Like most British bird guides, Frank birded all over the UK in his teens, first venturing abroad at age 16. A few years later, he set out with friends (including Dick Filby) on an epic overland adventure, driving through Europe, Iran and Afghanistan to India and Nepal. A couple of years later, he travelled overland from Egypt, through Sudan, Uganda and Kenya and since then has birded most parts of the planet, living in Asia for over 20 years and in South America for another seven.
After getting his degree in Ecology at the University of East Anglia, Frank spent four-years studying fruit-eating birds in Malaysian lowland rainforest and was awarded a PhD by the University of Aberdeen. He went on to study birds at the famous Danum Valley conservation area in Borneo, before working for various international conservation NGOs (most notably BirdLife International) in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Subsequently he birded widely in South America, using Cusco, Peru, as his base.
Although Frank led tours in Southeast Asia in the 1990s, it was only in 2004, when Manu Expeditions employed him in Peru, that he became a professional bird guide. He has led numerous tours in Asia, Australasia, and the Americas. Even whilst working as a bird guide, Frank has devoted much of his spare time to birding off the beaten track, as well as undertaking voluntary conservation work in the Amazon and Marañón regions of Peru, Atlantic forests of Brazil, in various reserves in Colombia and Paraguay, on Codfish Island (New Zealand) and in East Timor.
Frank has written more than fifty papers on birds and is the author of the Pica Press guide to Pittas, Broadbills and Asities. He has made numerous significant discoveries including finding several new birds to science (Talaud Rail, Talaud Bush-hen, Sangihe Scops Owl, Rufous Twistwing) and is a passionate bird sound recordist and has made sound recordings of more than 4,500 species