Trip reports

Regular Monthly Meeting - Wild Turkey, with Martin Davies. (The country, not the bird!)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Our first indoor meeting of the season brought Martin Davies to St James Hall.
Martin is known, amongst other things, for being the co-inventor of the Bird Fair, but for this night he was with us to talk about Wild Turkey. In spite of beginning the evening with a photograph of a wild turkey (in Turkey), the talk had nothing to do with this Christmas staple and indeed, ranged much wider than just birds.
Martin took us through a tour of the country including bits of history, politics, architecture and culture as well as through an astonishing range of plants, mammals, birds and insects. Martin used the word 'random' at one point but these 'random' wanderings, plus Martin's very natural speaking style, gave the whole evening real 'life'.
There were birds of course - rose coloured starlings, red rumped swallow, white stork, dalmatian pelican, crested lark and lesser kestrel to name a small selection - but Martin's passion appears to be butterflies, and the standout there was an as yet unnamed emperor butterfly with beautiful gold wing flashes.
The real surprise, although sadly Martin didn't see one, was that leopards are apparently present in one or two isolated spots and that tigers had survived in this landscape into the 1950's; an indication of one of the memorable themes of the talk that Wild Turkey has elements of Europe, Asia and even Africa in its natural make up.
A fascinating, incredibly diverse talk about an equally fascinating and diverse country that, one day, I too would love to visit.
Neil Bew