I found this reference yesterday whilst researching out some details on Spurn. It's a film made in 1950, so almost seventy years ago, and less than a decade after the Spurn Bird Observatory was brought into being. I'd never seen it before and suggest it's essential viewing for anyone with an interest in Spurn, its birds or the Observatory.
Click on this link Film on Spurn Bird Observatory
There are a number of remarkable things about the scenes depicted. Clearly it was de rigeur to wear a long macintosh, a flat cap , stout boots and carry a large stick when driving a Heligoland trap, oh , and be in a suit, preferably with waistcoat !!! Plus too, note the sheer numbers of people involved in guiding the birds into the trap.
Early days, even to the extent of showing the preferred way of using a Dolland and Aitchison Target Major telescope ! It might all look rather amateurish, but it must be acknowledged that , from such efforts, grew the observatory network we see to day, including Spurn which grows from strength to strength. Who would have thought that those early efforts by Ralph Chislett and his colleagues would result in the situation we see today where an award winning book on the birds of Spurn has been published, on land being owned and a new observatory building set up. Tribute indeed and one that leads to a confidence that other such initiatives are likely to follow in the future. A great place, a great example and continuing great efforts in the cause of bird migration studies. And remember, you can do your bit too by becoming a Friend of Spurn ( see the Observatory web site for details ) so that the necessary ideas of the future can move forward.
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