This is a bit of a Marmite topic with most people I’ve mentioned it to, but I am quite a fan of taxidermy.  I mean there are plenty of reasons not to- just follow @CrapTaxidermy on Twitter for a regular reminder (and a giggle).

But every now and then I see a perfectly mounted creature that could honestly be still alive which has been lovingly made by a real artist of the craft.  And although there are many animals that I would rather go out and see on a regular basis, there are some that are just too tricky to see.  I wouldn’t want a Blackbird but I do happen to have access to a Manx Shearwater and they are much harder to see without travelling (this bird was found freshly dead whilst at a colony and died of natural causes).  And even at their breeding sites at the correct time of year, Manxies only come to land at night so you rarely see them without dazzling them with your headtorch.  Something which is a bit mean if only for you to watch them for your own enjoyment.

manxy at night

So what do you think?  I would love to be able to study the form of such a graceful bird without having to charter a boat off the West coast but I know other people would be a bit creeped out by it.  I hope that a stuffed bird would last a lifetime, and could be used to inspire quite a few people about these birds that most will never even see.  Although taxidermy will never replace the thrill of being out on the open water and seeing seabirds gliding effortlessly over the water, you also don’t have to dress up in survival suits and fend off scrounging gulls for a few hours.

jerry and his gull

So I think I will soon be the owner of my very own Manx Shearwater but I am intrigued to see if anybody could convince me otherwise.