Obituary:Bobby Tulloch (1929-1996)

Published on 01 March 1997 in Obituaries

Bobby Tulloch MBE (1929-1996) In his introduction to Bobby Tulloch’s Shetland (1988), the late Jo (Lord) Grimond tells the story of God discussing with St Michael die latter’s World tour of inspection, and saying to him ‘. . . when you are in Shetland do not forget to stop in Mid Yell and pay my regards to Mr Bobby Tulloch. I regard him as one of my successes.’ Like everyone who had the good fortune to do so, the Archangel would have found meeting Bobby on his home patch an unforgettable experience. Nearly 30 years have passed since it first happened to me, but the memories of our first full day in the field are still very fresh in my mind. With the simmer dim, we must have been out for about 20 hours non-stop, starting with Fetlar, going on to Hermaness and finishing up with a visit to a colony of Storm Petrels Hydrobates pelagicus. We visited the Snowy Owls Nyctea scandiaca, watched some Rednecked Phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus and saw countless seabirds, but it is not the birds that I recall most vividly from that magical day. Instead, I remember Bobby catching a Common Seal Phoca vitulina pup to show me, and ‘calling up’ a Common Porpoise Phocoena phocoena that came and swam with us alongside the boat. In between teaching me local bird names and much other Shetland lore besides, he told countless stories of people he’d met and places he’d been to. I have now forgotten why,

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