News is just breaking that Gordon Allison, a Farnes 'old boy' died in his sleep on Monday 6th February. Only 50 years of age, this is a tragic loss for his family, work mates, birding colleagues, and friends in the wider world.
John Walton writes:
It was in 1990 that I had the pleasure of working with Gordon on the Farne Islands. With his shock of unruly, curly hair, his colourful bandannas, and his unbounded enthusiasm he was a character to remember. Way back then it was obvious he would forge a career in conservation - his passion, his drive, and his sheer dam' zest for life would see to that. Like most wardens there were a series of contracts before he settled at the place he loved. He became a much-respected Warden for the RSPB reserves at Elmley and Northward Hills in Kent. He posted a blog on the Saturday before his death which gave an indication of just how much he was enjoying his life - and his birding.
David and I were only talking to him last summer about his hopes for a 21st anniversary team re-union on the islands in October - no coincidence that this is our peak migration period! That fell through, but plans were well advanced for October 2012. That Gordon won't be here is our loss. He was, as they say up north, a 'canny lad' and will always be fondly remembered.