

John Hughes Contact Details:

01980 843467

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