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Friday, 30 December 2011

Brian Unwin loses long battle against cancer - he sadly passed away last night

Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, Brian Unwin was a keen writer for the Press Association and was always keen to get as many stories as possible in about birds and other wildlife. He would talk to me on a weekly basis looking for ideas and breaking news and had hundreds of stories and articles published during his career. He was also an extremely keen and capable birder and living in coastal Whitburn (on the notorious Shearwater Estate) was priveleged to have several rare species visit his garden, including Bluethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch and Pallas's Leaf Warbler. This sadly was the last time I saw Brian - whilst visiting the area to see the male Chestnut Bunting that Ian Mills had found in his garden.

Brian became ill in 2007 and fought a long battle with cancer. As a consequence, he was forced to retire from the work he loved and was restricted in his movements. Frustratingly, this incapacity kept him away from the Eastern Crowned Warbler, just three miles away from his house.

Brian was the founder of the Durham Bird Club and spent countless hours carrying out Atlas work. He also spent over 30 years working for the 'Northern Echo' writing mainly about nature.

My heartfelt condolescences are sent to his wife Jennifer and family

Lee Evans