14th August – Catching The Bug   Leave a comment

The cover of Catching The Bug.

On the 14th I had an early morning, yet unremarkable ringing trip to Durlston. I opted to rest during the afternoon as I knew I had a full evening ahead of me.

Mark Constantine and Nick Hopper have just written an excellent book on birds, birding and birders of Poole Harbour, called ‘Catching The Bug’. The book is an account of Mark and Nick’s fascination with the area and is based around conversations and debates that Poole birders have had at the pub (and also at the reception of Margaret and my wedding). Many of the local birders feature in the book and many of the best stories of the last quarter century are retold including several that involve me. I particularly liked Mark’s description of me ‘Ian is very well read, acting as the Wikipedia at the pub. You know, not always accurate but no one else knows enough to argue.’

Mark invited all us who are mentioned in the book to the book launch at Storms restaurant in Poole, as well as an excellent meal it was a great chance to meet up with many other Poole Harbour birders and their spouses.

Simon Emerson (R) of The Imagined Village with Mark and Mo’s son, also named Simon.

Margaret with the Olympic Torch. Mo Constantine was selected as one of the Torch bearers and many of us took turns to photographed with it.

On everyone’s behalf, Shaun thanks Mark for his generosity and congratulates Mark and Nick for producing the book. In the lower left is Arnoud van den Berg, fellow member of the Sound Approach and editor of Dutch Birding.

Mark responds to the toast and ensures us that at least some parts of the book are true! Apologies for the lack of sharpness, by this time a full bottle of wine was affecting my stability.

Clearly the book is of particular significance to those of us who live in Poole and are mentioned in the book, but Mark and Nick touch on many issues of wider interest; global warming, identification and possible speciation in Cuckoos, Cormorants, Chiffchaffs and Dartford Warblers, ups and downs of our local bird populations, record assesment, suppresion and release of rare bird news, bird races etc and, as you would excpect from a Sound Approach book, great photos, wonderful paintings by Killian Mullarney and two CDs of bird sounds mentioned in the text.

Sylvia (undata) dartfordiensis – Bibby’s Warbler – an English endemic? Read the book to find out.

Posted August 16, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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