Emma Louisa Turner Language Watch Edit Emma Louisa Turner or E L Turner FLS FZS HMBOU 9 June 1867 13 August 1940 was an English ornithologist and pioneering bird photographer Turner took up photography at age 34 after meeting the wildlife photographer Richard Kearton She joined the Royal Photographic Society RPS in 1901 and by 1904 she had started to give talks illustrated with her own photographic slides by 1908 when aged 41 she was established as a professional lecturer Emma Louisa Turner FLS FZS HMBOUTurner in the 1890sBorn 1867 06 09 9 June 1867 Langton Green Tunbridge Wells Kent EnglandDied13 August 1940 1940 08 13 aged 73 Cambridge Cambridgeshire EnglandKnown forBird photography Turner spent part of each year in Norfolk and her 1911 image of a nestling bittern in Norfolk was the first evidence of the species return to the United Kingdom as a breeding bird after its local extinction in the late 19th century She also travelled widely in the United Kingdom and abroad photographing birds Turner wrote eight books and many journal and magazine articles and her picture of a great crested grebe led to her being awarded the Gold Medal of the RPS She was one of the first women to be elected to fellowship of the Linnaean Society and the first female honorary member of the British Ornithologists Union Though not a graduate she was also an honorary member of the British Federation of University Women She lost her sight two years before her death Contents 1 Early life 2 Hickling Broad 3 Travels to 1923 4 Scolt Head 5 After 1925 6 Recognition 7 Last years 8 Legacy 9 Publications 9 1 Books 9 2 Selected articles 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 12 1 Cited worksEarly life EditEmma Louisa Turner was born on 9 June 1867 in Langton Green Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent to John and Emma nee Overy Turner She was their fourth and last child following a sister Mary and brothers John and Frank Her father was a grocer and draper with three shop staff The family was affluent enough to employ a governess and a servant and to send Emma to a boarding school 1 Turner s mother died in 1880 when she was aged 13 and with the death of her elder sister Mary in 1891 Turner s life appears to have been mainly family based even after she started her photographic career This continued at least until the death of her father aged 83 in 1913 She may also have helped look after her brother Frank s children between the death of his first wife Annie in 1895 and his remarriage some five years later 1 Hickling Broad Edit Turner s houseboat in transit March 1905 Turner took up photography after meeting pioneering wildlife photographer Richard Kearton in 1900 2 joining the Royal Photographic Society in 1901 and by 1904 she had started to give public lectures illustrated with lantern slides of her own photographs By 1908 she was established as a professional lecturer producing her own publicity material and in the 1911 census she gave her occupation as lecturer in ornithology 1 She typically photographed from close to her subject using dry plate camera equipment 3 a She first visited the Norfolk Broads in 1901 or 1902 Her early contacts included the gamekeeper Alfred Nudd who would punt her to photographic locations and his relative Cubit Nudd who became her general helper on site Another gamekeeper and professional wildfowler Jim Vincent used his extensive knowledge of the area to find birds and nests Turner s friend the Reverend Maurice Bird probably introduced to Turner by Richard Kearton kept a natural history diary for 50 years and was therefore also able to share information with her 4 For a quarter of a century Turner lived and worked for part of each year 5 including two winters 2 at Hickling Broad in Norfolk She stayed mainly on a houseboat of her own design which she named after the water rail Rallus aquaticus the first bird that she photographed in the Norfolk Broads The flat bottomed boat was transported to Hickling on a trolley and launched in March 1905 She also owned a hut on a small island in the south east of Hickling Broad which became known as Turner s Island The hut was used as a photographic darkroom and a spare bedroom when visitors stayed 6 b Striking upwards Turner s 1911 photograph of a young bittern the first record of the species breeding in the UK since 1886 A highlight of her career in 1911 was finding with Jim Vincent and photographing a nestling bittern Botaurus stellaris 7 a species that had not been recorded as breeding in the UK since 1886 Her nest photographs included those of the rare Montagu s harrier Circus pygargus and the first known breeding ruffs Calidris pugnax in Norfolk since 1890 8 Unusually for the time the Whiteslea Estate which owned much of the broad and for which Vincent worked from 1909 to 1944 actively protected its birds of prey Although both Montagu s and the then even rarer marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus