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Emma Louisa Turner FLS (1867 – 1940) was an English ornithologist and pioneering bird photographer. Her 1911 photograph of a nestling bittern in Norfolk was the first evidence of their return to the United Kingdom as a breeding bird after local extinction since the late 1800s. Turner was born on 9 June 1867 in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She was described as being "...small in stature but very wiry, quite capable with a punt or rowing boat". She took up photography after meeting Richard Kearton in 1900. She became the first "watcher" (warden) on the National Trust's Scolt Head.

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  • 52.735206 1.586171
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  • Emma Louisa Turner
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  • Emma Louisa Turner FLS (1867 – 1940) was an English ornithologist and pioneering bird photographer. Her 1911 photograph of a nestling bittern in Norfolk was the first evidence of their return to the United Kingdom as a breeding bird after local extinction since the late 1800s. Turner was born on 9 June 1867 in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She was described as being "...small in stature but very wiry, quite capable with a punt or rowing boat". She took up photography after meeting Richard Kearton in 1900. She became the first "watcher" (warden) on the National Trust's Scolt Head.
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  • Emma Turner (photographer)
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  • Emma Louisa Turner FLS (1867 – 1940) was an English ornithologist and pioneering bird photographer. Her 1911 photograph of a nestling bittern in Norfolk was the first evidence of their return to the United Kingdom as a breeding bird after local extinction since the late 1800s. Turner was born on 9 June 1867 in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She was described as being "...small in stature but very wiry, quite capable with a punt or rowing boat". She took up photography after meeting Richard Kearton in 1900. For 20 years, she lived and worked for part of each year (including some winters) at Hickling Broad in Norfolk, chiefly on a houseboat of her own design, which she named Water Rail after the first photograph she took in the Broads, of a water rail. She also had a hut on a small island in the south-east of Hickling Broad, which became known as Turner's Island (52°44′07″N 1°35′10″E / 52.735206°N 1.586171°E). Her other home was a house in Girton, Cambridge. She became the first "watcher" (warden) on the National Trust's Scolt Head. Her bittern picture resulted in her being awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Photographic Society. She was one of the first ten women fellows of the Linnaean Society in January 1905 and the first female honorary member of the British Ornithologists' Union. Though not a graduate, she was also an honorary member of the British Federation of University Women. Her book, Broadland Birds, was published in 1924 and formed the basis of a radio programme about her life, Emma Turner; a life in the reeds, broadcast by the BBC in 2012, produced by Sarah Blunt and with sound recordings by Chris Watson. She was also a keen gardener, at her homes in Girton, Cambridgeshire and Cambridge, and kept Terriers, which she trained to flush birds so that she could count them. She lost her sight two years before her death, which occurred on 13 August 1940.
  • Emma Louisa Turner FLS (1867 – 1940) was an English ornithologist and pioneering bird photographer. Her 1911 photograph of a nestling bittern in Norfolk was the first evidence of their return to the United Kingdom as a breeding bird after local extinction since the late 1800s. Turner was born on 9 June 1867 in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She was described as being "...small in stature but very wiry, quite capable with a punt or rowing boat". She took up photography after meeting Richard Kearton in 1900. For 20 years, she lived and worked for part of each year (including some winters) at Hickling Broad in Norfolk, chiefly on a houseboat of her own design, which she named Water Rail after the first photograph she took in the Broads, of a water rail. She also had a hut on a small island in the south-east of Hickling Broad, which became known as Turner's Island (52°44′07″N 1°35′10″E / 52.735206°N 1.586171°E). Her other home was a house in Girton, Cambridge. She became the first "watcher" (warden) on the National Trust's Scolt Head. Her bittern picture resulted in her being awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Photographic Society. She was elected one of the first ten women fellows of the Linnaean Society in December 1904 and the first female honorary member of the British Ornithologists' Union. Though not a graduate, she was also an honorary member of the British Federation of University Women. Her book, Broadland Birds, was published in 1924 and formed the basis of a radio programme about her life, Emma Turner; a life in the reeds, broadcast by the BBC in 2012, produced by Sarah Blunt and with sound recordings by Chris Watson. She was also a keen gardener, at her homes in Girton, Cambridgeshire and Cambridge, and kept Terriers, which she trained to flush birds so that she could count them. She lost her sight two years before her death, which occurred on 13 August 1940.
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