Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Inked Naturalist - great bloke!

There can't be many who've gone into their local tattoo parlour and asked
'Can I have a Caspian Snowcock please?' 
Now there could, of course, be one or two tattooists in Southern Turkey where these smashing 
gamebirds are to be found, that may have had the odd request.
In Carlisle though? Well, actually there is one such person who has made such an enquiry!
Not only that, he's also got a particularly fine Red-Fronted Serin. There is a Roller too,
surely one of the most utterly fabulous of the European birds.
His name is Tristan Reid, but he is fast becoming better known as the 'Inked Naturalist'.
I had spoken to Tristan a few times via Twitter then had the pleasure of meeting him in person
on a field to the west of Edinburgh, just before he gave his talk at the magnificent Scottish Birdfair.
2013 is only the second year of this tremendous event, but it is certainly becoming one of the first
dates to be marked on the calendar for me, and I suspect many other birders in Scotland, the rest
of the UK and abroad too. There were exhibitors from Extremadura in Spain, as well as my great
friend Mohit from India and Keith Hackland from Texas.
More on Scottish Birdfair in other blogs, so for now, back to Tristan.
We chatted birdy stuff for a while,Tristan seemed understandably a little nervy about giving his
talk but honestly needn't have worried.
Some countries really are astonishingly beautiful. Turkey looks like one of them.
Tristan Reid had great shots of fabulous birds he'd seen on a trip there, and tales of the
friendly Turkish people who seemed to have made his trip even more memorable.
There was though, a downside.  Turkey is at risk from an utterly crazy scheme, dreamt up
by the very people who ought to be looking after it, the government.
They have privatised their water and now they will cause utter devastation of large areas
of natural beauty by damming rivers, depriving villagers of their homes and ruining their
The effect of all this on Turkey's wildlife will be catastrophic.  It will be too for Turkey's
neighbours, Iran, Iraq Syria etc etc. Not that the government seems to care. Every time
they hit an objection they simply change the law
Tristan Reid is raising awareness of all this by having iconic Turkish birds tattooed on him.
He's given his right arm for what he is so passionate about, and the left arm too.
His next venture in 2014 is to walk an incredible 4,000 km across Turkey to raise money and
awareness, speaking to schools whenever he can to try and oppose these dreadful schemes.
He is doing so much to support the Turks and their wildlife.
I think we should do all we can to support Tristan.
please visit www.TheInkedNaturalist.co.uk


  1. Sounds like you've had a brilliant time Phil and how much do we need people like Tristan who are willing to go the extra thousands of miles.

  2. Sounds like a great bloke Phil.

  3. Worthy cause but sadly will be to no avail :(