Miles Timothy Myres (1931-2009)

Published on 01 August 2011 in Obituaries

When I was evacuated during the Second World War it was interesting but stressful and I resolved that, if I ever got home, I would never go away again or even out to sea. In the early 1960s I had a debate with Prof. Hardy at Oxford because I was sorry that all my ornithologist friends were having to go abroad for jobs, whereas he was proud to see their talents spread so widely, a phenomenon we shall doubtless now see again. Now it is time to consider the obituaries of the first lot. Timothy Myres is a good example. He came out of the top drawer, son of Bodley’s Librarian and educated at Winchester and King’s College, Cambridge. He made a valuable contribution to Cambridge Bird Club observations in 1950, watching birds crossing the Fens, and then analysed the thrush nest records for the BTO. He went to western Canada for his PhD on observations of the private life of wildfowl, largely from his car. He then returned to join David Lack’s radar team at Oxford in the late 1950s, when he occupied the outermost post, in northern Shetland, staying up all night to watch Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla and lost migrants. Sub- sequently, he returned to a post in the University of Alberta in Canada, and we heard little more of him, but the rest of the story, involving the intro- duction of familiar themes to the New World, is told by Martin K. McNicholl in the Auk (128: 182-183). He promoted nest records, observations of birds on weather ships and the formation of the Pacific Seabird Group, local observations, then- unfashionable conservation, and radar studies, reviewing the results. He retired in 1987 to Jersey, a fine apostle for British ornithology.

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