Today we said farewell to a good birding friend, Dennis Willet. Dennis, from Sidcup was one of the group of birders that became the Dartford Birding Group. He wasn't pushy or noisy so some birders may not remember his name, but if they chatted to him at a twitch they would remember him as helpful and considerate. At the service today, Guy Bailey and Dave Miller gave a moving eulogy from the birding perspective and one of his sisters spoke of his loss to the family. All of our thoughts are with Maureen, his widow.
(photo Barry Wright)
This is Dennis at a twitch for a White-crowned Sparrow in Norfolk, I think his face tells you he's just seen it. on his left are Norman Hunter and Guy Bailey. Norman's son James is organising a collection to commemorate Dennis. Maureen has asked that the proceeds go directly to Rainham RSPB, which had become Dennis's favourite reserve. James can be contacted here.
Dennis's favourite bird was the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, a choice that wont have much opposition. Dennis didn't see this bird in Kent but he did see the one at Cowden in East Yorkshire in July 1989. Dennis's last UK tick was the Eastern Crowned Warbler in Durham, in Oct 2009.
He will be missed by all his friends and family.