Saturday 25 February 2017

Another legendary birder bows out - Norfolk Ornithologist PETER CLARKE

Peter Clarke lived for Holme Bird Observatory in North Norfolk - it's birds, mammals & butterflies filled his life of that environ for the best part of 50 years. Sadly, Penny Clarke texted me the devastating news that her father had quietly passed away last Thursday, after a very long battle with illness - the end of yet another chapter in UK birding I am afraid. I first met Peter in the mid 1970's when twitching Tawny Pipit, Lesser Grey Shrike and Black-eared Wheatear on the reserve. Although he wasn't a great fan of twitching and its antics, he always had time for me, as I would try and cajole him with my counts of migrating European Turtle Doves and Linnets that were a feature of North Norfolk back then. He was a character that reminded me of my headmaster (always telling me off) and I remember getting into a heated conversation with him after he trapped & ringed a Thrush Nightingale on site without saying a word and releasing it unreported. He was certainly one of the greats though, pioneering so much information in my formative birding years. Goodbye Peter