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Tributes paid to former chairman of Teesmouth Bird Club
12:06pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of a North-East bird watcher.
Father-of-three Ted Parker’s enthusiasm and drive saw Teesmouth Bird Club almost double in size to 500 members in his five years as chairman.
The club was also consulted as a matter of routine by local councils and other agencies on planning applications which could have a harmful effect on birds.
The 62-year-old former architect, who lived at Marton, Middlesbrough and died of cancer, earlier this week, single-handedly secured major sponsorship covering the production costs of the unique ‘The Breeding Birds of Cleveland’, an atlas of breeding birds and distribution in the Teesside area, a work he wrote with two others.
Married to recently retired school headmistress, Ruth, with three grown-up children, Mr Parker, was known through birding circles as a true gentleman, generous with his time with newcomers to bird watching and the flask of coffee and sandwiches which habitually accompanied him on local field excursions.
A keen bird-watcher from his teenage years, in the 1960s, he had travelled the world in search of birds, including visits to China, Canada, Africa and eastern Europe.
He was created an honorary life member of the bird club in April this year.
“I saw him the very next day and he was absolutely chuffed about it,’’ remembered club secretary Chris Sharp. “But he never got to another meeting.
“Even when he was poorly and in hospital, he was looking at planning applications.
“I think a lot of the success of the club in the last ten years was down to Ted. Bird watching was his life and he particularly loved sea watching.’’
One of Mr Parker’s favourite sea-watching haunts was Skinningrove, east Cleveland.
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