1905 Diary

Collingwood Ingram had become a serious ornithologist. He was a member of the British Ornithologists' Union, and would soon make his first contribution to its journal The Ibis. He also had plans, not to be realised for many years, to write an account of the Birds of the Riviera. His hunting and shooting continued, but the study of birds was now the focus of his life.



In June, close to his home in Thanet, he made the remarkable discovery of a nesting marsh warbler, the first breeding record for Kent. His puzzlement on first hearing the singing male is expressed in his diary.


'For some years I have visited a certain copse for the purpose of studying bird life and I have therefore been more or less familiar with its feathered inhabitants. On June 22 when I entered the spinney for the first time this season, my ear was immediately struck by a loud, salient voice quite unknown to me. I stood still to listed more attentively. Although the song was strange, it yet seemed to have a familiar ring to it: it was like a language spoken in a foreign accent. That I had never before heard it in England I was positive .....'

He gives a list of nests found in 1905 - 54 species, over 100 nests.

On 7 July he joined a pleasure cruise to Norway, including Spitzbergen, on the P&O steam yacht Vectis..

'When we awakened this morning we were lying in Recherche Bay betwixt two mighty glaciers that thrust their blue-green cliffs into the sea. We were not the only vessel at anchor in this northern haven; indeed there were some half dozen whalers to keep us company and they gave quite a lively air to the frozen desolation that surrounded the land-locked waters. The distant sound of voices fell pleasantly upon the ear, while the steam of the steam winches and the smoke of the funnels was equally satisfying to the eye. Around each steamer lay four, five, six, or even as many as ten whales – huge carcasses of putrefying matter upon which callous Norwegians worked with total indifference. And all about these there swarmed thousands, literally thousands, of fulmars, gorging themselves on the blubber and oil.'