Thursday, 6 February 2014
Snowy Owl - Photo from the archives
This isn't current news, but I found it fascinating! On a recent trip to a charity shop, I discovered a programme for an exhibition of Charles Tunnicliffe's paintings in 1983. Inside the programme was this photo of Tunnicliffe examining a dead Snowy Owl which had been given to him to compose one of his 'measured drawings'. The story behind this photo is a bit sketchy too! According to Birds in Wales (Lovegrove et al. 1994) a "female was found dead at Mynachdy, Anglesey in May 1972"(near Carmel Head). This is undoubtedly the impressive bird that is pictured here. However according to the programme I found, the bird was "shot and mutilated", and Tunnicliffe was extremely angry at its treatment, as it went against all his principles as a countryman and naturalist. I was completely unaware of this record, and just cant believe that such a magnificent bird could have been shot. And this was only about 40 years ago! Obviously I'm not aware of the whole story, but wouldn't it be great to see a bird like this on the island nowadays? Makes those hikes around Cemlyn and Carmel Head seem a little more tempting. Anyone know any other details about this picture or story?