Corrigendum: Brigid M. Cotter (1921-1978) and a Contribution to Lichen Chemistry

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  • Corrigendum: Brigid M. Cotter (1921-1978) and a Contribution to Lichen ChemistryThe Irish Naturalists' Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan., 1980), p. 48Published by: Irish Naturalists' Journal Ltd.Stable URL: .Accessed: 16/06/2014 01:25

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  • 48 Ir. Nat. J. Vol. 20 No. 1 1980

    Fenland: its ancient past and uncertain future, by Sir Harry Godwin. 196 pages, 45 text figures and 65

    photographs (b and w). Cambridge University Press, 1978. ?7.95. From time to time a book is announced with such a combination of title, author, and sometimes also of

    publisher, that one is left in no doubt that the book will be first class. Sir Harry Godwin's Fenland is certainly such a

    book. An important task is the description of the three-dimensional structure of the Fenland region and the

    explanation of this structure in terms of the action and interaction of the developmental processes. We find this in

    summary form in Chapter 11. The outline picture presented there is made possible only by many years of scientific

    enquiry. The early chapters lead us gently into an appreciation of the ecological, geological, and archaeological

    disciplines which have been employed in this enquiry. We are expertly conducted from site to site and from

    investigation to investigation, asking the questions, observing the facts and drawing the relevant conclusions.

    Years go by as one investigation follows another. Each is presented in its historical context so that we not only learn

    how Fenland came to be as it is but we also appreciate how the several related scientific disciplines have combined over the years to make this understanding possible. More than this, it gives us real insight to the ways in which such an enquiry progresses and even allows us to see how, during their application to a single major problem, scientific

    methods themselves advance. The remaining five chapters continue the account of interaction between Man and

    environment with evidence of increasing departure from any kind of natural equilibrium. With the author's long involvement with fenland problems, now almost sixty years, it is not surprising that

    treatment is to a high degree autobiographical. This adds considerably to the interest and brings many realistic details to the research narrative. Passing references are made to past students and associates. There are a few brief

    character sketches but the overall impression remains that the book is written principally for those who are already familiar with the author and the little world of Cambridge and the East Anglian Fens. Sir Harry loves long and

    intricately constructed sentences. This coupled with the fact that much of the text is concerned with presenting and

    assessing evidence makes for some solid reading. Such difficulties as there are however are eased greatly by the

    provision of numerous, well selected, text figures and photographs. Errors seem to be very few and of little

    consequence. The reader could hardly fail to admire the way in which some of the best men of their day came

    together to solve such a daunting complex of problems or fail to appreciate the way in which one of them has

    disentangled their story for our pleasure and enlightenment. R. E. PARKER

    Copeland Bird Observatory Report for 1978,22pp., one sketch map, 10diagrams, one line drawing, price 50p. Available from C. W. Bailey, 17 Hillside Drive, Belfast BT9 5EJ.

    Copeland Bird Observatory and Cape Clear Island Bird Observatory are the only survivors in Ireland of the

    many stations which sprang up around the coasts of the British Isles where determined ornithologists of the late

    fifties and sixties wrestled with the problems and mysteries of bird migration. It is good to see therefore that

    Copeland which was founded in 1954 is continuing its work as strongly as ever and produces each year an annual

    report clearly recognizable by its familiar logo ofRallus aquaticus L. and now standard format, the latter most

    essential for those who file back numbers or have them bound. I find the current trend away from the classified list rather a mixed blessing in reports such as this.

    Undoubtedly the appearance of lengthier articles on various aspects of an observatories work is welcome but it is sometimes difficult to judge at what level they should be aimed. On the one hand papers of a high scientific

    interest should, in the reviewers opinion, be more properly presented in journals concerned with preserving the

    scientific record (e.g., British Birds or this Journal) but on the other hand if the contributor dwells too long on the

    lighter side of observatory life it might detract from the serious work carried out there. In the present report it is

    therefore gratifying to see a nice balance has been reached. The members who support the observatory but who cannot now visit the island due to force of circumstance can get an excellent idea of what stage the various projects being carried out at the observatory have reached as well as having food for thought in papers such as the clearly argued and thought provoking article by Ernest Donaldson on oil pollution in the Irish Sea.

