Bulletin 12 - November 1980: Editorial


by Rob Western

This issue coincides with the fourth anniversary of the first talk ever given to the ENHG, on November 15th, 1976. The talk was entitled "Sea Cows -- Sirenia" by Professor William Bertram of Cambridge. A quick glance at Bulletin No. 1, which appeared in March 1977, reveals a distinctly marine-oriented selection of articles. Apart from dugong (sea cows), there were articles on seashells, fish, stalked barnacles and waders.

Since then, emphasis has been on expanding the Group's range of interests, reflecting this in Bulletins. I mentioned in Bulletin 9 that some Recorders are able to obtain information more readily than others and hence there may be a bias towards certain recording topics. This remains true today but the Group is constantly trying to restore the balance.

It is therefore pleasing to have in this current issue two articles on the Arabian Oryx. Precise and locally recorded information on mammals is difficult to come by (though it is known that a colony of foxes live within a 10-minute drive of Abu Dhabi Island). The authors of these articles have previously contributed both to the Bulletin and to the Monday evening functions, and we appreciate this continued interest in the ENHG.

One lively recording area these days is Insects, with two articles in this issue. Diane Donohue is covering a very wide area, however, and would welcome some help. Spider man has volunteered, but what about butterflies and moths, beetles, or mantises?

The Editor's own interest happens by chance to be well represented, but there is a particular need for articles on seashells, geography, geology, mammals and plant-life in the UAE. Our original idea of a Diary Page has not been successful because of a distinct lack of records (odd or unusual observations) from ENHG members and friends. However, in this issue there is a return to the letter page.

Winter and cooler weather mean the chance of more travelling. Don't forget to keep a notebook, bags and containers (plastic cartons, nut-tins, small boxes) handy in the car when off on desert or coastal jaunts.

Finally, more Committee changes, a regular feature of these Editorials this year. After the departure of Ernestine Munsey and John Nisbet in early summer, Gillian Hall left in July and Terry Giles in September. The vacant Joint Secretary post has now been filled by Barbara Brice, and another Terry, this time husband of our very able bug-recorder, takes over as Treasurer. This means, however, that we are still at least one seat short on the Committee. Any takers?


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