Brian was missed when he left Bodrum
Brian was missed when he left Bodrum

Of course I already missed him very much over the last months, particularly in April when I was in Bodrum last year and luckily could have a single birdwatching day with Paul and Sally Bartho, who unfortunately have left Bodrum as well.
Not just me, but Kim and Yüksel and Keith also spent much time with him.

Courtcases and Golfcourses,
It amazes me how much Brian was attached to the area he lived in. But he lived as an Englishman. He was and stayed a foreigner ; didn't try to assimilate. But he was a person with a big and a warm heart. In spite of being so foreign he was after Saynur Gelendost the most important person in the protection of the environment around Bodrum. He didn't waste his time talking. He just did what he thought was necessary.
Brian was the biggest engine behind the campaign against the golfcourses together with the Chamber of Architecture in Bodrum. The other environment groups were distracted
when the bays of the Gulf of Gökova were threatened to be sold and lost for yacht tourism. Anyway birds don't appeal very much, it seems.
He would never say no if someone asked him to go birdwatching. He would have tea and coffee, and buy açma and haşhaş ekmeği from the bakery in Güvercinlik. He arranged binoculars, birdbooks and whatever was needed.
Brian has guarded the whole area of the Bodrum Peninsula up to Milas. In his contacts he had the handicap that he couldn't speak Turkish. So he didn't want to participate in meetings unless things were translated. And he would leave as soon as the subject moved away from birds.
He reported everything he saw. In this he differs from most (turkish?) birdwatchers who only give the numbers. When he wrote his countings he would always mention not only the weather and who accompanied him, but also if the waterlevel in a riverbed was low in comparison to the year before or would utter his concern if bushes alongside a road or a river had been "cleaned" away, as they were important as a bird hide away and place for nesting. Or he would report that the water seemed polluted. He spent much effort on the protection of Uyku Vadisi with its’ caves with the bats (yarasalar).
He would get really upset when things happened that threatened the birds. He would go to the Jandarma, the muhtar, would ask the people at the coffeehouse. Any birds, not only flamingoes and waterbirds. He knew them all. Knew where and on which rock a little owl loved to sit. Would recognize the little bittern in between the reeds, which is awfully difficult.
He loved to share his knowledge and spend time and effort especially for education on schools in the area. He visited the schools, became friends with teachers, collected material from associations to distribute to the schools.
He hoped one day a visitors centre would arise at Tuzla, especially for the schoolchildren.
The golfcourses haven't been prevented from being built but I hope that thanks to Brian some awareness grew. Awareness that environment and nature has to be cared for otherwise we have no place to live either and air to breath.

May he rest in peace
Lon Briet

Posted on 29 Jan 2009 by chris
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Click for Milas, Turkey Forecast
A Tribute to
Brian Stoneman
Brian Stoneman having lunch on a birdcounting trip with Paul Bartho to Dilek Yarimadasi Milli Park October 2007. The famous jeep behind him.
The website for the Gulluk-Tuzla and Bodrum areas that Brian worked on with his friends

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Simon the stork photo - click here for large pic and right click to save as desktop picture

I thought it would be nice to make this photo available in memory of Brian.
It's of 'Simon', the first stork that he and Allyson hand reared at their house on the coast near Guvercinlik. I've had it as my desktop background for about
4 years and have no intention of removing it, it's stunning
Photo taken by Brian.

Peter Fearnley

© 2009 C Drum Berkaya


From 1 Feb 2009