bred there at the time neither was mentioned in her book Broadland Birds 4 c Emma Turner was a pioneer of bird ringing in the UK being allocated the first ever small size rings numbers 1 10 issued by Harry Witherby s British Bird Marking scheme in 1909 She also participated in a short lived Country Life ringing project In practice she seems to have done little if any ringing after the first year 10 She seems to have been generally fit and was described as being quite capable with a punt or rowing boat d but she suffered bouts of illness throughout her life with a notable attack in the summer of 1907 The cause of her illness is unknown although tuberculosis has been suggested 1 She kept dogs particularly Manchester Terriers which she trained to flush birds so that she could count them 1 12 Travels to 1923 Edit Nesting coots and great crested grebes from Broadland Birds the image that won her the RPS Gold Medal Although Turner spent part of the year in Norfolk every year from 1901 to 1935 she also travelled widely elsewhere From the family home in Langton Green she would drive her horse and trap to sites in Kent and Sussex but she also journeyed much further afield including several weeks on remote North Uist in 1913 where she saw breeding red necked phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus divers and Arctic skuas Stercorarius parasiticus 13 The following year she was a guest of Mary Russell Duchess of Bedford at her house in Meikleour Perthshire The duchess was also a keen ornithologist and the two women had known each other for several years When the duchess sailed to Fair Isle on the ferry The Sapphire she dropped Turner off at Stromness Orkney on the way On Orkney Turner attempted to photograph breeding seabirds took a day trip to Hoy and through a chance encounter found herself a guest at Balfour Castle on Shapinsay Her host Colonel David Balfour sailed her back to Orkney to get the ferry to Inverness from where she went to Aviemore to search for crested tits Lophophanes cristatus 13 She went to Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island in the autumn as a guest of Edward Hudson owner of Country Life magazine and stayed there for the 1914 15 winter right through to May The island is a bird migration hotspot and rarities she saw there included a great grey shrike Lanius excubitor and a White s thrush Zoothera aurea She also made several boat trips to the Farne Islands 9 7 kilometres 6 0 mi away 14 As a VAD cook during the First World War Probably in early 1913 Turner bought a house in Girton near Cambridge her permanent home for the next decade Her journals for 1916 and early 1917 are missing but it appears that from the middle of the First World War she was working as a part time Voluntary Aid Detachment VAD cook at an auxiliary military hospital at Cranbrook not far from Langton Green 15 Turner s first trip abroad came in early summer 1920 when she went to Texel island in the Netherlands She explored the island by bicycle her main target species being those that no longer bred regularly in the UK including the black tern Chlidonias niger ruff black tailed godwit Limosa limosa and avocet Recurvirostra avosetta She was particularly struck by the large numbers of singing nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos A trip to Italy in late 1922 in which she visited its major cultural centres seemed largely committed to art and architecture a rare ornithological comment in her journal being a sighting of a blue rock thrush Monticola solitarius 16 Scolt Head EditThe National Trust had purchased Scolt Head Island in Norfolk in 1923 for its terns and other breeding birds but was concerned about the damage done to the nesting colonies by egg collectors and inadvertently by visitors walking around the 490 hectares 1 200 acres island By this time Turner was established as a photographer bird expert and author The Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society NNNS proposed to appoint a watcher warden to supervise the reserve and when Turner was told they were struggling to find someone suitable she volunteered herself 17 thus becoming the first resident watcher for the island 5 12 The hut on Scolt Head in 2006 Aged 57 Turner found herself living on the reserve in a basic hut during the breeding season with no electricity supply and significantly dependent on rain for fresh water Once protected the birds prospered the number of breeding pairs of common terns Sterna hirundo and Sandwich terns Thalasseus sandvicensis rising from 17 to 800 and from 59 to 640 respectively by 1925 her final year 17 As well as studying the breeding seabirds she was able to monitor migrating birds and found a rare black stork Ciconia nigra She wrote a book Birdwatching on Scolt Head about her experiences on the island 18 She was frequently described by the press as the loneliest woman in England but she pointed out that she