Colin McShane writes...
On Tuesday 15th April 2014 we heard the sad news that our friend Phil Shearwood passed away.
Regular blog readers will recognise the name from the official name of our ringing group—‘’Bache, Shearwood and McShane’’ (now usually referred to as Brewood Ringers).
Phil and Pete( Bache) established the group in 1979, and set about ringing lots of birds and training lots of ringers. Phil came to birding and ringing quite late in life, but quickly got very interested in the scientific and data side of things. This was undoubtedly a result of his engineering background as Phil was a senior engineer with GEC Alstom based in Stafford. As the company became involved in the Channel Tunnel, Phil eventually moved to a lovely apartment in Paris with his wife Linda. He did join the French ringing scheme, but the distance obviously reduced his contact with the ringing group back home. After several years in Paris he returned to Stafford but the call of the north (Phil was from Yorkshire) drew him to set up home just outside Preston. Although Phil’s direct involvement in ringing didn’t return to what it was originally, his interest in the scientific aspects of birding never diminished and he got tremendous satisfaction from his studies for a diploma in Ornithology at Birmingham University.
I was particularly pleased that in August 2012, Phil was able to join our first ringing expedition to Varanger in northern Norway, where, even though he knew very few of the team, Phil quickly established himself and had a great time. Prior to our departure all team members were invited to produce a short ‘pen-picture’ of themselves - as much for our Norwegian hosts to get to know us as anything.
Perhaps it is a most fitting and illustrative way of demonstrating Phil’s dry sense of humour to replicate that here:
I'm Philip Shearwood (to the taxman) Phil, to my friends. I'm married, to Linda, and have been for ....
I started ringing with Pete Bache who is responsible for all I know (all my mistakes are my own). So after thirty something years I regard myself as experienced but not expert.
I LIKE; Bird watching and bird ringing, reading (strictly non - Booker Prize winners, they are weird) and nice weather.
I DISLIKE; Crowds ( why does everyone in a crowd think that the normal rules don't apply to them) and computers
with a mind of their own.
MY HOPES FOR THE TRIP; Meet some new, likeminded people, learn something new and get to the mist net
containing the red throated pipit five minutes before Colin.
That's the few things, for the fuller picture, ''see you later'.
Phil was only 64 years old and leaves wife Linda to whom we send our thoughts and condolences at this very sad time.
Read some of the bigger stories from our bird ringing in the UK and abroad
Remembering Phil Shearwood