J Seago 1926
Michael was the
author of many of the articles in our Bird Guide section.
(This obituary appeared
in the Eastern Daily Press soon after his death in July 1999)
One of the most respected
wildlife enthusiasts in Norfolk and a leading EDP (Eastern Daily
Press) columnist, Michael Seago has died after a lengthy illness.
Mr Seago who was born in the year that the Norfolk Wildlife Trust
was established raised the profile of birding and wildlife study
in Norfolk. For more than half a century he inspired countless people
to take an interest in natural history and the birds of Norfolk.
He was founder editor of the Norfolk Bird Report published by the
Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists Society since 1953 and held the
post for more than 40 years. About four years ago he conceived the
idea of compiling a definitive history of birds in Norfolk for a
millennium project for the county naturalists' society. This 500
page volume which will cover every bird ever recorded in Norfolk
is due to be published in the middle of August.
While suffering from leukaemia for many months he struggled to complete
this massive book. Helped by a group of friends it is scheduled
for publication ontime and budget. Naturally enough he desperately
wanted to see it published but he died on Thursday evening (8th
Born in 1926 Mr Seago was an actuary at Norwich Union. He joined
in 1948 after national service in India and some of his early essays
about birds were written from a troopship. He also wrote the Birds
of Norfolk which was published by Jarrolds in 1967. He retired in
1986 and was then even busier with his dual interests of writing
for the EDP and enjoying his fascination with windmills. He took
great pride that his son Richard who is a millwright decided to
build the first new mill in the county for a century. He watched
the mill's gradual progress with keen interest and would have dearly
liked to see the project completed.
Married to Sylvia he has two sons Richard and Christopher part owner
of Thelnetham flour mill and two grandchildren. Living at Thorpe
it was handy to slip out to Breydon or reserves around Broadland
and further afield. He started his writing career with the Yarmouth
Mercury in 1949 then wrote for the Evening News. It was not long
before Mr Seago started writing for the EDP. Until two months ago
he was still writing the Birds of Britain feature which started
some 25 years ago and the countryside notes on the EDP's letters
pages. He was elected president of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists
Society in 1963 and was proud to have been presented with the Sidney
Long Memorial Medal in 1993 awarded occasionally to an outstanding
individual by the society.
Sir Timothy Colman who is a former chairman of the wildlife trust
paid generous tribute to Mr Seago who will be sorely missed. Last
night EDP deputy editor Martin Kirby said "We will miss him
and our newspaper is the poorer for his passing. The positive way
he has approached the many hurdles of recent months was humbling."