Saturday, January 12, 2019

Down Memory Lane

Surfing as one might on a rather dull morning and on the website of Fylde Bird Club, Lancashire, I stumbled across a page full of their old Newsletters. The newsletters, now in PDF form and dated from 1983 to 2017 provide a source of historic local information to both members and non-members alike. 

Inside June/July 1983 Number 4, was a piece submitted by one Phil Slade about the finding of a rare bird on a June evening in 1983. In those days I was a member of the club, one of ten or twelve founder members who set up the club as a way of developing interest in the local site of Marton Mere, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). 

In the early eighties the mere was threatened with development by interests wholly unsympathetic to wildlife. Despite the SSSI the mere was a free-for-all to many varied interests with little concern for its status as an SSSI. Club members took on an evening rota to try and deter the many undesirable elements from destroying the site’s value – birds’ egg thieves, scrambler bikes, unruly dogs with and unruly owners, charging horses topped by inconsiderate riders. You name it, Marton Mere had the lot.  

After an encounter one evening with a muddy dog and an unpleasant owner I recall taking a different route to escape the abuse.

Read on …. 

Fylde Bird Club June/July 1983

Fylde Bird Club June/July 1983

Fylde Bird Club June/July 1983

Apologies about the quality of the images above.  This was pre-digital and pre-mobile phones.  Remember that?

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern

Also, from Page One above: "Information regarding breeding birds in the Fylde has been somewhat sparse, so strengths and weaknesses of locally breeding birds must unfortunately pass undocumented for another year - let's hope we can improve on this for the future".

Strange then that a year or two later some members of the club helped put a block on bird ringing at the mere, studies that would have provided much needed data. It was because of this myopia that I broke my relationship with the bird club.  It is only in very recent years, following a proposal from Andy Dixon plus a new enlightened approach from Blackpool Borough Council, that ringing is now encouraged and supported.

Linking today's post to Anni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


David Gascoigne said...

It is always really interesting to look back on this kind of commentary and to reflect on the changes that have occurred, both at the site, and in one’s own life, attitudes and outlooks. It is also daunting to realize that thirty odd years can go by in the seeming blink of an eye. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your past, Phil.

Betty Crow said...

I remember pre-digital and pre-mobile phones. Kind of wish the latter hadn't been invented. It's nice to be away from phones occasionally. The tern shots are impressive. I really like the in-flight shot.

Margaret Adamson said...

Looking back is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Love the Tern images Phil. Have a great weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It is always interesting to look back and see how things have progressed...or if they have not. Your photos are seeing the Tern in flight!

italiafinlandia said...

Your Tern is a beauty!

Jenn Jilks said...

You are an amazing advocate! Good on ya!
Your photos are wonderful, as well.
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Wally Jones said...

I have a feeling that you can recall that sighting with utmost clarity today. Thank goodness you chose a different path and remained true to your own philosophy. Birding is richer for it.

Many thanks, Phil, for sharing a bit of personal, as well as local ornithological history. Of course, your steadfastness makes me feel like a slacker …..

Here's hoping your weather cooperates this coming week so we can catch up on your present day adventures!

Anni said...

I can't believe they'd not want ringing/banding of birds (or ANYwildlife research). I'd be with you on leaving that group. Loved reading your paper...thanks for going back in time for us. After all, it's history & I love history.

Never heard of this Tern...a new species for me!

And, my thanks goes out to you for sharing this all with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin this weekend.

Rhodesia said...

So interesting to look back on these sort of things and we have computers to thank for it. I well remember the days of before computers and even TVs !!
Take care Diane

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Very interesting history of the club and as always I love your photography.

NC Sue said...

Thanks for sharing with us at

eileeninmd said...

Hello, It is great to find the newsletters online. I love all the Terns, they are cool birds and one of my favorites. Thanks again for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Birding, enjoy your week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Interesting to see the old newsletter …
That Whiskered Tern looks beautiful, great photographs.

All the best Jan

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