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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Breaking News - the shocking and very tragic death of RUSSELL SLACK

I was shocked to hear this morning of the very tragic death of RUSSELL SLACK after he passed away yesterday evening. Unbeknown to even his closest associates, Russell was suffering from acute liver cancer and never recovered from his illness. He had been actively birding at his beloved Wheldrake Ings in Yorkshire as recently as January of this year and continued to work on Volume 2 of his 'Rare Birds, Where and When' in his spare time. Russell was just 46 years of age and leaves behind his wife Linda and his beautiful daughters India and Ruby - my sincere condolescences go out to them at this very sad time.

Russell had a lifelong interest in birds and our paths regularly crossed in the 1990's when he dabbled with twitching for a spell of some ten years or more. His main interest always lied in 'self-finding' birds and intensive 'patch watching', although Rare Birds always remained a core attraction. He co-authored 'Rare and Scarce Birds in Yorkshire' with Andrew Wilson and also spent several years working with the BirdGuides team, often updating the Daily Bird News.

In recent years, Russell contacted me on a more regular basis, primarily in his work on the aforementioned Rare Birds book and my close relationship with our mutual 'in-house' artist, young Mr Scally. The book was the usual labour of love but Russ was bowled over with delight when it finally ran off the presses and landed on the desk and within a very short time, the entire print run sold out it proved so popular.

He was a very popular guy on the Yorkshire scene and will be very, very sorely missed. We have all been robbed prematurely of a major talent.

Lee G R Evans, 28 February 2013