Monday, 17 October 2016

In Memory : Jim Gordon's birding life

Jim Gordon  in 1984

In 2012 RSPB Liverpool celebrated it's 40th Anniversary, and over the years our membership has seen people come, go and return....  Recently we were reminded of our past when a new member Neil Gordon told us of his father's lifelong  interest in birds and his past connection to RSPB Liverpool. Sadly Neil's father died recently, but in his memory we asked  Neil to  put together a small  piece on his time with our group. 

Neil and his family have bequeathed  Jim's  funeral collection  to our group funds, for this we wish to offer  a huge thanks for this most thoughtful and  generous donation.  

Neil Writes -

Jim’s love of birds began at an early age. As a young boy he would wander the farmlands of Norris Green.  With no field guides or books at home, Jim was one of the generations of self taught birders’, his only source of information being a “borrowed” school book on common birds.

Family life took over for Jim and it wasn’t until his children grew that he began to fall in love with his childhood hobby again.  Living in Fazakerley he would spend hours watching Redpoll and Bullfinch in Fazakerley woods finding the occasional good bird like Long Eared Owls and would come home excitedly  telling all the family of his great finds. 
The big breaking point in his birding life came when he bought his first car, a VW Beetle and he was soon to be found at Seaforth, Lunt, Hale, Frodsham and Marshside.

Jim joined the local RSPB Liverpool group in the early eighties and spent many great days out with the group enjoying the meetings as he loved to learn and soon realised the other birders in the group were happy to pass on their knowledge.  Jim and his family spent many happy trips to the Solway with RSPB Liverpool led by Ted Richards and even ventured abroad for the first time to Majorca on a group holiday. His appetite for scarcer birds had now been lit by the group.

What followed for Jim were many happy late summer holidays to Norfolk, ticking off birds he had only dreamt of seeing whilst reading his bird books at night. The one major trip he always longed for was a two week birding holiday on the Scillys’, which he and his family enjoyed in ’84.
Jim loved to travel to see rare birds, from the Little Whimbrel in Norfolk to the White Billed Diver in Northern Scotland. If he could get there it was game on.

When Jim retired from bus driving after 30 years, it was back to local birding, with his favourite patch being Seaforth Docks.  As Jim’s health began to decline and he stopped driving, it was down to park and garden birding with the occasional twitch if he could get a lift off someone.  His love of birds, common or rare, never faded and is last day in the field was to see a male smew at Lunt this year. He came home that day tired and sore but with a broad grin on his face.

Birding full circle for my dad over the space of 70 plus years’ with lots of memories of good friends and great days out.

Jim Gordon
18/03/1936 – 12/09/2016

Thank you Neil

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