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Synopsis

The Rev. John Morell McWilliam was one of the great characters of the Scottish bird world and first Honorary President of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club. He is best known as the author of the much sought-after “The Birds of the Island of Bute” and “The Birds of the Firth of Clyde” (also available in Kobostore).

Fellow founders of the SOC affectionately named McWilliam “Scotland’s Minister for Ornithology” and that’s the title given to this new collection of rare papers and notes from publications like The Zoologist, British Birds and Scottish Naturalist. Of special interest is a lengthy paper from 1945 describing McWilliam’s discovery of the world’s 21st gannetry at the Scar Rocks in the Solway Firth.

The ebook also includes fascinating extracts from his bird notebooks as well as a previously unpublished and often hilarious autobiography.

Contents:

Part One: Early Papers 1914-16

Notes on the Tree Sparrow in Donegal

Notes on the Birds of Linlithgow Loch

Notes on Some Irish Birds

Part Two: Island of Bute 1915-1928

The Brent Goose In Bute

Notes on Some of the Birds in Bute

The Yellow Wagtail in the Seine-Inférieure

The Open Winter and Early Nesting

Notes on the Birds of Buteshire and Ayrshire

The Roosting Habits of the Rooks of Bute

Great Black-backed Gull Breeding in Buteshire

Great Black-backed Gull Nesting in Clyde Area

Nesting of the Wigeon in Bute

Breeding of Eider in the Clyde Area

Increase of Eider Ducks in the Firth of Clyde

The Continental Song-Thrush in Bute

Field Notes on the Twite and the Linnet

Colour of Bill of Twite

Some Abnormal Eggs of Wild Birds

Spotted Redshank in Bute

Notes about writing The Birds of the Island of Bute

Part Three: Firth of Clyde 1928-1938

In Memoriam – John PatersonThe Corncrake in Bute

Breeding of the Water-Rail in Bute

The Grasshopper-Warbler in Bute

Diving-powers of the Herring-Gull

Some Considerations on Bird Fluctuations

The Problem of the Ringed Guillemot

Arctic Tern Nesting in Bute

Census of Black-headed Gulls Nesting in Bute

Colour of Bill of Hebridean Twite in Nesting Season

The Water Shrew on Pladda Island

Roost of Twites in Outer Hebrides

Colour of Lesser Black-backed Gull Affected by Angle of Light

The Irish Dipper in Argyllshire

Part Four: Tynron, Dumfriesshire (1939-52)

Breeding of the Gannet on the Scar Rocks

On the Relation of the Short-earned Owl to the Common Vole

The Scar Rocks Gannetry

The Birds of the Scar Rocks: the Wigtownshire Gannetry

Increase of Siskins in Dumfriesshire

Bird Territory as a “Fixed Address”

What is a Sub-species?

The Birds of Sanda Island

Part Five: Bird Notebooks (1902-1936)

Part Six: An Irish Boyhood

A Personal Record, 1957

Supplement to A Personal Record, 1960

Part Seven: Memoirs of the Great War

Part Eight: Tributes

Recollections by Donald Watson

Obituary by Sir Arthur Duncan

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