Tuesday, 5 January 2010

They named it after me!

Thanks to John Bateman for this pic of the Grey Wagtail which visited his garden. Hopefully he will soon be able to take up his optics once again and accompany me in a back to normal mode......fingers crossed John.


There's a Bairds Sandpiper currently SE of Dunblane in Lothian and there's a connection between Spencer Fullerton Baird and one of the founder members of the American Ornithologists' Union called Dr Elliot B Coues in that he was responsible for naming the sandpiper after Baird following his description of the bird in 1861, Coues also has a flycatcher and a Gadwall (now extinct) named after himself. Baird who became a giant in American Ornithology was also the young friend of John James Audubon was has five bird species named after him including an Audubon's Shearwater.


Thomas Bewick was an English ornithologist who never saw America, but most natural history student's knew is works as the best known English illustrator of his generation. William Yarrell named the swan after Bewick in 1830. The same J J Audubon above also named another bird after him, the Bewick's Wren. Shortly before Bewick died he paid a final visit to Audubon and met another visitor named William Swainson thus becoming a gathering of the three greatest natural history artists of their age.


Prince Charles Lucian Bonaparte was a nephew of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, he died before accomplishing the publication of a complete list of the world's birds. The Bonaparte's Gull was named after him but probably not everyone will know that out of a list of ten birds named after him one of them - which we now know as the White-rumped Sandpiper - was given the name Bonaparte's Sandpiper by L J P Vieillot in 1819.

As a point of interest the Turnstone mentioned in yesterday's post bearing rings on it's right leg and photographed on Plover Scar at Cockersands, the most up to date info I have on the bird is that it appears to have been marked on Hilbre Island in August of last year.

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