The Inked Naturalist

So who was Rüppell anyway?

I am a bit of a ponderer if I’m honest! I like pondering, what can I say! So whilst travelling to Carlisle today I was pondering which of the five remaining species I would have tattooed onto my right arm when I visit the mighty Immortal Art Studio on Monday! I think I have pretty much decided that the Rüppell’s Warbler would fit best with the remaining usable space on my forearm.

Being a UK based birder and having been regaled stories of the last UK record of Rüppell’s Warbler (Gwynedd 1995) this species had almost got mythical status in my mind! So when I was planning my trip to Turkey last year Rüppell’s Warbler was very high on my ‘must see’ list! It was late on in the trip when I finally got views of this enigmatic species. We were checking an area inland from the Göksu Delta on a beautiful day. I decided to check a track that lead to some scrubby habitat. I could hear this song that I could only describe as a ‘machine gun rattle'; it had the scratchy qualities of a sylvia warbler; I was optimistic! As I approached closer to the source of the song, a warbler perched up on a bush. I could not believe my eyes, there it was; a male Rüppell’s Warbler in full view. Epic describes this experience very well!

Rüppell's Warbler


So, Rüppell’s Warbler holds great memories for me and I am very much looking forward to having this species tattooed onto my arm!

Aside from the beauty of the bird itself, a species with a ‘persons’ name associated always (for me) adds to the interest and attraction. So as I sat pondering I asked my self ‘So who was Rüppell’s anyway?’! After a bit of research I discovered that Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell was a German born scientist and explorer. He was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1794. Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell went by the name of Eduard Rüppell and was an explorer with an expertise in zoology.

Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell


Eduard travelled extensively through North East Africa and is quoted as being the first naturalist to traverse the country of Ethiopia. As well as the Rüppell’s Warbler Eduard has at least another seven species of bird, four mammals and one species of reptile named after him!


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4 Comments to "So who was Rüppell anyway?"

  1. Marc Hughes says:

    Nice site Tristan- good stuff. Also an interesting article and a great bird for your next tattoo.
    Just one little correction- the last UK record was not the 92 Norfolk bird but a spanking male at Porth Meudwy, Lleyn Peninsula, Gwynedd on June 21st, 1995.
    Four of us were waiting for a boat the Bardsey when this magical bird popped out in front of us giving amazing views.
    I still pinch myself today – one of those once in a lifetime moments.
    Looking forward to see the inked version and to see the Web site develop.
    Best wishes.

    • inked says:

      Thanks Marc, glad you like the new website. Thanks also for the correction and the gripping story! I have corrected the date now and location now :-)

  2. Rich Bonser says:

    The last Ruppell’s Warbler in the UK was actually a male at Porth Meudwy, Aberdaron, Caernarfonshire in June 95.

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A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye. As a tattoo is grounded on living skin, so its essence emotes a poignancy unique to the mortal human condition. ― V. Vale, Modern Primitives