1 month ago
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
A day out with Messrs Cook and Forster
Whilst travelling back from a short-range twitch to Devon on Saturday, news broke of a Forster's Tern in Essex. I have a bit of history with this species, as having only started chasing rare birds in the late 1990s, and dipped a couple of times on a long-staying bird at Tollesbury Wick in the same county, there hasn't been another readily accessible British occurrence since. Speaking of history, J R Forster, after whom the Tern is named, was an 18th century clergyman naturalist from Danzig who accompanied James Cook on his second voyage around the world in 1772-73. During this, according to Beolens and Watkins, he gained a reputation as a 'constant complainer and troublemaker'. A man after my own heart then.