S I R S , — I have lately had occasion to refer once more in the Field to the correct way of spelling the name of this bird, and I should like to have the opportunity of discussing the m a t t e r in your pages. The form ‘ ‘ dunlin ” is doubtless t h a t which is to be found in most works on British birds ; b u t the question is, looking to the etymology of the name, and the oldest form of it, whether this is correct. I venture to think not, and for the following reasons :– The meaning of the n a m e ‘ ‘ dunling ” is the little dun thing, a diminutive akin to grayling, titling, sanderling, duckling, and gosling, and this is the spelling to be found in the oldest mention of the name, which occurs in the Durham, Household Book, containing the accounts of the Bursar of the Monastery of Durham, A . D . 1530-4. The price then paid for these little birds, known elsewhere as stint, purre, sand-lark, and ox-bird, was a t the rate of 4d. a dozen. In an article on ” English Bird Names,” published in the Field of J a n u a r y 12th, 1884, I took occasion to refer to what I conceive to be the proper spelling of the name dunling, and in the second edition of m y Handbook of British Birds (1901)
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £70,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.