Phil Everitt

In memory of Philip John Everitt 1951-2016

Phil retired in 2003 after a thirty-year career in education. He had a passionate interest in raptors and was involved in the study of Honey Buzzards, Harriers and Peregrines for many years. He joined Sussex Peregrine Study in 2005 and played a major role in the conservation of Peregrines despite suffering from a physically restricting lung condition (A1AT) deficiency. Following a bi-lateral lung transplant in 2011 his health improved dramatically for several years and he is pictured here walking in to the mountains in his favourite birding country, Sweden, in search of Great Snipe. Going forward we will take with us, amongst many things, inspiration from his passion and determination.


Bart Atfield

Bartalan John William Atfield 1958-2004

Bart Atfield was born on the 30th June 1958 in Horley, Surrey. After attending infant and junior School at Shottermill, Haslemere and Preparatory School at Newells and Desmoor on the Handcross Park Estate, he went to Ottershaw School, where thanks to the broadmindedness of his teachers, he developed his fascination for wildlife and in particular, birds of prey. He kept Jackdaws, Little Owls, Tawny Owls, Kestrels and one Sparrowhawk. On leaving school, barely 16 years old and after a short stint working at an antiques shop in Hindhead, Bart moved to Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire where he became an underkeeper. Bart moved to Sussex in 1975 and his passion for falcons emerged, during this period he made regular visits to Scotland to watch Peregrines.  In 1988 he acquired and trained a female prairie falcon and together with his pointer ‘Clay’ began hunting game, this was one of several large falcons he would use for both falconry and breeding.  In 1989 he acquired his first tiercel (male peregrine).
Occasionally during the winter of 1989-1990 when Bart was hunting with his tiercel on the downs, a wild female would fly over and hang around near them, sometimes on consecutive days.  There had been sightings of Peregrines in this area before, individual adults and juveniles were being reported all along the coast but the significant difference was that this bird was behaving territorially; The first confirmed sighting in the area of an adult male was in August 1988, it is likely this was the first one to take up the territory and pair with the female Bart was watching. A survey of the cliffs during the breeding season of 1990 confirmed that a pair had in fact produced at least two young; it appears however that only one female survived the fledging period. The Sussex Peregrine Study had begun.

Sadly, Bart died of a heart attack in 2004.

 


 

Chris Broadbent

In Memory of John Christian Broadbent 1961-2010

 

 

 

 

John Walpole-Bond

'Jock'

John Arthington Walpole-Bond 1878-1958

Jock, as he was known to his friends, was the son of a vicar and a decendant of Prime Minister Walpole. Birds and particularly their breeding habits were his one abiding passion. He was known for having seen in situ the eggs of every regular breeding bird on the British list and as an oologist, he had at one time a very comprehensive collection. He spent the early years of his life in Bromley Kent, moved on to Wales where he spent several happy years then finally he settled in Hove, Sussex.

Every single day in spring and summer he would travel immense distances in search of nesting birds, mostly on a bycycle or by foot, he knew the county intimately. In 1938, after thirty years working on it, he produced A History of Sussex Birds in three volumes, published by Witherby. He also began drafting a monograph on The Peregrine but due to the narrow mindedness of envious contemporaries who decried his style of writing (something he was very sensitive about) it never saw the light of day.

Jock was an immensely fit man and he always, until he was nearly 80, took a cold bath and did his morning exercises. He was an exceptional climber and it was said that he knew every ledge and hole between Brighton and Hastings which had ever in living memory been used by a Peregrine Falcon.

John Walpole-Bond's books and ornithological diaries contribute over 50 years of detailed Peregrine records.

(part of this article is abridged from JWB obituary, Published in British Birds Vol 51,1958)