My name is Dermot Cosgrove; I am a veteran of the French Foreign Legion and currently a field based security consultant.
I grew up spending a lot of time in the outdoors which fostered a passion nature and wildlife, I´ve been an avid bird-watcher since my youth and both my time in the military and as a field based security consultant has had me travel to many parts of Africa and the Middle East for the most part with a camera and binoculars and a bird book in my bag.
While long distance marching is an integral part of life in the Foreign Legion I hadn´t done any after leaving until 2017, day hikes in various parts of the West of Ireland as part of my birding activities were a regular thing but a chance conversation on Twitter led to an extensive exchange of emails about hiking the Arctic Circle Trail in West Greenland. Long distance hiking seem to me to be the perfect way to expand my birding activities into places where I was less likely to encounter too many people and Greenland didn´t disappoint. The sight of a White-Tailed Sea Eagle swooping above your head while it hunts Arctic Fox will always be one of my birding highlights.
I followed up the ACT in 2018 when I hiked the first section of the GR10 in the French Pyrenees from Hendaye to the Gite de Kaskoleta which gave me fantastic views of a number of raptors and close encounters with Griffon Vultures.
As part of continually seeking a challenge, in July of this year I´ll be trekking solo from Iceland´s most northerly point on the Rifstangi Peninsula across the highlands to the most southerly point at Dyrholaey (not far from the town of Vik). My route will take me along the famous Laugavegur & Fimmvorduhals hiking trails over the last half of the trip. The first days of the trail will take me close to the sea cliffs of the Rifstangi Peninsula famous for its seabird colonies and then down Myvatn Lake system which is globally famous for its waterfowl.
I spend a lot of time selecting my locations based on the following criteria,
- Fits to a specific time frame because of my work schedule.
- The wildlife I’m likely to see.
- A specific type of challenge (Greenland – Remoteness / GR10 – Mountains / Iceland – Distance)
When I decided to take up long distance hiking and go to these places I also thought I could do some good by supporting a charity. As I had a family connection to Irish Dogs for the Disabled it was a bit of a no brainer as to whom I would support so the idea of Walk for the Dogs was born and will continue.
The idea behind this website is to move full time wildlife and hiking guiding mainly along Ireland´s fantastic Wild Atlantic Way but also further afield in France, Greenland and through a network of contacts I´ve built up in other countries.
This blog will cover training and preparation for long distance hikes, equipment reviews, information on bird species and from time to time guest bloggers involved in the outdoors either in wildlife or hiking or adventure capacity and hopefully inspire more people to get outdoors.
I hope you enjoy, get in touch and come hiking and birding!!