Brian Stoneman

Birding with Brian

In 1999 we tried to set up a birding movement for the Province of Mugla together with the DHKD. We met Brian, after we had contacted people interested in birding from a list given to us by Bahtiyar Kurt, who nowadays works for Doğa Derneği.

It was love on first side for both parties, we understood each other immediately and developed a very nice friendship, based on our mutual interest for birds and birding, for trying to preserve and protect nature, but based also on humour and respect. And we loved going birding together! There was a constant banter about who recognized what bird first and we kept laughing about the results.

We exchanged knowledge and kept developing our skills and the newly found birder's network for the Muğla Province, Gök-Kuş-Ağı, was soon known for its good fieldwork and reliable results.

A lot of bird work is done in winter and during one of the hardest winter we ever had in the region, we participated in the Balkan Project to monitor Pygmy Cormorants in Milas Tuzla and Güllük. For six months we met every second weekend and surveyed this area for two whole days. Despite freezing weather and sometimes very bad field conditions with ice and snow (keeping warm with the good soup that was provided by Brian's wife Allyson in a thermos), we had a good time and there was never a bad word between us.

Brian was one of the most persistent contributors to the national bird data base and fought an heroic fight against the planned golfcourse, which nevertheless destroyed part of his beloved Tuzla.

The birds and us will miss him very much. 

15.06.1946 - 16.01.2009