A Tribute To Ian Brooke

June 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Ten days ago as I was sat in my hide on Islay filming this week’s Hen Harriers, less than two miles down the road, my good friend Ian unexpectedly passed away. It was a terrible shock.
I have known Ian and Margaret for more than thirty years and have lost count of all the tea and biscuits that we have been provided with on Islay. Their door was always open to all visitors. Ian started the Islay Bird blog more than fourteen years ago and provided visiting birders with a daily picture of who was on the island and what they had seen. For non-birders Ian started the “Walk Islay” weeks which were extremely popular pre-covid days.
One of the highlights of Ian’s year was the Annual Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water. Along, with others ,Ian would stand all day extolling the virtues of Islay to all visitors who would leave the stand topped up with shortbreads and Whisky!
Ian loved his extensive garden on Islay and there are not many birders who can count Hen Harrier and Merlin as daily garden visitors! My daily routine has already changed as a result of Ian’s passing – I can no longer check his daily blog to see who was on Islay and what they had seen. I already miss his monthly Wader counts, the Goose counts in Winter and even his monthly Rainfall figures – he never did beat the Ballygrant readings!!
Ian you were an absolute star. Sir.