    Ringing plays a large part in the life of any observatory and this is certainly the case at Copeland where 1484

    birds of 46 species were ringed in 1978. Whilst no new or rare birds were ringed at the observatory during the year birds of interest included a merlin {Falco columbarius Tunst), a sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus L.) and astonechat Saxicola torquata L. while a ringing party to Roanish caught 509 storm petrels (Hydrobates pelagicus L.) and made a preliminary estimate of the colony at about 1000 pairs.

    I feel that a classified list of just over three pages is not enough to inform readers about the years birds. Of note in the list, however, are a barnacle goose (Branto leucopsis Bechst.) on 16 October; single buzzards Buteo buteo

    L. in February, March, April and October, although the same individual may be involved; a whinchat Saxicola rubetra L. on 8 May and redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus L. in April and May. An amazing record of a water rail

    Rallus aquaticus L. preying on a tree pipit Anthus trivialis L. surely deserves expansion. The lack of records for

    divers (Gaviidae) and skuas (Stercorariidae) surely must only be due to lack of sea-watching as Copeland has in the

    past proved an excellent observation post for such species. I see little point in publishing uncertain records

    (bracketed in the report) e.g. sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus Gm). Apart from the minor criticisms given the

    report is very readable and attractively presented with a stylish drawing of black guillemots Cephus grylle L. by Mrs McKee as a finis. It can be wholly recommended to all interested in the work of observatories and at 50p in this era of rising prices must present the bargain of the year.

    T. ENNIS


    BRIGID M. COTTER (1921-1978) AND A CONTRIBUTION TO LICHEN CHEMISTRY. Page 445, Vol. 19, Miss Cotter was promoted to Agricultural Inspector in 1975 and not 1958 as printed in line 19.

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    Article Contentsp. 48

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Irish Naturalists' Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan., 1980), pp. i-xvi, 1-48Volume InformationFront MatterA Note on the Sponges and Octocorals from Sherkin Island and Lough Ine, Co Cork [pp. 1-15]A New Species of Coryphella (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia) from the British Isles [pp. 15-19]Buried, Relict Soils at Murlough Sand Dunes, Dundrum, Co Down [pp. 20-31]Contributions to Natural History by Dr Robert Templeton, R.A. with Special Reference to Ceylon: A Request for Information [pp. 31-33]Three Alga Collection in the Ulster Museum Herbarium [pp. 33-37]Trifolium occidentale D. E. Coombe, New to Ireland [pp. 37-40]Reports of MeetingsConference on "The Zoo: Its Role in Society" Held at the Ulster Polytechnic 24-25 April 1979 [p. 41-41]Aer Lingus Young Scientists Exhibition 1979 [p. 42-42]

    Zoological NotesOccurrence of Leathery Turtle in Killala Bay [p. 42-42]Osprey Pandion haliaetus (L.) in Co Down [p. 43-43]The Roundworm Genus Raphidascaris in Co. Tyrone [p. 43-43]A Large Sturgeon Acipenser sturio L. from Ardglass, Co Down [p. 43-43]Site Faithfulness by an Overwintering Female Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla L. [p. 44-44]

    Botanical NotesCumminsiella mirabilissima (Peck) Nannf. (Rust Fungus) in Ireland [p. 44-44]New Additions to the Lichen Flora of the Burren [p. 45-45]Ulocladium botrytis (Preuss), a Fungus New to Ireland [p. 45-45]A First Record of Spartina Townsendii H. and J. Groves in NE Ireland [p. 46-46]

    ReviewsReview: untitled [p. 46-46]Review: untitled [p. 47-47]Review: untitled [p. 47-47]Review: untitled [p. 47-47]Review: untitled [p. 48-48]Review: untitled [p. 48-48]

    Review: Corrigendum: Brigid M. Cotter (1921-1978) and a Contribution to Lichen Chemistry [p. 48-48]


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