Dave has had a keen interest in birds since his young days growing up in north Lincolnshire, England, with many memorable times spent looking for migrant birds along the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire coasts. This shaped his future career which started as assistant warden at Bardsey Bird Observatory, north Wales in 1981. This was followed by further seasons at the famous Fair Isle Bird Observatory, Shetland before settling on mainland Shetland and working for conservation organisations on seabirds and breeding waders. In 2002, he moved to County Mayo, Ireland to work on restoring habitats for birds such as Corncrakes and Red-necked Phalaropes. He still lives on the rugged west coast of Ireland. He has travelled through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia and Africa, and taken part in two expeditions to China. In recent years Dave has found time to lead many bird tours and has escorted groups to Morocco, Lesbos and Ireland.