never felt lonely and often had visitors 18 After 1925 EditSoon after her stay on Scolt Island Turner moved from Girton to Cambridge proper and continued to indulge in her passion for gardening in her new suburban home She was active in the Cambridge Ornithological Club now the Cambridge Bird Club becoming a vice president and committee member She went to Scotland in 1926 although she seemed by then to be less active as a photographer perhaps concentrating on her writing Two years later she was off to Cornwall to see choughs Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax where only a few pairs still remained in that county 19 e In 1929 she travelled to Amsterdam as a member of the International Ornithological Congress which organised excursions to Texel Naarden Lake and Zwanenwater Around 1933 she went on a Mediterranean cruise with Chief Constable of the Isle of Man Lieutenant colonel Henry William Madoc and his wife They saw more than 150 species including 52 that were new to Turner After this trip her journals become sporadic and incomplete and she seems not to have travelled abroad again 21 Recognition Edit James Sant s 1906 painting of the admission of women to the Linnean Society of London in 1904 Turner is at the extreme left 22 Turner was awarded the 1905 Gold Medal of the Royal Photographic Society for her photograph of a great crested grebe 22 Jim Vincent also received a gold medal for his part in obtaining her bittern picture in his case from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds RSPB 2 She was elected as one of the first 15 female fellows of the Linnean Society in December 1904 23 Then aged 38 she was one of the younger women admitted 24 Emma Turner was one of the first four female honorary members of the British Ornithologists Union BOU admitted in 1909 25 f and was the only woman along with 10 men g involved in the 1933 appeal that led to the foundation of the British Trust for Ornithology BTO an organisation for the study of birds in the British Isles 27 Her involvement in the BTO appeal was unusual enough that it led to the Daily Telegraph of 7 July 1933 inadvertently listing her as Mr E L Turner 22 She was President of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society from 1921 to 1922 28 She was a vice president of the RSPB 29 although she later fell out with the organisation following what she considered an unfair and dismissive review of her 1935 book Every Garden a Bird Sanctuary The reviewer in the RSPB s 1935 winter issue of Bird Notes and News had said it showed signs of haste and extraneous matter gathered in to fill vacancies 21 She was made an honorary member of the British Federation of University Women despite not being a graduate 12 30 Last years EditTurner lost her sight two years before her death on 13 August 1940 and an operation to remove her cataracts was unsuccessful 5 31 The failed surgery and the advent of colour photography which she believed would lead to her life s work being forgotten meant that her last years were not happy 31 In her will she requested that she be cremated She left her photographic materials to the BTO and her book copyrights and 50 were bequeathed to her nephew Geoffrey Cater Turner Her boats furniture and most other personal possessions were left to her niece Enid Mary Fowler The residue of her estate was to be disposed of by both of them She also posthumously cancelled the 900 her brother Frank owed her 31 Her estate was valued at probate at 3031 32 Legacy Edit Water rail from Broadland Birds Turner was a pioneer in her photographic work in terms of her preparation achievements and aesthetics 33 and earned praise from professional photographers such as William Plane Pycraft who wrote of Turner and a Mr H B Macpherson as 34 combining exceptional powers of observation and the skilful use of the camera This combination in so high a degree of perfection is rare and it demands yet a third element to achieve success that is endurance under extremely trying conditions She was also respected for her writing which attracted plaudits from national newspapers including the The Daily Telegraph the Manchester Guardian and the The Observer 35 The Observer reviewing Bird Watching on Scolt Head commended the book for the author s knowledge and commitment and said of the quality of the writing It is as good as anything in the Voyage of the Beagle 36 Her book Broadland Birds published in 1924 formed the basis of a radio programme about her life Emma Turner a life in the reeds broadcast by the BBC in 2012 produced by Sarah Blunt and with sound recordings by Chris Watson 37 Publications Edit A reed warbler and its nest from Turner s Broadland Birds Turner produced hundreds if not thousands of photographs in her life many of which appeared in her numerous publications 33 Most of her original plates were donated to the RSPB or bequeathed to the BTO but apart from her bittern images virtually