Once again we have to say goodbye to one of the Group's stalwarts, this time Jean Burn, who as secretary was responsible for minuting, correspondence and typing of the monthly newsletters. Jean and her husband Bob were members for several years and will be remembered also for their participation in field trips and camps, and for their hospitality in holding Group social evenings. We wish them good luck.
The post of secretary is now divided between Gillian Burrows and Gulshan Nidir, two newcomers to the Group who have happily volunteered their services. While the Committee is thus reasonably strong, we do need more recorders for without them the Group loses its main strength and purpose. The mammal and geology recorders departed this past summer, the archaeology recorder leaves shortly and our elder statesman of butterfly and moth/reptile recording is apparently not as permanent as we all once thought.
Plant recording too may have slowed down in Abu Dhabi but there is a brighter outlook in Al Ain now that Marijcke Jongbloed has taken the bull by the horns and begun to study vegetation seriously. Marijcke's enthusiasm was boosted by a recent visit to Edinburgh Botanic Garden and the Al Ain Group is now establishing a botanical garden of local plants in the grounds of Tawam Hospital, complete with nameplates.
This is a very positive move and just the sort of initiative that the ENHG must have from its members if it is going to continue to thrive. So once again we appeal for help with our recording activities. No expertise is required. That comes later. What we do need is enthusiasm and the determination to follow up a particular natural history topic oneself.
This issue includes the second of Liz Aston's two excellent articles on geology. After her introduction to the geology of the Emirates in the last Bulletin, we here print her summary of Sir Bani Yas Island (p.2) This is just one recording area where the departure of the recorder has already been missed.
Archaeology has not been greatly to the forefront in recent issues but the local press has kept us informed of major events. On p.24 we summarise some of these activities and results around the Gulf in 1984/85.
Bird recording is one of the Group's strengths. After recent articles on various species by Mike Crumbie (more please Mike), this issue contains two summarics, one a review of species recorded in 1984, written by Jenny Hollingworth (p.26), and the other on breeding birds of Oarneyn Island (p.5) by Ian Foxall, who has unfortunately now left the UAE.
Just as we need recorders, so we also need articles. The Bulletin can only survive if the editor receives articles for publication, and contributers these days seem to be becoming rarer than flamingoes on Das. So please, if you feel you have something to contribute, even if only half a page or so, it will be warmly welcomed and acknowledged.