Thursday, 27 August 2015

Good bye John Finlayson....

I was quite chuffed to roll over to 110 on my cycling list for the county with this marvellous looking duck.
I was at home about to update my Birdtrack app when I noticed my Gmail was flashing to let me know John Finlayson had posted on his blog, Birdtrack can wait I thought. I hadn't seen a blog post from John for a while and assumed he was on holiday so was keen to see what he had been up to.
Sadly it was actually his family posting to say he had unexpectedly passed away on Friday. To say I was gutted is understatement. I'm actually tearful as I write, surely not John I kept saying to myself.
John was truly a top bloke. Unlike most of the people whose blogs I read I'd met John quite a few times out and about. Only once up at his patch of Titchmarsh where I first met him and he showed me round the reserve showing me all the best places, what I could expect to see etc. Not many people willingly show you around a reserve so comprehensively and thoroughly. I'd meet him a few more times mostly at Summer Leys but he really did birdwatch his local area so didn't see him at Summer Leys too often. But when he did visit he always come over for a friendly chat and laugh. We'd chat for ages about camera's, camera settings and the positives about birding.
 His enthusiasm for photography was infectious. As was his love of nature and for me he also had a passion for planes. As did I so we always had something to chat about when we met.
My last time I saw John he remarked how he loved reading my blog (told you he had a sense of humour). I mentioned he should do a blog about too and especially Titchmarsh. He wasn't convinced but I pointed out hardly anyone writes about the reserve and other blogs seem to be about the same places. He wasn't sure he was able to do the technical bits but I briefly showed him how on the smartphone and pointed out if I  could anyone can do it, he laughed. A few days later I had a new follower it was John and he was blogging about Titchmarsh amongst other things.

I really do wish I had seen him a few more times before he sadly passed away. A great birder, photographer, Blogger and someone I was always pleased to see,  a true gent. YOU'LL BE MISSED BY MANY.
R.I.P JOHN.

8 comments:

  1. HI Douglas Thank you for writing this tribute to John. Although I never knew him he must have been a lovely man who probably had a smile to everyone. Love all the duck images. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thanks Margaret, you're absolutely right he was a lovely man who will be missed

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  2. I never had the pleasure of meeting John, although we would regally email each other about various different topics. We both followed each others blogs and it was penciled in for me to visit him in the autumn when the Starling flocks start to gather at Titchmarch. Obviously a really nice bloke who I am sure will be truly missed. Best wishes to his family and friends......

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    1. Thanks Paul, Titchmarsh will seem empty without his presence you would've like the bloke I know all who met him did.

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  3. Sorry about your friend passing mate. When are you going to call me? Text me your number

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    1. Sorry about that Ben, my mind has been elsewhere at the moment.

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  4. After our first visit to Titchmarsh, Jonah & I found John's blog and it became a staple in Jonah's growing love for birds, especially herons. John was so kind, meeting us and taking us to see a murmuration last autumn, taking the time to talk to Jonah. I am always touched by the time birders give to my son but John stands out in memory.

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    1. I think you've managed to sum up John perfectly Elaine. He was a true gent who had plenty of time for everyone and loved sharing his passion for nature. Thank you for sharing your kind words about John.

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