all appeared to be lost from 1940 until 2020 when hundreds of plates and slides were found in a cardboard box at BTO headquarters in Thetford 22 38 She wrote eight books 39 and was also a major contributor or chapter editor to at least six other multi editor publications 39 h writing eight of the 48 accounts in The British Bird Book and eight sections of Country Life s Wildlife of the British Isles in Pictures 39 i From at least 1911 to 1915 she was working on an account of the birds of Norfolk but it was never published probably because she chose not to include records from the Whiteslea estate and no manuscript has since been found 14 Emma Turner wrote more than 30 articles for British Birds one of which was a 1919 review of the breeding biology of the bittern illustrated with her own nest photographs 39 40 She contributed to other journals most frequently the Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society 39 She was a regular contributor to Country Life 33 for which she wrote more than 60 articles and she also contributed frequently to other local and national publications including four articles in The Times on Norfolk wildlife 39 Her photographs were often published in the RPS s The Photographic Journal j and in 1917 she co authored a technical article on the half tone process in the same publication 41 In addition to her professional writing Emma Turner kept pocket diaries and daily journals These along with press cuttings and photographs were donated to the BTO in 2011 although her handwriting is so illegible as to require specialist assessment 42 k Books Edit Stone curlews Burhinus oedicnemus from Broadland Birds with Bahr P H 1907 The Home Life of Some Marsh Birds London H F amp G Witherby l Broadland Birds London Country Life 1924 with Gurney Robert 1925 A Book about Birds London C Arthur Pearson m Birdwatching on Scolt Head London Country Life 1928 Stray Leaves from Nature s Notebook London Country Life 1929 Togo My Squirrel London J W Arrowsmith 1932 My Swans the Wylly Wyllys London J W Arrowsmith 1932 Every Garden a Bird Sanctuary London H F amp G Witherby 1935 Selected articles Edit Some of the better known of her many articles include 39 A nesting Reeve in Norfolk Country Life 22 17 August 231 233 1907 via Wikisource The return of the Bittern Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society 9 3 433 436 1912 The bittern in the Norfolk Broads A great entail British Birds 13 1 5 12 June 1919 Notes on the breeding of the Bittern in Norfolk Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society 10 4 319 334 1919 Presidential address The Status of Birds in Broadland Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society 11 3 227 240 1922 See also EditTimeline of women in scienceNotes Edit Only two of her cameras have been recorded a quarter plate Birdland Reflex and a made to order half plate model The Birdland camera sold at the time for 20 17s equivalent to about 2000 at 2020 prices 3 Turner s Island coordinates 52 44 07 N 1 35 10 E 52 735206 N 1 586171 E 52 735206 1 586171 Turner s Island This was presumably at the request of the estate which was leased by a syndicate including cabinet ministers Edwin Montagu and Sir Edward Grey 4 Edwin Montagu had no connection to the bird of prey that shares his name which was described by the naturalist George Montagu 9 The quote is from Edwin Vincent son of Jim Vincent Edwin Montague s gamekeeper 11 The last successful breeding in Cornwall was in 1947 and the last two birds were dead by 1973 Natural recolonisation commenced in 2001 20 The others were the Duchess of Bedford Dorothea Bate and Marguerite Lemon L J Rintoul and E V Baxter joined them in 1911 25 The letter was signed Desborough Hugh S Gladstone Grey of Fallodon Julian S Huxley Chancellor of Oxford University T G Longstaff Percy R Lowe P Chalmers Mitchell Rothschild Scone M P Chairman British Trust for Ornithology E L Turner H F Witherby President British Ornithologists Union 26 Her biographers list five but have omitted the technical text Smith William Joseph Turner Emma Louisa Hallam C D 1937 Photo engraving in Relief A Textbook Intended for the Use of Apprentices and Others Interested in the Technique of Photo engraving first ed London Pitman Kirkman F B 1910 1913 The British Bird Book London T C amp E C Jack to which she also contributed photographs and Pitt F ed 1936 1954 The Romance of nature Wildlife of the British Isles in Pictures London Country Life CS1 maint extra text authors list link This was initially published in parts Her biographers appear to have overlooked her contributions to this journal and its exhibitions For example volume 46 p 231 1906 lists images of coot great crested grebes red backed shrikes and long tailed tits and volume 49 p 277 1909 has sparrowhawk and wheatear The material was donated by her great niece Joan Keeling and her half cousin Julia Volrath 42 Phillip Henry Bahr later Manson Bahr