Colin Bibby recruited me to the RSPB – for which I will always be grateful (and the story of that is in Fighting for Birds p 30). Colin passed away 13 years ago, and is still missed by those of us who worked with him, his other friends, and of course relations. As his gravestone says ‘His soul lives on through his work, but most of all through his family’. For those of you who didn’t know him, here are obituaries from British Birds, Ibis and The Guardian.
Yesterday evening the church at Caldecote, near Cambridge, was filled, for the dedication of a window in Colin’s memory (see here for some rather interesting detail on the process behind such an event). We, many I’m afraid of very little faith, were invited to look at the birds of the air (which many of us do quite a lot) and consider the lilies of the valley, but we also went through our memories of Colin as a mentor, colleague and friend.
And the stained glass window is charming and fittingly illustrates the subject of Colin’s PhD study, the Dartford Warbler.
Before the service, a Hobby flew over Colin’s family’s house, and as I drove home I stopped to look at Corn Buntings on the wires by the barley field above Gamlingay – I’m sure Colin would often have seen them there too as he drove home from the RSPB’s HQ of The Lodge. When Colin did his PhD study of the Dartford Warbler in Dorset and Hampshire he would have seen Hobbies over the lowland heathland, but they were rather rarer then, and Corn Buntings were much commoner. Colin would have had something interesting, intelligent and practical to say about both species – he always did.
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