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Charles Eric Palmar

My father Charles Eric Palmar was the Curator of Natural History in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow from 1949 till 1984.
Although his speciality was ornithology, he was an all-round naturalist, being a member of the Scottish Ornithologists Club, the RSPB, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Glasgow Natural History Society, and he took many plant pictures, especially later in his life.
He travelled all round Scotland from 1947 to 1986, taking many black and white negatives and colour slides, 16mm cine films and sound recordings, mainly of natural history subjects.

By careful study from a distance, notetaking and patient fieldcraft, he managed to get quite close to many of his subjects, without frightening them.
He would never disturb a bird at the nest in such a way that it deserted.
He would build a hide, sometimes on the most precarious of cliff ledges, over a period of a few weeks, camouflaging and raising the height of the hide and moving it closer to the nest in a very gradual process.
As a result, he obtained images which now need a schedule 1 licence, or could only be emulated by shooting from a distance using modern long lenses.

Nearly all his comprehensive and high quality collection has been painstakingly catalogued manually over a period of many years.
There are 37 of my father's pictures of the Golden Eagle on the main searchable site.

Behind the Naturalist's Lens

Since much of the collection on this page had never been uploaded into the database, i.e. it was not yet searchable, I applied for a grant from the Glasgow Natural History Society to help with a project to scan a significant sample of my father's images. In 2016, the grant was received and the scanning process began. There are many black and white plates and negatives, some about 6 x7 cm, and both 35mm and 6x6cm Ektachrome slides to scan. The project is called "Behind the Naturalist's Lens" and the scanned images are building up over a period of time into a new collection of stories accessible by the blue dots on the map, which shows the results of the natural history photography of Charles Eric Palmar from the 1940s to the 1980s.

The rest of this page is my previous attempt at the digital archiving process.

All files on this page available at high resolution.
Thumbnails show more or less the full images.
In some cases, the scans are a little wider than actually shown - many have been reproduced at a standard 3 to 2 ratio, but may be for example 10" x 8" or some other ratio.

Hover your mouse pointer over the images to see what they are.

This selection includes the following charismatic species: Black Throated Diver, Red-Throated Diver, Capercaillie, Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Golden Eagle, Salmon leaping, Bittern at nest, Fulmar.

Divers, 1950s

CEP Black-throated Diver on nest, Argyll, 1952 CEP6955 red throated diver on nest CEP6961 red throated diver close on nest

Capercaillie, 1960s

CEP Capercaillie width="254" CEP Capercaillie nest c6

Great and Arctic Skuas, Lewis, 1973

CEP Great Skua, Lewis 1973 2 Great Skua chicks Great Skua chick
CEP Great Skua landing Arctic Skua chick  

Bittern, England, 1937 or 1938

CEP bittern sitting on nest pointing CEP bittern with newly hatched chick and egg CEP bittern 2 chicks pointing 2 eggs

CEP bittern female feeding her young - see text below

bittern female sitting on nest pointing CEP 4 bittern chicks
This text was written by my father on the back of the photograph above  

Golden Eagle, Argyllshire, 1952, and Outer Hebrides, 1966

Golden Eagle with nesting material at nest CEP Golden Eagle, Argyll, 1952 2 Golden Eagle chicks in nest

Plants of the Scottish Highlands, 1970s

storksbill, N Uist Yellow pansies - Viola curtissii, North Uist Yellow Flag irises Loch Eynort Skye

Salmon leaping, Fulmar on nest and Snipe's nest

CEP7027 salmon leaping Fulmar on nest snipe nest 4 eggs - Hougharry, North Uist 1967

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