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Clive Goodwin

Clive Goodwin (left) being presented with the Ontario Field Ornithologists' Distinguished Ornithologist Award and Honorary Life Membership in 2014 by Gerard Binsfeld (full story).   Photo © Glenn Coady

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Clive Goodwin, one of Willow Beach Field Naturalists’ longest-serving and most illustrious members.

Clive was a very active birder and botanist, a conservationist, and a world traveler, but suffered from poor health for the last two years and died at the Golden Plough Lodge in Cobourg on August 16th.

In 1949, Clive emigrated from his home in Yorkshire, England, to Toronto and very rapidly became involved in natural history and conservation issues across the province, becoming Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario from 1965-1977. He was an active contributor to a vast number of nature clubs and associations in the province, with a strong interest in field work, leading to numerous popular publications, including Bird-Finding Guides to both the Toronto Region and to all of Ontario.

For several years, Clive and his wife Joy also taught bird identification courses in Toronto and led very successful birding trips around the world.

Clive and Joy moved to Cobourg in 1990 and with undiminished energy explored the back roads of Northumberland County while researching County bird records with the help of local birders, forming the basis for the online Birds of Northumberland County. Exporting these thousands of records into eBird expanded access to all interested birders. Additional detailed records of Butterflies, Dragonflies, and Vascular Plants demonstrate Clive’s extraordinarily broad interest in natural history as a whole.

In the 1990s, Clive became a somewhat lone voice in the wilderness in early consultations on the future of the Cobourg waterfront. His masterly presentations to City Council resulted in the adoption of a very well-balanced, environment-friendly Master Plan, which unfortunately disappeared into a drawer somewhere (and here we are again 20 years later). Clive did compose the informative text for the display boards along the boardwalk on the Cobourg west beach, which has been kept in its natural state, pointing out valuable ecosystems and the birds to be seen in passage year round.

Over the years, Clive received many well-deserved awards.

In 2009, nominated by the Willow Beach Field Naturalists, Clive was the winner of the Doris Huestis Speirs Award, the most prestigious award given by the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding lifetime contributions in Canadian ornithology through contributions to conservation efforts, ornithological fieldwork and literature, and public education.

In 2014, Clive also received the 2014 Ontario Field Ornithologists’ Distinguished Ornithologist Award, recognizing his lifetime contribution to Ontario field ornithology and conservation.

An impressive life, a wonderful friend.

Clive Goodwin will be very much missed.

Margaret Bain