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Sad News about David.

ByPetapedia1

Oct 17, 2023 , , , ,

 Strangely in the the forty years I knew David he never looked any different! As a young birder I first met him on Scomer, he was then Director of the West Wales Naturalists Trust,  I was in awe.  David Saunders, organiser of Operation Sea Bird, a legend! He was then and was always aproachable and modest.  

I suppose it was during the Sea Empress debacle I had most contact with him when under the auspices of the then Dyfed Wildlife Trust, I set up a bird rescue team based at the then, Marloes Youth Hostel  (now the Runwayskiln Cafe) where we had up to forty or more volunteers collecting oiled seabirds. I remeber him ringing me one morning and asking if we could get to Pendine as hundreds of oiled Scoter were washing up, It was appalling, we did what we could but most were beyond help coated in the stinking clinging black sludge, the whole length of the polluted sands. 

Some years later I had booked a last minute cruise around the British Isles  with my partner Frederike and  my old mate Jack Donovan, because one of the places it visited was St Kilda. Having had a stroke it was the only way Jack could have got there. 

As it turned out David was on the cruise as a guide with his wife Shirley. I dont think The two stalwarts of the Trust had always seen eye to eye but they seemed to have buried the hatchet and were great company, recounting some marvellous tales, mostly about Ronald Lockley! 

My abiding memory of the cruise was sitting at a table all together on the sundeck, staring out at St Kilda, eating a cream tea.while a Russian jazz band played Sweet Georgia Brown..Tears were streaming down Jacks face and later I asked him why? Jack explained he knew the history of St Kilda extremely well and the grandeur and beauty of the place and the tragic history of its inhabitants had affected him deeply.

In recent years David contacted me occasionally with odd snippets regarding historic Pembrokeshire Cetacean records as and when they turned up in his archives.

And so David,along with Graham Rees, Jack Donovan, Stewart Devonald and Peter Tythcot, the old Guard have all passed on, the end of an era!