The background for these views by Daniel King is given in my introduction.

These kind of birds are about the Isle of Man

Great Auk ?

Theis kind of birds are about the Isle of Man

[note on BL original has Theis corrected to These with the colours to be employed added in pencil - assumed to be early 19C additions].

P.G.Ralfe, writing in a footnote, in his Birds of The Isle of Man (p286), identified it as a Sea Parrot or Puffin, probably misled by the 19th C colouring but did comment that the white spot before the eye was reminiscent of the Great Auk.

Puffin (taken on Staffa)

However an article by K. Williamson in J. Manx Museum makes the better claim that it is the first known representation of the now extinct Great Auk or Garefowl. It shows the adult bird in breeding plumage. He also suggests that these sketches were done for James Chaloner who, besides being an antiquary, had an interest in ornithology. Such comment is borne out by Bishop Wilson's comment that Chaloner was 'at the pains to have a sketch of one of these shelving rocks, with a vast variety of birds sitting upon it, taken and printed with his account of the isle'. (this view forms base of one of King's minature engravings)

A photo of a puffin,
taken on Staffa, is shown for reference.

W. B. Lockwood in Some Manx Bird Names [J. Manx Museum VII #85 pp117/120 1969] discusses the origin of the Manx word pibbin (derived from English Puffin c.1500) which originally denoted the Manx Shearwater whose young developing in deep burrows becomes extremely fat and from 1500 began to have some economic significance if stored (in barrels) as winter provisions (the adult birds are extremely lean!).


K. Williamson A Manx Record of the extinct Great Auk
J Manx Museum IV no 61 Dec 1939 pp168/72

A Landskip wirth Gaunts


A Landskip with Gaunts being birds that mount like faulcons i'th Air and when they see their prey strike into the water.
[it is likely that the original caption is in Governor Chaloner's handwriting]

This drawing is considered in K. Williamson 'The Barnacles and Claiks of the Calf' Journal Manx Museum V #64 pp19/20 June 1941.

 Williamson makes case that a gannetry existed on the Calf and that this is probably the finest of early drawings of gannets.


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