was a zoologist physician and BOU member who contributed chapters on the red throated diver black headed gull and common snipe 4 Robert Gurney was a Hickling landowner zoologist and Turner s friend 10 43 References Edit a b c d e Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 1 6 a b c Parry James Greenwood Jeremy 2011 A double century for bitterns PDF British Birds 104 12 743 746 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 p 28 a b c d Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 11 16 a b c Riviere Bernard Beryl April 1940 Miss E L Turner British Birds 34 4 85 Bibcode 1940Natur 146 424B doi 10 1038 146424b0 S2CID 207132 Archived from the original on 7 November 2020 Retrieved 2 November 2020 Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 17 18 Turner E L 1911 The return of the bittern to Norfolk British Birds 5 90 97 Archived from the original on 11 November 2020 Retrieved 31 October 2020 Plate 4 Striking upwards Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 23 25 Lockhart James Macdonald 2017 Raptor A Journey Through Birds London Fourth Estate p 182 ISBN 978 0 00 745989 6 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 33 34 Vincent James Lodge George Edward 1980 A Season of Birds A Norfolk Diary 1911 first ed London Weidenfeld amp Nicolson p 14 ISBN 978 0 297 77830 1 a b c Haines Catharine M C Stevens Helen M 2001 International Women in Science a Biographical Dictionary to 1950 Santa Barbara ABC CLIO p 310 ISBN 978 1 57607 090 1 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 49 53 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 54 55 Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 56 58 Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 60 61 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 38 40 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 41 48 Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 62 63 Cornish chough Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Archived from the original on 19 October 2020 Retrieved 17 October 2020 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 64 66 a b c d Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 75 78 Toogood Mark D Waterton Claire F J Heim M Wallace 2020 Women scientists and the Freshwater Biological Association 1929 1950 Archives of Natural History 47 1 16 28 doi 10 3366 anh 2020 0618 Archived from the original on 15 January 2021 Retrieved 21 April 2020 Beharrell Will Douglas Gina 27 March 2020 New Exhibition Celebrating the Linnean Society s First Women Fellows Linnean Society Archived from the original on 8 October 2020 Retrieved 5 October 2020 a b Mountfort Guy 1959 One hundred years of the British Ornithologists Union Ibis 101 1 8 18 doi 10 1111 j 1474 919X 1959 tb02352 x Observers of Birds PDF The Times London Times Publishing 1 July 1933 Archived PDF from the original on 27 April 2015 Retrieved 21 November 2020 Observers of Birds PDF The Times 1 July 1933 Archived PDF from the original on 27 April 2015 Retrieved 21 November 2020 Past Presidents of the Norfolk amp Norwich Naturalists Society Norfolk amp Norwich Naturalists Society Retrieved 16 October 2020 Thirtieth Annual Report PDF Report RSPB 1921 p 1 Archived PDF from the original on 19 October 2020 Retrieved 17 October 2020 Hibbert Ware Alice 1941 Miss Emma Louise Turner Ibis 83 1 188 189 doi 10 1111 j 1474 919X 1941 tb00609 x a b c Parry amp Greenwood 2020 p 67 Turner Emma Louisa Find a Will UK Government a b c Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 68 69 Pycraft William Plant 1920 Some neglected aspects in the study of young birds Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society 10 5 408 416 Archived from the original on 11 November 2020 Retrieved 19 September 2020 Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 70 71 A Lonely Sanctuary The Observer London 3 February 1929 Emma Turner a life in the reeds Nature Series 5 24 January 2012 BBC Radio 4 Retrieved 24 September 2020 Hill Chris 19 June 2020 It was like discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun Famous Norfolk nature photos resurface after 100 years Eastern Daily Press Norwich Archant Archived from the original on 15 November 2020 Retrieved 21 November 2020 a b c d e f g Parry amp Greenwood 2020 pp 83 84 Turner Emma June 1919 The bittern in the Norfolk Broads A great entail British Birds 13 1 5 12 Archived from the original on 22 March 2020 Retrieved 22 March 2020 Bull A J Smith M J Turner E L 1917 Experiments on the half tone process The Photographic Journal 57 1 8 16 a b Parry amp Greenwood 2020 p iv Parry amp Greenwood 2020 p 20 Cited works Edit Parry James Greenwood Jeremy 2020 Emma Turner a life looking at birds Norwich Norfolk amp Norwich Naturalists Society ISBN 978 1 9162537 1 1 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Emma Louisa Turner amp oldid 1027912286, wikipedia, wiki, book,


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